Introducing solids: Ready for the first spoonful?

From the beginning of the 5th month, or by the beginning of the 7th month at the latest, your little sunshine will normally have developed sufficiently to have their first taste of baby food to accompany their milk. The important thing to keep in mind is that everything tastes better when you're relaxed.

Enjoying the first meal

The first solids should usually be introduced as the midday meal before breastfeeding or giving the bottle. Try offering their first spoonfuls when your child is as relaxed and in as good a mood as possible, otherwise they won't feel like experimenting. If they are too hungry or impatient, you should offer your baby some milk first — but only just enough to take the edge off their hunger so that they can then concentrate on eating their spoonfuls of solids.

Ready for baby food

  • Signs that your little sunshine is ready for their first solids
    • They are interested in watching you eat: Their eyes follow every spoonful that you bring to your mouth.
    • They open their mouth, smack their lips and move their head towards the spoon.
    • They start to chew and their 'tongue-thrust reflex' weakens. They reach for food, chew on it and no longer reflexively push solid food back out of their mouth.
    • They chew tirelessly on their hands and toys and dribble profusely.
    • Your baby becomes increasingly impatient between feeds and gaps between breastfeeding are getting shorter again.
  • Start with one ingredient, and then add variation

    Begin with only one ingredient for the first baby food and let your child get used to it slowly. A vegetable puree (such as parsnip or carrot) is good to start with because most children enjoy it and it is very easy to digest.

    If feeding with the first ingredient goes well for 2–3 days, you can gradually add some mashed potato as a second ingredient and, after getting used to that, about 20–30g cooked, pureed meat as a third ingredient. After about a 3–4 week familiarisation period with eating solids, a standard portion of vegetable-potato-meat purée would be around 180–220g. Continue to vary the ingredients step by step because this encourages your baby's openness to new foods when they are older. Keep in mind that infants do not yet show any preference for sugar or salt in the first few months. Therefore, you should avoid products with additives such as sugar, salt and flavourings or spices.

    After about a month, you can replace another milk feed, preferably in the evening, with a milk and grain cereal. A cereal meal in the evening can be very filling and, at the same time, ensure a peaceful sleep.

    Once your baby has gotten used to their evening cereal, you can start to offer them a dairy-free grain and fruit puree in the afternoon.

    You should continue to supplement these meals with breastfeeding or giving the bottle until their transition to child-friendly family food. Your child can join in the family meals from about one year of age. As soon as you start giving them solid food, your child will need additional drinks as well, so that their bowel movements do not become too hard.

  • Choose the right food

    When you begin to gradually introduce solids, you should select your ingredients carefully. We will tell you how you can prevent allergies and which foods your little sunshine should avoid for now.

    Allergy prevention

    Don't try to avoid potential food allergens. On the contrary — the early consumption of fish, for example, can even prevent the development of allergies.

    Be careful with certain foods

    Your baby should not eat foods that can go off quickly, like raw fish or eggs, for example. Whole nuts can also be a choking hazard.


cute baby eating cereals

Every baby has their own pace

Since eating from a spoon is totally new for your child, in the beginning, they will usually only consume small amounts. Therefore, it is a good idea to offer another milk feed directly afterwards. Once your baby has learned to eat from a spoon, you can increase the amount of puree or cereal accordingly, or introduce a mixed puree, e.g. a combination of vegetables and meat.
 

Tip: Have a little patience, because your little sunshine first has to learn how to suck puree or cereal off the spoon. It is best to use a soft, flat, rounded spoon for this.

Choose the right foods

When you begin to gradually introduce solids, you should select your ingredients carefully. We will tell you how you can prevent allergies and which foods your little sunshine should avoid for now.

Allergy prevention
bebé fofinho no campo
Allergy prevention

Don't try to avoid potential food allergens. On the contrary — the early consumption of fish, for example, can even prevent the development of allergies.

Be careful with certain foods
baby grossed look
Be careful with certain foods

Your baby should not eat foods that can go off quickly, like raw fish or eggs, for example. Whole nuts can also be a choking hazard.


curious baby picking flowers in the garden while her mom is holding her

Drink the right thing from birth

During the first four months of life, your baby normally receives enough fluid from breast milk or their bottle. You only need to compensate for the loss of fluids in the event of extreme heat, fever, diarrhoea or vomiting. When you start feeding your child solids, you should also get them used to having additional fluids so that their bowel movements don't become too hard. The more solid food there is on the menu, the more you have to pay attention to adequate fluid intake.

Fluid intake during introduction of solids

  • Water is not the same as water

    Mineral Water: Mineral waters are not subject to the same strict regulations set for normal drinking water, and, in part, are legally allowed higher thresholds than drinking water. This means that mineral waters can differ significantly in the composition of their minerals. So, it is entirely possible that a mineral water can contain more sodium than what is good for your baby. Therefore, always look for the claim "suitable for babies" upon purchasing.

    Tap water: Thanks to the strict rules and regulations governing the contents of drinking water in Germany, tap water is not a problem in this country. Acceptable thresholds of minerals are only exceeded in a few regions. In most cases, they are also not harmful to the health of adults in low concentrations. This is not true for young children, however, because the smaller the body, the more sensitively it reacts. In particular, please consider that when the water in old buildings still runs through lead pipes, contaminants can be set free that are literally poisonous for babies and parents. Acidic water from new copper pipes or chlorinated water is also particularly problematic. If in doubt, have your water tested or read the details of applicable water analyses on the homepage of your regional water supplier. Do not use any water that has been in the tap overnight.

  • The right amount of drinking?

    In addition to solids, your child should be given the following amounts to drink:

    • Babies from their 5th month to the 12th month; approx. 400–500ml per day
    • Children between 1 and 4 years of age; about 820ml per day
    • Children over 4 years and up to 10 years; around 1 litre per day

    Tip: If their daily bowel movement is soft, they are getting sufficient fluids.

Valuable tips that you should definitely consider

You should only offer fluids either during or after your baby's meal so that they are not already full before they eat.

Don't let your baby continuously suckle on a bottle because this can lead to tooth decay! They should quickly quench their thirst while you hold the bottle for them.

Get your child used to drinking from a cup as early as possible.