What To Do If Your Baby Won’t Eat Solids — 9 Tricks To Try

Ad failed to load

Introducing solids to your little one can be a mixed bag of emotions. It's exciting to see your baby reach new milestones, but it's also stressful because you don't know how it'll go. I won't sugar coat it — getting kids to eat solids can be kind of a nightmare. Many babies reject solid foods and for many reasons including exhaustion, lack of appetite, disliking of the color and shape — I could literally go on for days. It could also be because they're simply not ready. So what to do if your baby won't eat solids? Don't despair, as there are some good tricks to help you.

Before going down the solids road, the most important thing you can do is ask yourself if your baby is ready. Thankfully, there are some clues. According to the Baby Center, you can introduce solid foods anytime between 4 and 6 months. Additionally, if your baby can hold their head up or sit upright in a highchair, has doubled their weight from birth, and can move food from the front to back of their mouth, they should be good to go.

The second most important thing you can do is make sure you're feeding your child age appropriate foods. That means no filet mignon or tacos. In the beginning, it's recommended you only do puréed fruits and vegetables, plain yogurt, and cereal in very small amounts. I'm talking like one teaspoon. As your baby grows and gets older that amount will increase to meet their nutritional needs.

Ad failed to load

Say you've established that your child is ready and you've found the right foods, but the whole solid food thing just isn't working at all with your baby. Rest assured, it will happen eventually. Thankfully, there are nine simple things you can try to help you in your solids journey.

Ad failed to load

1Set Aside A Good Amount Of Time For Feeding


This is not exactly a fine dining experience, but treating it like one might help. According to the Baby Center, you should set enough time aside for your baby to eat solid foods. This will allow them to soak in the smells, textures, feelings — all of which are important for your baby to process. If you don't indulge their sensory needs, the whole feeding session could be longer and more frustrating.

2Join Your Baby In Eating


As explained on the New Kids Center website, seeing you eat will encourage your baby to eat. If your meal schedule is not the same as your baby's feeding schedule (in many cases it probably isn't), prepare yourself snack.

3Sing Songs To Your Baby Or Play Games


It's all about the art of distraction with this one. With my two kids, "The Wheels On the Bus" was a big hit. It got us through many spoonfuls of puréed peas. The clichéd air plane game during meal time was another one of my fun and successful distractors.

Ad failed to load

4Use Small Portions For Their Meals


Putting a mountain of mashed anything might be a bit much when you're giving solids a go. As suggested on the New Kids Center website, try starting off with smaller portions of food to create a less overwhelming environment for your baby. You can always get more after a few spoonfulls.

5Keep Offering Solid Foods At Feedings


Even if your child refuses to eat solids, it's still important to offer them at meal time. When you do this, you make solids a part of their regular meal routine, thereby normalizing it for them.

6Let Your Baby Feed Themselves


A quick warning about this tip: it's messy. Your baby might want to be in control — and it's totally fine to give it to them — as long as you don't care about the mess. Letting your baby feed themselves might be better in the long run too. Researchers in a 2012 TIME report suggested that babies who skipped spoon fed purées and went straight to finger foods, developed better eating habits overall.

Ad failed to load

7Switch Up Your Menu Frequently


How would you feel eating the same thing over and over? Bored probably. You might even start to reject certain foods. It's the same with babies. Offering variety to your baby in color and texture might help you find something they like, as noted on the New Kids Center website.

8Avoid Force-Feeding Your Baby


When parents are tired and frustrated they can resort to some not-so-good techniques. Force-feeding a baby or anyone is not OK, and it can lead to your baby not eating at all.

9Try Not To Stress Yourself Out About It


This might be easier said than done, but try to keep your cool. As pointed out on Web MD, just about every child goes through a period of rejecting new foods. The good news is that most grow out of it. It may take weeks and even months, but eventually it will happen.

Introducing solid foods to your baby can be a happy and frustrating time. Ultimately, it's not a big deal if they're not interested in solids right away. They're probably getting all of their nutrients through breast milk or formula anyway. If you're ever worried about it though, you can always talk to your doctor to see if it's a medical issue that needs to be addressed.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

15 Baby Names With Unique Nicknames, So Your Family Has Options

I love a good diminutive name, also known as a nickname. I believe I’m partial to them because of my own name, Abigale, but I go by Abi. And since they’re both uniquely spelled, everyone thinks my name is pronounced Ah-bee for some reason — but even …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills