WIC in Vermont
Getting ready for solids
Around 6 months, most babies will show developmental signs that they are ready to start solid foods.
- Signs your baby is ready for solid food
- Signs of hunger
- Signs of fullness
- Starting cereal
- Vegetables and fruits
- Protein foods
- Drinking from a cup
- Sits up with support
- Holds head steady
- Reaches for objects and holds on to them
- Stops pushing tongue out when lips are touched
- Opens mouth for spoon, closes mouth over spoon and begins to swallow
- If your baby is not showing these signs by 6 months, talk to the nurse or doctor at your next visit.
- Reaches for food
- Points to food
- Gets excited when sees food
- Pushes food away
- Closes mouth tight
- Slows down eating
- Starts playing with food
Around 6 months, your baby will need extra iron to grow. Iron-fortified infant cereal is a good choice. Rice cereal is best to start with, because most babies can eat it without any problems. Start with 1-2 feedings of cereal per day.
- Chose a feeding time when baby is happy, and just give half the usual amount of breast milk or formula. Hold your baby in your arms – babies do better when they feel safe.
- Start with equal parts cereal and liquid, increase thickness as baby desires.
- Offer 1-2 spoonfuls of cereal and watch baby’s reaction. She’ll let you know if she’s ready for more.
- Take it slow, be patient, and let your baby take the lead.
- Offer the other breast or the rest of the formula, and end the feeding on a happy note.
Many people introduce vegetables and fruits between 6 and 8 months, after baby has learned to eat cereal.
- Offer one new vegetable or fruit a week. Watch for any allergic reaction, such as rash, diarrhea, runny nose, wheezing, itching, or swelling of mouth, lips or tongue.
- Offer 1 teaspoon of vegetable or fruit to start.
- Start with strained or pureed vegetables and work toward a thicker mixture with a few lumps. Once baby has tried a number of vegetables and fruits, then try different textures.
- Next, try vegetables mashed with a fork, and then soft pieces of cooked vegetable that can be eaten with a spoon or fingers.
Honey should not be given to babies younger than one year. The bacteria that may be in honey can make babies sick.
Around 8 months you can add protein foods such as meats, beans, lentils, egg yolks, yogurt, tofu and cottage cheese.
- Offer 1 new protein food a week.
- Offer 1 teaspoon to start increasing to 2 tablespoons twice a day.
- Start with strained mashed meats, legumes, etc.
- Wait to offer egg whites until 1 year, as they are possible cause of allergies.
At 6 months, your baby can begin to learn to drink from a cup. Drinking from a cup is an important skill and can help prevent tooth decay that occurs from taking a bottle to bed. Offer a cup without a lid starting with a small amount of water. Work towards the goal of weaning your baby to drinking only from a cup by 12 to 15 months.