One day it will happen: your baby will reach for your spoon, launching whatever you were attempting to eat across the room or painting it all across your face. If this sounds familiar, your baby may be ready to take the big step of starting solid foods.
When a baby starts solid foods, it’s a momentous occasion worthy of documentation with a camera or with a video of those first tastes and first reactions. But taking that next step can also be bittersweet. It is often the first big signal that your baby is turning into an independent person.
However, while this is often more exciting for parents than it is for babies, you should not rush to introduce solids to your baby. While both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organizations say breast milk is an adequate source of nutrition until 6 months, they also agree that introduction of solids any time between 4 and 6 months is appropriate. Don’t introduce solids under 4 months unless specifically instructed to by your doctor. A 2011 articlepublished in Pediatrics showed a six-fold increase in obesity by age 3 in formula fed babies introduced to solids prior to 4 months of age. Both organizations go on to specify that if you wait past 6 months, an infant may not receive enough nutrition and could experience growth and developmental delays