February 2013 Moms

How can you tell if LO is "ready" for solids?

Let me open this by saying I'm in no rush to give my LO solids, but I'm a FTM and have noticed that DS has started making what can only be described as chewing motions with his jaw. It literally looks like he has gum in his mouth. I've even looked in his mouth before because I've been convinced he got something in his hands while playing on the floor and got it into his mouth. Not the case. Is this an indicator that DS is getting ready for solids? He's four months today. Is it a indicator of teething? Or does my kid just have a weird behavior that has no hidden agenda, haha? Like I said, I'm not rushing to shove food in his mouth, but I'm new at this and I read a lot on here that you'll know when LO is "ready" for solids. Just curious what that might look like?

I'm also aware that the current recommendation is 6 months, so I could ignore all cues and just wait for that age to come around. But it would still be nice to know what magic things happen that show LO is ready.

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Re: How can you tell if LO is "ready" for solids?

  • I think some people think "Oh they are looking at my food, and reaching for the spoon, so they are ready."  My son would put pretty much anything in his mouth at this point, and likes to chew because of teething.  Babies also like to imitate sounds and facial expressions.  I think its hard to go by stuff like that.  I honestly had no clue with DD, and started with oatmeal a little after 6 months.  She didn't spit it out, and acted like she enjoyed it, so I continued with solids.
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  • I feel it's definitely best to wait until the 6 month mark. Even though E is completely fascinated by watching me eat and chew. She definitely would take on the challenge! But I think her little tummy wouldn't be able to digest something heavy. The only thing other than breast milk she receives is water on a hot day (VERY LITTLE). 
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  • Other than the age, I think you are supposed to wait until they can comfortably sit up with minimal assistance and no longer have the tongue thrust reflex.
  • Ebee27Ebee27
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    image IncogNeato:
    Other than the age, I think you are supposed to wait until they can comfortably sit up with minimal assistance and no longer have the tongue thrust reflex.

    this is what I'd go off of, personally! 

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  • I believe the signs I read on kellymom.com (too lazy to look it up) were:

    1) Doubled their birth weight
    2) Sitting up independently
    3) Lost tongue thust reflex
    4) Shows interest in your food (although that one is less reliable)

    Kellymom suggests waiting until 6 months, but with a "watch the kid not the calendar" disclaimer since some kids are genuinely ready before 6 months. I waited until 6+ months with both girls (DD2 actually refused all solids until 8 months, I went with her cues) but DS seems like he may be ready earlier. I was not open to foods before 6 months before, but he's already mostly sitting on his own, has lost his tongue thrust and is showing interest, so once he's fully sitting and double his birth weight I may introduce even if he's not a full 6 months yet. 

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  • I plan to wait, but I think my DS is ready.  When I eat, he always leans towards my food like he wants it.  Also, my dd was fake feeding him with a spoon (which she isn't supposed to do) and he was gladly accepting the spoon into his mouth. 

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  • Feel free to chastise me, but everywhere I read says " between 4-6 months" so I don't read that as having to wait until 6 months. For us, I will wait for LO to show readiness and be over 4 months. Although my hubby, who is a first time father, admitted a few days ago to giving him a "taste" of puree banana...I was rather annoyed because he's not ready.  I was like " why do you want him to grow up so fast?" He said he wouldn't give him anymore.  I guess that's what happens when I word 12 hours both days of the weekend.

    Anyway, both of my other kids started solids at 4 months.  I believe it was rice cereal for the first taste...It's been so long(9 years since my last baby).

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  • We started DD out with rice cereal at 4 months after she lost her tongue thrust reflex. The new fashion these days seems to be to wait until 6 months, but after talking with my DS's pedi, there is no set point in babies that click on at 6 months exactly. Some kids are legitimately ready much early, others much later. My Pedi even admitted "we have been wrong with our recommendations before so I'm not going to tell you to wait if you feel hes ready sooner or later...you are the mom and its your call and no one on the planet knows your baby better than you do."

    With DS, he is 14 weeks and we have been playing around with rice cereal with him already since he has doubled his birth weight, sits almost totally on his own, and has lost his tongue reflex as well as leans to the spoon and "chews." He has had no issues at all and gets the biggest smile I've ever seen on him when we get him ready for his cereal now. Its young yes, but in addition to the research that says its best to wait until closer to 6 months, there is also research showing its better to start babies out as early as 3 months if allergies run in the family which my Pedi has been kind enough to share with me. Since we do have allergies in the family, I felt more comfortable starting him this early. BUT, this is not something I would suggest for everyone. Listen to your heart and your baby. :)

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  • Keep in mind that head, neck and trunk control are also a must when sitting without support and they must be accompanied by appropriate hand and arm movements when baby feeds himself.

    You can introduce spoon feeding once <your baby> has mastered these skills in conjunction with mouth pattern development, such as:

    ?           Up-and-down munching movement;

    Transfers food from front to back of tongue to swallow;

    ?           Transfers food from front to back of tongue to swallow;

    ?           Draws in upper or lower lip as spoon is removed from mouth;

    ?           Tongue thrust and rooting reflexes begin to disappear;

    ?           Gag reflex diminishes;

    ?           Opens mouth when sees spoon.

    When you start solids it's important to introduce one solid at a time, and wait 3 days to see if baby is allergic to the aliment or not. We started at 6 months and we've first introduced banana but LO also loves avocado. I first find it hard to tell which solids were recommended for her and which to avoid, but I found this website http://goodmomming.com/ and it kind of solved my problem. You could use it when your baby is ready.  

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