Experts Say: Time for Solids

Category: Newborns

Is your baby ready for solids?

 

My baby has never been much of a milk drinker but now that she is going to be six months old, I’m considering starting her on solids soon. I, however, have no idea where to start and how do I know if she is ready? 

 

The American Academy of Paediatric (AAP) recommends exclusive breast feeding for six months and weaning can be started after six months. If baby is on formula feeding or mixed feeding, weaning can be considered at four to six months of age.

 

Experts generally agree that from six months on, a baby would need something more substantial than just milk. However, infants who exhibit poor growth or iron deficiency anaemia may be weaned earlier, between four to six months, as advised by their doctor or dietician. Weaning too early, e.g. at two to three months, could result in digestive disorders and there is also a higher risk of setting off a food allergy. On the other hand, if the baby is weaned too late, she may not get adequate nutrition and this may lead to growth retardation.

 

Developmental signs of readiness for weaning foods are:

 

  • When baby can hold their heads up, sit in a high chair
  • Has lost his tongue thrust or extrusion reflex and open their mouths when food is presented
  • Dribbles and increased frequency of putting things into mouth
  • Are trying to grab little pieces of food from plat and making chewing motions and swallow
  • When baby cries for feeds before usual time, which is a sign of hunger
  • When baby shows interest in food you are eating and stares at it
  • Baby has doubled his birth weight

 

This usually occurs around four to six months old.

 

 

Question answered by:

 

Dr Varsha Atul Shah

Senior Consultant

Dept of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine, SGH

Thanks for sharing!