Babies often hit one of their growth spurts at six months. Around this time, it may seem that your little one just can't eat enough, and you may be wondering if now is the time to add some solid food. Here are some guidelines for knowing when your baby is ready for solid foods and how to introduce them.

A baby's growth from 5-8 months will allow for many changes in food intake. Breast milk or iron-fortified formula still needs to be the main part of a baby's diet. Solids may be started at this time.

Not Too Soon...

Solids do not help young infants sleep through the night. Starting solids too soon can:

  • Cause choking
  • Be hard for your baby to digest
  • Increase the risk of developing allergies
  • Prevent your baby from getting enough breast milk or formula—Breast milk or iron-fortified formula should continue to be your child’s most important source of nutrients until age 12 months.
Just the Right Time

To find out if your baby is ready for solid foods, look for these signs:

  • Holds his or her neck up in a steady position
  • Sits up on his or her own without support
  • Opens his or her mouth to eat food when you offer it
  • Moves lower lip in when you take the spoon away
  • Is able to hold the food in his or her mouth and swallow it
  • Is interested in the food that people are eating around his or her and reaches for food