Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Brenner Children’s pediatric emergency department has moved back to its original location. Learn more

In order to help protect patients, family members and health care workers from the spread of COVID-19, no visitors are allowed at any of Wake Forest Baptist Health’s outpatient or inpatient facilities, except in certain situations.
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More COVID-19 Updates

Introducing Your Baby to Solid Food

Parents are always excited to start their baby on solid foods! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months and we typically recommend that parents wait until 4-6 months to introduce their baby to solids. Here are some signs that baby may be ready to try solid food:

  • Baby can sit upright with support in a highchair and control her head well
  • Baby opens his mouth wide when parent brings food near
  • Baby swallows food put into her mouth
  • Baby has doubled his birthweight and weighs around 13 pounds or more

Food Stages for Babies

Is your baby ready? If so, we recommend that you start with a single-grain cereal such as rice or oatmeal. Mix with baby's regular formula or breast milk so the taste is familiar and aim for a thin, liquid consistency. Expect the first few feedings to be messy!! Always feed him from a spoon and avoid adding solids to your baby's bottle. Once your baby is eating cereal without difficulty and wanting more, consider adding more foods to his diet.

When is My Baby Ready for Stage 2 Foods?

From this point on, introduce one new food every several days so that you can monitor for any signs of allergic reaction. Most recommend starting with fruits or vegetables and then progressing onto meats. I generally tell my patients to introduce all "stage 1" foods before progressing to stage 2 or 3. The consistency of the food gets thicker in stage 2 and stage 3 foods usually contain whole pieces, which your baby may not be ready to eat until 8-9 months.

Around 6 months, you should begin offering your baby a sippy cup during her meals. Place a small amount of water in the cup and allow her to experiment. Over the next few months, she can develop the skills she needs to drink from a cup and this will make it much easier to wean her from the bottle!

Finger Foods for Your Baby

Finger foods can be introduced once your baby can sit well, pick up small items with his fingers and bring his hands to his mouth. Most babies are ready for these around 9 months. Good options for finger feeding include mashed bananas, Cheerios, well-cooked pasta and well-cooked vegetables. Most foods are ok if you can cut them into small pieces and easily "squish" them between your fingers with slight pressure. Avoid hot dogs, nuts, popcorn, grapes and candies as these are choking hazards for baby!

Food to Avoid for Babies

Avoid whole milk until 12 months of age. Avoid eggs, shellfish and peanut butter until at least 12 months, but I recommend you discuss this with your pediatrician as their recommendations may change depending on your child's needs.