When to Start Solids & Other Feeding Milestones

Wondering when to start solids with your little one? It seems that the months go by so fast and that time is here before you know it.

Parents should know that feeding skills are directly correlated with very important motor skills. So check out the chart below to make sure your little one is ready for the next texture.

Age Motor Skills Textures
Birth to 6 months -Roots for nipple, suckles Liquids only (e.g. breast milk)
5 to 7 months -Begins sitting unsupported
-Follows food with eyes
-Opens mouth for spoon
-Lips close over spoon
Smooth purees
6 to 8 months -Tongue moves side to side
-Controls position of food in mouth
-Vertical munching/chewing (up and down motion)
-Begins putting hand to mouth for finger food
Purees with grains + lumps
7 to 10 months -Chew patterns turns to rotary chew
-Moves food from side to side
-Curves lips around cup
-Palmer grasp develops (folds fingers over palm)
Mashed/chunky table foods

Dissolvable solids (puffs)

8 to 12 months -Interest in solids increases
-Cup drinking improves
-Pincher grasp develops (thumb and fingers work together)
More mashed table foods, soft foods (like breads,  pasta, and cheese) and other finger foods
12 to 18 months -Self feeding, grasps spoon
-Holds cup with two hands
-Uses straw
Chewing broad range of foods

You can create an adventurous eater in your baby or toddler, but the pressure is on us to offer options.cute baby eat apple

When you are introducing something new, like a new taste or a new texture, babies often feel more comfortable sitting on your lap. Let your baby look at the food or taste it using his own fingers (you wouldn’t eat something unfamiliar, would you?). Talk to him in an encouraging way, to make sure he knows its safe.

Wait for him to open his mouth as you give him his first bite, and continue to talk and smile so he feels safe and comfortable.

Also, remember the Rule of 10 (though some experts even argue 12): your baby needs to try something 10 times before he can develop an actual like/dislike for that food. And that means 10 different meals, not just 10 different spoonfuls in one sitting. So if you see him grimace at the first bite, keep a positive face and smile in reassurance, and just keep going at his pace.

Remember The Food Rules; and that to present food well to a child, you have to feel good about it yourself. Ellyn Satter, R.D., A.C.S.W says “Feeding is a metaphor for the parent/child relationship. Children learn from feeding what to expect from the world. It teaches them about themselves and about other people.”

So get eating 🙂