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My baby is 3 months old and Im looking into the future of when he is supposed to start solids?

  • Should babies eat fruits or veggies first?
  • Does it matter?
  • Should they be mixed?
  • Do they still drink milk when they start solids?

I am not sure when or how to start off introducing solids. I know there is a bit of controversy on when to start, looking for more factual based responses on what baby should be showing in order to move into the new phase of feeding.

3 Answers 3

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According to the CDC, it is recommended that you start solids around 6 months old.

Your child can begin eating solid foods at about 6 months old. By the time he or she is 7 or 8 months old, your child can eat a variety of foods from different food groups. These foods include infant cereals, meat or other proteins, fruits, vegetables, grains, yogurts and cheeses, and more.

In the mid 1900s it was common to start children when they were closer to 4 months old, but this is no longer the recommendation. Please ensure that your baby can sit upright on their own before starting solids—a typical 6 month milestone.

You typically have 2 options when starting solids

  • Purees
  • Baby Led Weaning

It was and sometimes still is recommended that you wait 3-5 days between offering new foods and keeping a journal regarding how your baby interacted with those foods. I, personally, only recommend this if you have a history of allergies.

You will want to give your baby exposure to all types of food to ensure they are getting a variety of textures, vitamins, and nutrients.

Milk

Before reading further, please note that your baby's main source of calories and nutrients should come from breast milk or formula. As they approach their first birthday, more of their calories will come from their solid foods and you can reduce formula or breastmilk intake. At one year, an infant's stomach will be able to tolerate cows milk. Formula will not longer be required at this point, but if you choose to continue breastfeeding for the bonding experience, please do.

Baby Led Weaning

If you want to try baby led weaning instead of solids, please read a book on it. I recommend "Baby Led Weaning: The Essential Guide". A book will provide a lot of points that simply can not be summarized into a post such as how to cut the foods and more.

Peanuts/Tree Nuts

Please also work to introduce peanuts and tree nuts early and often to help reduce the risk of allergies. It is no longer recommended that you wait until a year to introduce these (or any common allergies)

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    The 'Never stop feeding breastmilk' reads weird and probably not the way you intended. You definitely should continue breastfeeding when you start introducing solids at around 6 months old. But you certainly do want to slowly reduce and eventually stop breastfeeding once your child gets a significant amount of their daily calories from solid food.
    – quarague
    Oct 29 at 7:28
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    By 12 months, baby's tummy is ready for cow's milk, and by 12 months, baby should be getting enough calories from food that formula or breastfeeding aren't necessary anymore. There's pretty much no reason to keep paying for formula after 12 months, but if mother and baby want to keep breastfeeding for comfort or closeness, that's fine.
    – swbarnes2
    Nov 6 at 19:29
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    I edited the milk section to include both of your points. Thank you!
    – Piper
    Nov 7 at 16:52
  • Excellent answer, I'd say baby led weaning isn't so complicated as to need you to read a book, but one does need to look up which foods can/can't be given (no honey before one, for example) and the best ways to cut the food up. Plenty of good resources online.
    – R Davies
    Nov 8 at 9:09
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Dutch guidelines (Voedingscentrum) are a bit more progressive than their American counterparts. They advise to start at 4 months already with a few spoonfuls a day of fruit or vegetable, and around six months start transitioning to a full meal replacing a single bottle feed around 8 months (note that many children actually do not get enough fat intake by then, so butter their bread and feel free to mix in some olive oil in dry vegetables). The ability to sit unassisted is not important since in my experience you can easily feed a few spoonfuls in a rocking chair or on your lap.

They also advise it is important to start before six months with introducing typical allergens like peanuts and eggs, as research has shown that children are then less likely to develop allergies. Of course, they must be appropriately prepared, e.g. peanut butter without bits and preferably without salt.

We started as early as advised (4 months old exactly) for our twin daughters; one developed a cow milk allergy so her doctor advised to start introducing allergens to prevent other allergies, while the other was simply very hungry all the time. We could tell they were ready by the amount of interest they showed in our food, basically grabbing it off our plates if they would have had the coordination to grab at all. We were advised to check their diapers, since too many solids (especially foods like banana) can cause constipation.

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As a mom of 2 boys, I can tell you that they both started eating solids at different ages. While age can serve as a guideline, what you want to look for is whether or not your child is able to swallow their saliva. If your baby is still drooling heavily, their gag reflex is not developed enough for solid foods.

I kept it simple when I introduced solid foods. I started out with pureed carrots or sweet potatoes and continued to supplement with milk. My boys also liked cereal, which I would mix with a little milk and spoon feed to them.

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  • Hi and welcome. Please read our tour and How to Answer pages to understand how this site works. We are a Q&A site, which is different from forums. One difference is that we require sources to support debatable "opinions presented as facts", in this case, "If your baby is still drooling heavily, their gag reflex is not developed enough for solid foods." Do you have a reliable, reputable source to support this with, as your answer hinges on this statement? If this is the case, support should be easy to find. Please edit it into your answer, and flag for moderator review. Thanks.
    – anongoodnurse
    Nov 5 at 17:07

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