After you have a baby, the next few months can be somewhat of a blur. One day it feels like it's all going so fast, the next you're counting down the hours until bedtime by 9 a.m., making it hard to keep track of all the milestones, like when your baby begins to eat solid foods. That can be a scary transition — I mean, they have no teeth, how can they chew? Not to fear, these clues will tell you if your kid is really ready for solids. I checked in with some pediatricians and did some of my own research to see what signs babies give to let us know they're really ready to be off the all-liquid diet (and who could blame them?).
Some signs are pretty standard and your pediatrician should let you know when they're ready to eat solids, but according to the What To Expect website (which is basically the parenting bible), your child should be between 4 and 6 months of age before you even try giving them anything solid. But some of these clues are not so standard or obvious, especially to first-time parents. So check out these signs to see if your little one is ready to try to eat their meal from a spoon.
1. They're The Appropriate Age
2. Your Baby Can Hold Their Head Up
It's important for your baby to be able to hold their head up on their own and even sit upright by themselves. Potock suggests that your "baby will still need a supportive high chair that offers good trunk control and keeps baby in an upright posture, with hips at approximately a 90 degree angle and feet on a supportive foot rest." So go ahead and invest in a good high chair.
3. Your Baby Wants To Eat Your Food
We've all seen those adorable videos of little babies trying to take a bite from an adult's spoon or fork as it passes by their little face. Well, as it turns out, this is a real sign that your baby might be ready to eat real food. According to the What To Expect website, if your baby has begun going for your food, it could mean they're "excited" about what you're eating. It's also a great indicator that she has the ability to grasp objects, which "is another sign your baby is developmentally ready to handle solids." Being able to open their mouth at the sight of a spoon is a great way to tell if your baby may be ready to eat solid food.
4. They Have Doubled Their Birth Weight
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, this can be another sign your child will be ready to take on solid foods to feed their growing body.
5. Your Baby Doesn't Push Food Out Of Their Mouth
If your baby has stopped spitting out their food — whether it's breast milk or formula, or if you've already tried some soft foods — pay attention. Being able to swallow their food without spitting it out, gagging, or letting it dribble down their chin are signs they're probably ready for solid foods, according to the What To Expect website. "If baby appears uncomfortable, gags frequently (the occasional gag is fine, especially if baby continues to be interested in the food), or consistently fusses during feedings, stop offering solid foods for one week and then try again," Potock says.