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Your Baby Week Thirteen (Three Months Old)

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Updated May 16, 2014

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Food for Baby
Be sure that your baby is ready for cereal and other baby foods before you introduce them.

Be sure that your baby is ready for cereal and other baby foods before you introduce them.

Photo © Andrew Penner

In your baby's third month, feeding her is still pretty simple.

At this age, your baby still just needs breastmilk or if you are not breastfeeding, she needs an iron-fortified baby formula.

Is it time for cereal or baby food yet? No, three months would be a little early for baby food. Most babies aren't ready for baby food until they are four to six months old.

Starting Solid Baby Foods

How do you know when your baby is ready for cereal or other baby foods?

While some babies are ready for it at four months, others aren't ready until they are older. Keep in mind that your baby's weight or age alone does not determine her readiness for solid food.

Here are some signs to look for that will tell you if your baby is ready to start solid foods, with the first solid baby food usually being an iron-fortified rice cereal:

  • She holds her head steady and is able to sit with support.
  • She reaches for and shows some interest in food.
  • She opens her mouth wide when she sees food.
  • She no longer thrusts her tongue out during feeding, so she's able to keep food in her mouth and swallow it. The tongue thrust reflex is often what limits babies from starting cereal early.
  • She is able to turn her head away when she's full, so that you aren't in any danger of overfeeding your baby.

Make sure your baby is ready for solid food before you give it to her. There is no good reason to rush her into eating solid food before she is ready. Remember that the American Academy of Pediatrics advises that "exclusive breastfeeding is ideal nutrition and sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months after birth."



Sources:

AAP Policy Statement. Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. PEDIATRICS Vol. 100 No. 6 December 1997, pp. 1035-1039.

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