Where to start
Deciphering when your baby is ready to start solids differs from baby to baby. The international recommendation suggests starting solids no earlier than four months. According to www.verywellfamily.com, starting solids earlier than four months can lead to various health issues, including obesity and weight gain. Other concerns are that a baby’s digestive tract is not developed sufficiently before four months, leading to allergies. Before four months, the oral muscles are not suitable for solid foods, and there can be a problem with the coordination of swallowing, increasing the risk of choking. The side effects of feeding baby food too early can be worrying. It is always advisable to discuss any diet-related concerns with your paediatrician or nursing sister.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR BABY IS READY FOR SOLIDS:
It is always best to consult your nursing sister or paediatrician before starting solids, but you can look out for these telltale signs:
- Your baby is between 4 and 6 months old
- Your baby has doubled their birth weight
- The baby can sit unaided and hold its head up high for longer periods
- Baby can pick up items with their finger and thumb (pincer grasp)
- Baby opens mouth wide when you offer them food off a spoon
- Baby is eyeing or reaching for your food
- Your baby is healthy and has reached age-appropriate milestones and does not have a fever or stuffy nose.
Side effects of feeding baby food too early can be scary; we always suggest seeking professional advice if in doubt. Trust your instincts as a parent, and if in doubt, ask for help.