From 4 to 6 months infants gradually lose their tongue thrust and gagging reflexes which enable them to take food, such as infant cereal, from a spoon. Babies at this age develop better head control, can sit with support and may even open their mouth when a spoonful of food comes their way. Talk with your pediatrician about the right time to start solids.
The texture of food: Begin with a texture that is almost watery – maybe a little thicker than breast milk or formula – and transition to a pureed, smooth texture.
Foods to introduce:
–Start with single grain iron-fortified infant cereal such as rice cereal since it’s easy to digest (such as Earth’s Best) and then try oats, barley and wheat last.
Mix cereal with breast milk or formula (follow directions on the box) and try feeding baby when she is not too hungry or tired.
–Other great first foods include avocado, sweet potato, bananas, squash varieties, peas and green beans. Remember at 6 months pureed meats such as well cooked chicken or turkey make ideal foods because they are rich in iron and zinc.
Breast milk, formula and other liquids:
–Breast milk/formula are still the priority – at least 5-8 nursing sessions and up to 32 ounces of formula per day (2.5oz formula for every pound).
–You can start giving your baby water and juice in a cup at 6 months. Only feed juice from a cup, not a bottle, and try diluting it with water. The AAP recommends no more than 4-6 ounces of 100% fruit juice daily.
How many meals? Transition from feeding baby one to two feeding times per day.
Equipment needed Baby spoons or small coffee spoons with plastic plates/bowls. You’ll need a blender or food processor if you want to puree your own food.
For more References and Resources see 10 to 12 month page