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When to Start Baby Food

Between four and six months of age, most babies are physically developed enough to handle the process of starting to eat solid foods. They are also moving a lot more, building muscle and strength as they develop their early mobility skills. This requires a great deal of energy and nourishment, more than can be provided with just breast milk or formula.
There are other things that can help you figure out when baby food should be started. Some good indicators are when your child:
  • Has good head and neck control
  • Can sit with support
  • Can push up with straight elbows from lying face down.
You should not start baby food if your baby is younger than four months old. This is because there are no known benefits; yet, there appears to be some risk. Some of the problems with starting solid foods too early include:
  • Increased risk for choking
  • Interference with the ability to get enough calories through breast milk or formula
  • Increased risk for food allergies, atopic dermatitis (eczema), and other allergic conditions.
(Click Starting Solid Foods for more information about when baby food should be started and to learn about the problems that may occur if you start solid foods too late.)
A Dose of Reassurance for Parents of Picky Eaters
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