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When Do Babies Begin Eating Solids?

A common question that many new parents may ask about their babies is, "When do they begin eating solids?" By the end of their first year of life, most healthy infants are receiving half of their nutrition from breast milk or formula. The other half comes from complementary foods and liquids.
 
If your child is starting to give you hints that he or she is ready for solid foods, it might be time to take some baby steps into this new world. The first indicator is age. Starting solid foods between four to six months of age is ideal. Your child may also be ready for solids when he or she:
 
  • Has good head and neck control.
     
  • Can sit with support.
     
  • Can push up with straight elbows from lying face down.
     
  • Seems unsatisfied and hungry following their usual feedings of breast milk or formula.
     
  • No longer has a tongue-thrust reflex (extrusion reflex).
     
  • Can indicate when they are hungry (by opening the mouth and leaning forward) and full (by leaning back or turning away).
     
(Click Starting Solid Foods for more information on when babies are ready for solids, to learn about the importance of starting solid foods around four to six months of age, and to find out if it is possible to introduce solids too early or too late.)
 
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