My baby is learning how to eat

  • Wait to start solid foods until at least four months of age and only if baby has reached an eating milestone.
  • As your baby is learning how to eat, he is gaining more head and neck control and getting more experience with knowing how to move his tongue back and forth.

When to start feeding baby food

Before now, your baby’s digestive system wasn’t mature enough to properly digest anything other than breastmilk or formula. But now that he's four months or older, his stomach can hold a little more and the digestive tract is a little more developed. Your baby is growing rapidly and by the middle of the first year, his natural stores of Iron may begin to deplete. The time may be right to introduce Iron-rich infant cereal, but check with your pediatrician before doing so.

Did you know?

You should never introduce infant cereal from a bottle, only from a spoon.

Recognizing eating milestones
Mealtime looks like fun to your baby and he wants to join in. But, first, he must learn how to maneuver his tongue to move food around in his mouth while keeping the food in his mouth. No small task for a beginning eater. Learning how to eat is a big job, so be patient as he gradually improves his skills.

His learning curve for starting solid foods includes:

  • Controlling his head and neck so food can safely go down his throat.
  • Coordinating his tongue to move food from the front to the back of his mouth for swallowing.
  • Exploring new foods.

Starting solid foods

Has your baby reached an eating milestone? Ready to start on solids?
Take the Solid Foods Quiz to find out.
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Solid Foods Quiz

Is your baby ready for solid foods?