Home => How To Feed Children => Child Development - Ages and Stages => 5 to 9 Months: Feeding Your Older Baby
Your older baby's interests are expanding. She loves to look around, and will interrupt a feeding to find out what is going on. She continues to need her breastmilk or formula, and sometime during this period she will be ready for solid food. Learning to eat solid foods goes right along with her interest in the world. She watches you eat, and she wants to eat too. Go by information coming from your baby to guide feeding.
Start your baby on solid foods when she is ready, based on what she can do, not on how old she is. She is ready when she can:
Sit up and open her mouth for the spoon.
Close her lips over the spoon.
Keep most of the food in her mouth and swallow.
Here is how to start your baby on solid foods:
Have her sit in a high chair looking straight ahead.
Hold the spoon a few inches in front of her mouth and wait for her to open up before you feed her.
Feed the way she wants to eat: little or much, fast or slow.
Stop feeding her when she shows she's done, even after a taste on her lip or only one bite.
Give her plenty of chances to learn, have fun, and keep it casual. She doesn’t have to eat semi-solid food.
You will help your baby to develop her mouth skills by giving her thicker and lumpier food. She will eat more regularly and at longer intervals, so feeding times are partly on demand and partly on a schedule that you determine. Soon, she will finger-feed herself soft table food, and can join in with family meals. Feeding her will go best if you get started now with family meals.
For more about feeding your baby (and for research backing up this advice), see Child of Mine: Feeding With Love and Good Sense.
See also: Division of Responsibility in Feeding and Division of Responsibility in Activity
Copyright © 2012 by Ellyn Satter. Published at www.EllynSatter.com.
Rights to reproduce: As long as you leave it unchanged, you don't charge for it, and you include the entire copyright statement, you may reproduce this article. Please let us know you have used it by sending a website link or an electronic copy to email@example.com.