When should I start solid foods?

Q: Should I wait to start solids until my baby has a tooth?

A: No need. Since your baby's first solid foods are mushy cereals and pureed veggies, he doesn't use his teeth to eat them. For many babies, first teeth happen to crop up around the same time they begin solids, but this shouldn't factor in to when your baby can start. Instead, follow these tips to know when your baby's ready:

• He still seems hungry even after a full feeding of breast milk or formula.• He can sit well with little or no support and has good head control.• He shows interest in food -- trying to grab food from your plate or reach for a fork or spoon.• He opens his mouth when a spoon comes near his face.• His tongue-thrust reflex, which automatically spits out anything placed in the mouth, is going away.

Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.

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