How Much Is A 4 Month Old Supposed To Eat When to Start Baby on Solid Food

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When to Start Baby on Solid Food

The answer to the question, “when should I start feeding my baby solid food?” is, put simply, when your pediatrician tells you it’s okay for your baby to have solid food. The American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines say that the best time to start feeding your baby solids is between four and six months.

It is even better if you start closer to six months. When your baby is a few months old, his immature digestive system is made for breast milk, or infant formula that is similar to breast milk. There is no solid food that can compare to breast milk or formula for its nutritional quality, adapted to the needs of a baby.

Until your baby is at least four months old, he is not ready, physically, to eat solid food. For one thing, babies don’t have enough saliva to help them digest solid foods. The digestive enzymes needed to digest cereals are not present in the baby’s body. Nor are his immature kidneys ready for protein-rich foods such as meat and eggs, even cow’s milk.

His throat muscles, too, are not sufficiently developed; he cannot swallow solid food or transfer the food from the front of the mouth to the back.

Your baby has no way of letting you know he is full. When he’s done nursing or bottle feeding, he stops sucking or sleeping. But until he is four or five months old, he cannot turn his head to refuse solid food. This can cause overweight and obesity in later life. If you start it on solids too early it can develop respiratory problems, or food allergies later in life. Therefore, consult your doctor before you start eating solids.

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