Introducing Solids Timeline

Introducing Solids Timeline

Birthbaby self feeding solid food with a spoon

Until around six months of age, breast milk is the only food and drink your baby needs. If breastfeeding is not possible, use an infant formula. Babies can only manage liquids as they have a sucking reflex and tongue thrust.

Around six months

At around six months but not before four months start to introduce solid food. Keep breastfeeding or giving infant formula when solid food is introduced. It is still baby’s main food and drink. Development signs your baby is ready for food are:

  • they can control their tongue and do not stick it out when given food
  • they are able to hold their head up
  • they show an interest in food.

Start with puree foods and gradually change texture to mash. Start with foods high in iron for example iron fortified cereal, meat, poultry, fish, legumes and tofu. Offer other foods such as vegetables, fruit, cereals, eggs, dairy foods and nut pastes. Foods can be introduced in any order.

From six months

From six months breast milk or an infant formula remains baby’s main nutrition but start to offer an increasing amount and variety of solid food. Family foods can be minced or chopped into finger foods for baby. Development signs are:

  • they can start to chew and bite
  • they sit without support
  • they can start to learn to drink from a cup.

From twelve months

From 12 months breastfeed for as long as mother and baby wish. If using infant formula, move on to full cream milk in a cup. Offer an increasing amount and variety of family meals. Food will need less chopping and mashing as they get older. Development signs are:

  • they can hold a cup
  • they start to grind food with their teeth.

Want to know more

Ask your GP or child health nurse.

Starting Solid Food

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