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First Year

Is My Baby Ready for Solid Food?Play Video

Breast milk continues to be the most important food for your baby. When your baby is about 6 months old and consistently shows the signs of readiness, he's ready for solid foods. Continue to breastfeed for up to two years and beyond.

Signs of readiness include:

  • Holding her head up and is able to keep it steady
  • Sitting upright in a feeding chair without support

Shows interest in eating by:

  • Leaning towards food
  • Opening her mouth wide when food is offered
  • Reaching to pick up food and bringing it to her mouth

Shows that she is not interested in eating by:

  • Turning her head or face away
  • Keeping her mouth closed
  • Leaning back away from food

If your baby starts solid foods too early:

  • She may not be able to swallow solid foods because she is not developmentally ready
  • You may misread your baby’s cues and think that she doesn’t like it
  • Your baby may be exposed to bacteria present in foods that can cause diarrhea
  • She may spend less time on the breast, which may decrease your breastmilk supply

There are no benefits of introducing solid foods to your baby earlier than around six months of age. It will not help her sleep through the night.

If your baby starts solid foods too late, she may:

  • Have delayed growth because breast milk alone does not provide all the nutrients that a baby needs
  • Develop nutritional deficiencies, (e.g., iron, zinc)
  • Have difficulty chewing food
  • Be slow to accept solid foods with new tastes and textures such as vegetables

Starting solid foods when your baby is ready will help her to accept new foods and textures. Solid food will provide her with nutrients needed for growth and development.

For more information:

Region of Peel - Public Health
Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
to speak with a Public Health Nurse

Caledon residents call free of charge at 905-584-2216

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Revised: Friday February 17 2023

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