What is the best practice for introducing solids to a baby?

Q: Recently we started giving our baby solid food once a day. Should we be following each feeding with a small bottle? He is 4 1/2 months old. How much baby food should we give him at each feeding? When we feed him more than 4 oz in a bottle he spits up most of the bottle so we don't want to over feed.

A: Although the American Academy of Pediatricians doesn’t recommend introducing solid foods until a baby is at least six months old, plenty of moms end up starting a bit earlier, just as you have, because they feel that their babies are ready to eat solids and they seem really hungry for them.  With that said, either breast milk or infant formula is still the most important food in your baby’s diet, and one or the other should remain the primary source of calories and nutrition until a year of age. Breast milk and infant formula have just the right mix of nutrients to promote proper growth and development in babies, especially in the first six months of life. 


For this reason, it’s probably better to give your baby his bottle first at each feeding, and then offer him a few bites of solid food afterwards. Once your son has taken his bottle, he’ll answer the question of how much baby food you should feed him, since he’ll eat only as long as he’s hungry, and only as much as he wants.  Since age and weight play big roles in determining how many calories a baby should consume, your pediatrician will be able to make more specific recommendations regarding your baby’s caloric intake.