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Introducing Solids

Is Your Child Ready?

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Related Topics:
Food Allergies

Sometime between a baby's 4th month and 6th month solid food can be introduced. Exactly when depends on several factors.

   -   One factor involves the disappearance of the involuntary action called the extrusion reflex. Before this reflex disappears, feeding solids usually involves putting a spoonful in the mouth and scraping most of it off the baby's face as he or she spits it back out.toys
   -   Also, babies should be able to sit up and turn their heads away. That way, Schanler explains, they can communicate that they're not ready for the next spoonful or just not hungry anymore.
   -   Another sign to look for would be your baby leaning forward to watch you eat and sucking in his lower lip.

Usually, the first food recommended is a single-grain, iron-fortified infant cereal. Starting with single-grain cereals makes it easier to pinpoint any allergic reactions. It is NOT recommended that cereal ever be added to an infant’s bottle. The biggest concern with feeding solids too early is that the solids will replace breast milk or formula in the baby's diet. "Solids vary nutritionally depending on the food," says Schanler. "None of them is as complete as formula or breast milk. You don't want to rob [the baby] of milk."

Related Topics:
Food Allergies

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Introducing Solid Foods