When Is Your Baby Ready To... (Food)
Try a piece of sushi? Drink water? Read on.
Four to six months of age. By that time, most babies have outgrown the tongue-thrust reflex that makes it easy for them to nurse, but hard to swallow solids. (Makes you wonder how your mother-in-law was getting that steak down your husband's gullet at 2 months, eh?) So if your baby is in that age bracket, and seems unsatisfied with her nursing routine or is sucking down over 32 ounces of formula a day, your little eater is probably ready to try cereal.
"I look at cereal as being the bread you eat before dinner," says Daniel Miner, M.D., a Levittown, New York pediatrician at ProKids, LLP. "Nutritionally, solid food isn't necessary until after six months, but cereal can be a great filler." Your pediatrician will probably advise starting with an iron-fortified rice cereal, though some recommend jarred fruit or veggies as the first bites. Whatever you settle on, don't be surprised if your baby seems less than thrilled. It's a rare baby who eats more than a few tiny spoonfuls on the first go. It'll help if you bring on the mush for the first time when he isn't all that hungry. A famished baby expecting a bottle and getting a spoon thrust in his face is not going to be happy!