Adding solid foods
When to add solid foods to your baby's diet
Breast milk or infant formula should be used to feed your baby throughout the first year.
- Don't give regular cow's milk until your baby is over one year old. Cow's milk is hard for babies to digest and doesn't contain enough variety of nutrients
- When your doctor says it's okay to give your baby cow's milk, give your baby whole milk. Two percent and skim milk don't have enough fat and calories for a baby's needs
- Your doctor will tell you if your baby needs vitamins or other nutritional supplements
Before four months of age, babies are physically unable to swallow solid foods. They do not have enough saliva and they can't push the food to the back of their throat. Giving solid food too early also puts a strain on the baby's digestive system.
Tips for adding solid foods
- Introduce solid food when your baby can sit alone and is able to control his or her head and neck. This usually occurs at four to six months
- Feed solids with a small spoon, and not in bottles or infant feeders
- Introduce new foods one at a time. Feed for about one week before introducing another food
- Iron-fortified infant cereal is a good first food
- Keep early solid food plain
- Avoid fruit drinks, juices with sugar, tea, and soda pop
- Avoid mixing or combining foods
Drinking from a cup
A baby may be fully weaned from a bottle to a cup between nine and 12 months.