It may seem like everyone has an opinion when it comes to starting solids. Read on to find out which tips to follow -- and which you can ignore.
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Smart Advice: When to Start
Start solids at 4 to 6 months. Up until then, your baby's digestive system can't handle anything besides breast milk or formula. But don't wait much longer to start, or your baby may get so accustomed to her liquid diet that she loses interest in learning to chew and swallow solid foods.
Smart Advice: Intro One Food at a Time
When you wait two to three days between offering new foods, it's easier to spot allergic reactions like diarrhea, vomiting, or rash -- though most symptoms appear within four hours of eating.
Smart Advice: Try, Try Again
Don't ditch a new food if your baby winces after tasting it. Babies may need to try a food 10 times before accepting it, so offer it again several days later -- or mix it with something you know he likes.
Don't: Always Start with Rice Cereal
True, it's unlikely to trigger an allergic reaction, but there's no reason you can't begin with other foods -- such as applesauce or pureed meat.
Don't: Offer Veggies Before Fruit
If you want to, offer fruit first. There's no evidence that babies won't like veggies if they've already had fruit.
Don't: Shy Away from Meat
Research shows that babies who eat meat earlier have a higher intake of zinc and iron, nutrients important for growth. Start with pureed chicken.