You asked and you shall now receive. It’s only fair for us to share all of this stored up knowledge about a baby and what happens once the baby is born until they are no longer called a baby but a toddler! We now will answer, in a very public forum, all of those burning questions about babies and those first 12 months. Each Tuesday, we will tackle a commonly-asked-question from the point of view of a new parent. Chiming in to give her feedback will be three women who have been there and done that: an expert (you know someone who does this for a living), a mom from our community (for the “best” friend advice you need) and a babybites’ team member (someone who will promise to give you the REAL deal and no fluff). Earmark, share and add your own input to today’s question; it’s good karma.
When can I start feeding my baby solids?
Expert: Dr. Gina Lamb – Amato
You can start to feed solids between 5 and 6 months of age. Your baby will show signs that she is ready for solids. One sign is head control. Your baby needs to hold her head in an upright and steady position to feed solids. Another sign is loosing her extrusion reflex so she no longer pushes the food out with her tongue so she is able to keep solid food in her mouth and swallow it. Your baby should also be able to push food to the back of her mouth and swallow the solids. Another clue is when your baby has doubled her birth weight or weight 15 or more pounds showing she is able to gain significant weight. Finally if your baby still seems hungry after liquid feedings she is ready to start solids.
Mom: Katie Blanchet
Our pediatrician recommended starting solids at six months. At the same time, she said it was acceptable to start earlier if your baby doesn’t seem satisfied with breast milk or formula. We started our son with a small amount of rice cereal at 5 ½ months and slowly added fruits and vegetables.
Mommybites’ team: Elise Jones
It so exciting when you think of the prospect of feeding your baby something besides breast milk or formula! I remember how much both of my girls loved their solid foods. Starting solids can be done around six months old and when your pediatrician gives you the go ahead. Most people start with cereals- rice, oatmeal and mixed grains- depending on any known allergies and/or reactions they had when drinking milk. Mixing a tiny bit of cereal with the baby’s milk of choice is the best way to start them. You shouldn’t give any attention to the fact they will spit it out or lap it up as both are very common initial reactions to a new food.
Persistence is key as is watching their cues; definitely don’t force anything but know it takes around 5- 10 times for a new food to take to the taster. It’s also important to not introduce a new food to soon after another one: leave three days between each new food to watch for reactions to each food in isolation. After cereals, it’s time to start purees, very, very fine purees. I like to make my own because I knew where the fruits & veggies were coming from which is so important with new foods into the baby’s digestive system. Plus there have been numerous studies with plastics leaching into foods being extremely bad for babies. I like to use Annabel Karmel’s “Baby Purees” book; the recipes are super easy and you can make big batches & freeze them for easy use.
About our team
Dr. Gina Lamb – Amato MD
Gina is a general pediatrician and developmental pediatrician who works at Village Pediatrics and Agho Medical practices both in Manhattan, NY. She has a masters in child therapy and works with a child psychologist Rosa Vasquez PhD performing office and home consultation for newborns and parents, office and home developmental assessments, school consultations and parent child playgroups where play and art along with baby massage and other techniques are used to help parents bond and support their child’s development. Formerly, Gina was the Director of Pediatric Special Medical Needs before she went into private practice where she cared for medically fragile infants and children. She is also a Early Intervention Pediatrician for Early Intervention which assesses and treats infants from age zero to 3 years. She has extensive experience in Early Head Start programs which work with infants from prenatal to 3 years of age. She is the mother of a beautiful daughter who is 3 years old and the joy of my life. Her husband is an artist, producer and owns Synchronicity Space, a non-profit arts organization that supports emerging artist in fine art and theatre. Finally, she is also an artist who paints mainly babies and children.
Katie is a stay-at-home mom with one child who is 8 months old.
Elise is the social media director and blog editor for Mommybites. She is responsible for engaging and investigating a variety of parenting topics found on Mommybites’ social media channels: parenting videos (webbybites), blog, Facebook, Twitter, and BlogTalkRadio show. The babybites’ blog is an outlet for moms who are in search of information to support them in their role as a parent. Prior to working with babybites, Elise was a teacher and worked in corporate PR. She is a wife and loving mom of two lovely girls and currently resides in New Jersey. In her spare time (HA!) she performs in the theater and is an active member of her local public arts council as well as blogs at Here in This House.
Like what you see? Here are our past Ask & You Shall Receive Baby columns: