When Should You Start Solids?
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests waiting to start solids until your baby is 4-6 months old. What many people do not realize however is that the four months is meant more for formula fed babies while the six months is meant more for the breastfed babies. Why do they say wait and what are the pros and cons of starting your baby on food other than breast milk and formula?
Breast milk is full of iron unlike formula so it gives a baby the full amount of iron that they need while they grow for a longer amount of time. Because formula lacks as much iron, a baby who is formula fed should start on baby food at about four months old, in order to supplement and get more iron. Breast milk is so amazing because it changes as your baby grows giving your baby exactly what he needs, when he needs it, including the right amount of iron. This is why breast milk is best for the first year. Because your baby gets the iron from breast milk that he needs he doesn’t need baby food for at least six months.
Is your baby ready for solids? There are many ways you can tell from your baby’s development whether or not they are ready to start solids. A baby’s weight and development are very important. Can they sit, can they pick up objects? These are all very important to consider. For more on introducing solids, please click here.
There is really no reason to rush your baby into starting solids. There are some parents that choose to wait till nine months or closer to a year before they start their baby on food other than breast milk. Baby food is meant to help get babies acquainted to other flavors and learn how to eat food, however until they are a year old breast milk or formula should still make up at least 3/4 of their diet. Don’t feel pressured to start your baby on solids. If you are concerned about whether or not you should or your baby’s health, ask your pediatrician at your baby’s next well-check.
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