Starting Solid Foods: When, How, What to Consider

Set the Table, Fun Food Facts

Best Table Bets

A fun place mat keeps baby happy. Stephan Enterprises' water-filled Train Placemat Set ($13; stephanenterprises.com) lets baby push a train through floating glitter around a track; it comes with a fork and spoon.

Unbreakable dishware is key. Jack Rabbit Creations' Supperware set ($34; trampolini.net) is made out of enamelware; melamine and plastic sets also work well.

Ready for a sippy? At around 7 to 9 months, baby can start to make the transition from bottle to cup. Gerber's Soft Starter ($4; gerber.com) feels good on baby's lips, and two handles help give him a secure grip.

Encourage fruits and veggies. To prevent baby from swallowing seeds -- and to let him taste fresh food before he's got many teeth -- place food slices in Munchkin's Fresh Food Feeder ($4; munchkininc.com). Baby strains the food himself by sucking it through the mesh bag.

Babies can feed themselves. Starting at about 7 months, baby can use Gerber's Lil' Dipper ($4 for 2; gerber.com) to eat cereal and mashed food.

Keep 'em covered. You'll want inexpensive bibs, but go stylish with one from Icky Products ($19; pamperedtot.com).

Fun Food Facts

  • Growing up but not a grown-up. At 6 months, infants only need about 850 calories per day from both solids and breast milk or formula.
  • When your infant rejects a new food, try again. Studies show it may take 8 to 9 tries for a baby to accept a food.
  • "I'm Full!" Although you won't hear this from your infant, his body language -- pursed lips or a turned head -- will tell you when your baby has eaten enough.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, June 2005.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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