When Should You Introduce Your Baby to Solid Foods?

A recent study (by King’s College in London, Published in the JAMA medical journal), revealed that babies who are introduced to solid foods at three months of age sleep better than those who are exclusively breastfed at that age. This study has elicited a lot of debate in pediatric circles, as well as among mothers – because it contradicts earlier advice to the effect that babies should be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months of their lives. Conventional wisdom holds that babies shouldn’t be introduced to solid foods, until they attain the age of 6 months. In fact, even liquid foods other than breast milk are supposed to be avoided, until the baby hits the age of 6 months. Understandably then, in light of the new study, the question as to when we should introduce babies to solid foods is once again being asked with interesting frequency.

So, when exactly should you introduce your baby to solid foods?

Well, it seems that for the most part, the old advice (in favor of exclusive breastfeeding for six months) still holds. At the very least, many experts still advise us not to introduce babies to solid foods before they hit the age of 4 months. Between 4 months and 6 months, babies can apparently be gradually introduced to solid foods.

Of course, all these guidelines are only fully useful if you are the one taking care of your baby on a full-time basis. But if you are leaving your baby under the care of someone else, it can get very complicated. Like, for instance, if you are a mother working at an agency like, say, the US Postal Service. Having delivered the baby, you may decide to visit the Liteblue usps employees portal, only to discover that your maternity leave is coming to end. Yet you also realize that you can’t afford to apply for an extension of the leave at liteblue.USPS.gov, unless there are very compelling reasons. So you have to leave your baby under the care of someone else, and hope that the baby will be fed exclusively on the milk you expressed before leaving for work…