When to Start Baby on Solids

Posted in 4+ Months, 4+ Months Nutrition, 6+ Months, 6+ Months Development, 6+ Months Nutrition, Baby's First Foods, Introducing Solid Food

Isn’t it exciting when your little foodie is ready to take the next level of their food journey, from drinking breastmilk or infant formula alone to starting solids? It’s a milestone that most parents look forward to. It is also the perfect opportunity for you to introduce your child to healthy eating practices, which they can carry with them as they grow.


When should you introduce solids to your baby?

From birth until about 4-6 months of age, most bubs are able to get almost all their nutrition from breastmilk or formula alone. Parents are advised by health professionals against introducing solids to babies younger than 4 months as their digestive system is still not fully developed.


By around 6 months of age breastmilk (or infant formula) no longer provides sufficient nutrients and energy for growth and development. It is also during this time when most babies show signs that they are ready for solids.

Bear in mind though, that up until the age of 12 months, breastmilk (or infant formula) will continue to be the main source of nutrition.

Delaying the introduction of solid foods beyond 6 months may impact growth and development of motor skills (eg. chewing) and there is an increased risk for development of allergic syndromes.

What are the clues to watch out for?

Some of the tell-tale signs that show your baby is no longer satisfied with milk feeds alone are:

  • Interest in other people's food
  • Increased appetite
  • Desire to put things in their mouth
  • Good head control and ability to sit upright when supported
  • Disappearance of tongue thrust reflex

How to begin?

Start by giving your child small amounts of pureed, soft foods after breastfeeding them. Don't worry if they refuse their food at first or spit it out. It's normal in the beginning. Just be patient and try again in a day or so.


It's best to give your baby one food at a time, and to observe an interval of a few days between each food, so they can identify the taste. Doing so will also help you rule out if your child is allergic to a particular food item or shows any signs of intolerance.


By the time your baby turns one, they will likely have progressed from pureed and mashed foods to a range of solid foods of different textures and flavours. It is also likely that they will start feeding themselves with easy-to-grasp finger foods.


What type of food should I give my baby?

Aside from breastmilk or infant formula, pureed or finely mashed foods are recommended for babies 4-6 months old. These include infant cereals, mashed pumpkin or potato, and well-cooked pureed legumes (we recommend protein from +8 months, not 4-6 months), just to name a few.


Once your baby turns 8-12 months old, you can start introducing them to mashed or finely chopped foods as well as finger foods. Try serving minced fish or finely shredded meat, mashed fruits, and soft-cooked veggies like beans and lentils.


Tips to keep in mind

  • Use a soft plastic spoon instead of a metal one.
  • Make sure your baby is not too hungry or tired when you try to feed them, and always follow your baby’s signs as they will tell you if they want to eat.
  • Let your baby sit with the family during meal times so they can watch and learn.
  • Supervise your baby whenever they are eating to reduce the risk of choking.
  • Be ready for mess. It's part of this milestone!


Remember that each child has their own pace. Some will find it easy to transition from liquids to solids, while others may need more time. Just be patient and enjoy the process. If you have any concerns about feeding your baby solids, speak to your healthcare professional


Check out our previous articles below to learn more about your baby’s feeding journey:




About the Author

About the Author: Rafferty’s Garden is a brand brought to life by our love of good food and by our belief in ensuring Australian babies get an amazing start to their food journey. .


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