Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size

Introducing Solid Foods to Your Baby - Topic Overview

Breast milk or formula is the only food babies need for the first 6 months of life, at which point solid foods can be gradually introduced. Ideally, your baby will be fed only breast milk until 6 months of age. Before you start offering solid foods, talk to your doctor. He or she will want to be certain that your baby is physically and developmentally ready. And although breast-fed babies get the best possible nutrition, they will probably need certain vitamin or nutritional supplements to maintain or improve their health. Breast-fed babies need 400 IU of vitamin D each day from a supplement. Formula-fed babies may also need a vitamin D supplement, depending on how much formula they drink each day. Talk with your doctor about how much and what sources of vitamin D are right for your baby. After 4 months of age, your baby will probably not get enough iron from breast milk alone. Your doctor may prescribe a liquid iron supplement until your baby gets enough iron from iron-fortified formulas or foods high in iron. Breast-fed babies born prematurely may be prescribed a liquid iron supplement by 1 month of age.

Your baby may be ready to start eating solid foods if he or she:

  • Is 6 months old.
  • Demonstrates a curiosity about solid foods and your family's eating behavior.
  • Has started to transition from using the sucking reflex to swallowing and does not push a spoon or other object out with the tongue when it is placed in the mouth.
  • Can sit with support.
  • Has good head and neck control.

When you and your doctor have determined your baby is ready to start eating solid foods, keep these general guidelines in mind.

  • Typically, iron-fortified, single-grain infant cereal is offered first. Then pureed or mashed fruits, vegetables, and meats are offered. The order in which foods are introduced is not critical. But only add one new food at a time, and wait a few days before you add the next new food. Do not add cereal to bottles. Instead, spoon-feed your baby a mixture of cereal and breast milk or formula, gradually making the mixture thicker. Be sure to include foods rich in vitamin C, which helps your baby absorb iron.1
  • Feed your baby a small amount-about 1 tsp (5 mL) to 2 tsp (10 mL)-of a new type of food for a few days along with foods he or she has already been eating. Observe your baby before introducing another new food. This is especially important if any family members have food allergies or other allergies.2 This strategy helps you quickly identify a food that may be causing a reaction, such as a rash, vomiting, or diarrhea. Eggs, milk, wheat, soy, and peanuts cause most of the allergic reactions in children.
  • Make sure foods are strained or mashed and that there are no pieces that could cause your baby to choke.
  • Begin offering finger foods when your baby has started eating solid foods well. Examples include dry cereal, crunchy toast, well-cooked noodles, small pieces of chicken, scrambled eggs, and small chunks of banana.
  • Do not feed your baby directly from the food jar. Instead, put some of the food onto a small dish. That way, germs from your baby's mouth won't get into the jar and spoil the food that is left in the jar.
  • When you first start, don't choose foods with mixed textures, such as broth with vegetables. These kinds of meals are the hardest for a baby to eat.
    Next Article:

    Introducing Solid Foods to Your Baby Topics

    Today on WebMD

    mother on phone holding baby
    When you should call 911.
    parents and baby
    Unexpected ways your life will change.
    baby acne
    What’s normal – and what’s not.
    baby asleep on moms shoulder
    Help your baby get the sleep he needs.

    mother holding baby at night
    mother with sick child
    Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
    Track Your Babys Vaccines
    Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
    Woman holding feet up to camera
    Father kissing newborn baby
    baby gear slideshow