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  Solids – Is baby ready?
My baby is 5 months old and really gets hungry! Is that a sign that she is ready for solids?

There are a couple of criteria that baby must fulfill before you can consider giving solids! Up until around six months most babies are well nourished on milk alone. But some babies are ready before that.

Your baby needs to be old and strong enough to hold up her head, and to be generally showing an interest in food. Some mothers really notice how their babies are intrigued by adult food at mealtimes! Also your baby needs to have grown out of the tongue thrust reflex. The reason why it is difficult to get very small babies to take solids is because they are born with the instinct of pushing anything solid out of their mouths. Nature really does take care of them! If you put a tiny bit of rice cereal which you have made runny with baby milk (breast or formula, whichever your baby usually has) then you will see whether the baby immediately pushes it out with her tongue. If she does, then she is probably too young for solids.

You also need to watch baby and see if she does movements with her tongue such as back and forth as well as up and down. Lastly, the baby needs to be able to open her mouth to take the spoon.

Once she has mastered all of these you can start trying a tiny bit of rice porridge at the feed you do when the baby seems hungriest. This varies from baby to baby. Make sure that the cereal is mixed with enough baby milk to make it extremely smooth, and realize that the first few meals are just to help the baby get the feeling of food, as opposed to an actual exercise in nutrition!

See also:

Solids - Amount

Solids - Avoid in first year

Solids - Baby trying to take charge

Solids - Best age to start

Solids - Changing her mind about a food

Solids - Feeding chair

Solids - First foods

Solids - Getting started

Solids - Keeping clean

Solids - Rice Cereal

Solids - Salt content of food

Solids - Using a bottle for solids

Solids - Very short feeds

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