Wondering when is the right time to introduce semi-solid food to your baby? Is your baby ready to start a semi-solid diet? We understand that bringing up a new-born baby, especially for a first-time mummy, is no easy feat!
Although there is no rule that strictly specifies the age for the introduction of semi-solid diet, it is a common practice to introduce semi-solids to babies between the ages of 4 to 6 months old. Some doctors may recommend breastfed babies to start slightly later; from 6 months old onwards. Generally, it is not recommended to start earlier than 4 months old as babies’ gastrointestinal tract is not fully developed to digest semi-solid food. Introducing to semi-solid food too early may also increase babies’ proneness to allergies later on.
In the beginning, babies rely on formula milk or breast milk as their main source of nutrients, while semi-solid food as their supplements. Do not worry too much if your baby is not eating as much semi-solid food in their early stages. You should not rush to transit your baby to a semi-solid diet.
The best thing to do is to observe your baby closely. Watch for your baby’s hunger cues and observe if he or she is physically ready. Is your baby’s tongue-thrust reflex diminishing? Is your baby able to hold his or her head? Is your baby showing interest in food and has significant weight gain?
If only there is a set of rules or a guidebook of do’s and don’ts in caring for babies, wouldn’t parenting be easier? Babies are such delicate dependent little beings with their own unique needs and every baby is different and wonderfully made. The secret is just to enjoy the journey with your little ones and watch them grow day by day!
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About the Expert: Ms Lim Chong Peng
Ms Chong Peng holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Nursing) degree from the University of Sydney, and Master of Science (Early Childhood Education) from Wheelock College. With advanced nursing specialisations in critical care nursing, she helmed the invasive cardiac unit at Tan Tock Seng Hospital to develop its operating procedures and maintain quality standards to achieve ISO9000 certification.
A former infant-childcare operator, Chong Peng lends her expertise to the Kiddiwinkie team as a consulting principal. She is also responsible for the growth of the cluster of campuses under her care. She oversees the operational aspects relating to staff and centre management. In addition, she ensures that the centres deliver the highest standard of services and care for our young charges.