Healthy living

The right time to start feeding your baby solids

Around 6 months most babies are ready to try new foods and textures, and ways of feeding.

Try starting solids if your baby:

  • is about 6 months
  • can sit on your lap and hold her head steady
  • shows interest in food (for example, reaches for food when you are eating)
  • takes pureed food from a spoon without pushing it out of the mouth with her tongue
  • looks for more food after a full breastfeed.

Babies develop at different rates. The recommendations listed above for introducing solids generally suit most babies. If you are experiencing problems or if you are unsure if your baby is ready for solid foods, contact your child health nurse, dietitian or GP.

Tips for success

  • Be relaxed!
  • Make sure your baby is sitting comfortably and supported and is not too hungry, or too tired.
  • Use a soft plastic spoon, not a metal teaspoon.
  • If your baby refuses the first time, try again in a day or so.
  • Always stay with your baby when he is eating.
  • Sit your baby with your family at meal times to watch and learn.
  • Be prepared for a mess – it’s part of learning to eat.

Where to get help

Local community or child health nurse

  • See inside your baby's purple All About Me book.
  • Look in the phone directory under child health centres.
  • Visit your nearest child health centre.

Local family doctor

Dietitians Association of Australia

Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

Ngala Helpline

  • 8.00am – 8.00pm 7 days a week
  • Phone: 9368 9368
  • Outside metro area – Free call 1800 111 546 (free from land line only)
  • Visit the Ngala website (external site)

Raising Children Network

Remember

  • Babies develop at different rates.
  • Most babies are ready to try solid foods and new ways of feeding around 6 months.

Acknowledgements

Child and Adolescent Health Service


This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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