Establishing Baby on Solids: It Might Take Longer Than You Think

As a new parent, you wonder when to start solids on your baby. Most resources say 4-6 months. From all the reading I did (twice) 6 months seems like your best shot.

As a new mom almost 4 years ago, I was ready to talk about this at my son’s 4 month appointment. I thought the pediatrician would say to go for it and provide a few guidelines.

Instead, he said, “Wait until he’s 6 months, at least.”

I wasn’t devastated, but I was sad. We were excited about giving him food. But he was born 5 weeks early. As a late preterm baby, his doctor recommended we wait a little longer just to make sure his digestive system was ready.

So we waited 2 more months. He was right about 6 months when we gave him some rice cereal. It did not go well. For 2 months.

I worked on it every day. Gave him a spoonful, and then 2, and then more. We gave him all the cereals, the fruits, the vegetables. I tried to make it fun, tried different times and different locations. Grandma even tried. Nothing worked.

My son just refused more than a few spoonfuls until he was about 8 months. Even then he still preferred breastmilk. Teething at the same time didn’t help since he always threw up a week before the tooth actually popped out. So, for  2 months, it was start and stop. He wasn’t established on solids until he was 8 months.

I was a little more prepared when my daughter came. She was born a day before 37 weeks, so, being so close to term, I thought it would go a lot smoother.

I think my kids like to laugh at me. Her pediatrician advised a couple weeks before 6 months so we could check in about it at her 6 month appointment.

We anticipated smoother sailing. My daughter wasn’t having it. She accepted spoonfuls here and there, but wouldn’t eat more than that for almost 2 months.

Yes, my daughter wasn’t established on solids until 8 months. I read jealously about other babies gobbling everything at 6-7 months. I tried everything to get her to take more than an ounce. Nothing worked for 2 months.

Then, one day, she just started eating. I guess she discovered the joys of food? Either that or she just wanted to chew on the spoon.

But baby food isn’t meant to last here. Sure, she still eats about 2 ounces a day, but she definitely prefers mom and dad’s food at 10 months.

Well, that’s less baby food that we have to buy (because my kids hated the baby food I did try to make, so that didn’t work, either)!

But, my point is that starting solids has many stories and many sides. It may seem like every baby starts at 6 months, but that isn’t true. Some kids are slower to warm up to it and some kids would rather eat what mom and dad eat. Introducing new foods is important, but it might be later than you expect and might follow a different story than what everyone else gives. Baby will eat, when they’re ready.

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