Starting solid food is a very exciting time. Along with the excitement may come many new questions and concerns. Use Earth's Best tips and resources to help you through this new journey.
Most babies start solid food between 4 and 6 months of age. The first food is usually infant cereal fortified with iron, which many babies need at this age. Rice cereal is usually the first grain as most infants easily tolerate it. If your baby should become constipated, the rice cereal should be changed to oatmeal as rice can be binding in some infants. If your baby should develop a rash, vomiting, diarrhea or irritability, discontinue the cereal and notify your doctor.
Start with one tablespoon of cereal mixed with breast milk, formula or water to the desired consistency. Use a soft-tip infant spoon to feed your baby. At this age, many babies are teething and they like to bite down on objects to soothe their swollen gums. Having a soft-tip spoon will be more comfortable for the baby if this should occur. Make sure the baby is upright during feedings.
Once your baby accepts cereal, you can begin adding fruits and vegetables. Start with first foods that are single ingredient and fine in consistency. Wait 3 days before trying a new food and watch for signs of a possible food allergy such as a rash, vomiting, diarrhea or irritability. If that should occur, discontinue immediately and consult your doctor. Initially, give your baby half a jar of fruit or vegetable with each cereal feeding. Over time, this will be increased to a full jar with each cereal meal.