5 Stages of Solid Foods

Any links to Amazon are affiliate links.


On Becoming Babywise book two (affiliate link) has a great guide to the five food stages for babies on page 25. I think you will find this very interesting and will help answer a lot of questions I see moms have. Do note, as the book points out, these are not absolute rules for feeding. I know some of my kid did some things differently, but in general, this is quite accurate for most kids.


Stage One: 4-6 months old (if you decide to feed before 6 months)

This is a single grain cereal stage and only single ingredient baby foods. Even if you start solids right at four months and take introducing things on a faster track by doing veggies first followed by fruits, you won’t have introduced all of the basic foods before 6 months anyway.


Stage Two: 6-7 months old

Single ingredient foods. You can mix single ingredients that your baby has been introduced to. For example, if your baby has been introduced to cereal and prunes, you can mix them together for pruney cereal (yum!).


Stage Three: 8-12 months old

Foods become more textured, meaning the foods are not so watered down. Children also eat more at one sitting in this age group than previously.


Stage Four: 12-15 months old

Your now pre-toddler will be eating meals with the family and will also have some baby food added to the meal.

Stage Five: 15 months and up

Your pre-toddler now eats with the family and needs no additional supplementation.


This is a great list for reference. Many times, parents wonder when to start feeding baby what the family is eating and when to stop feeding baby food. This is a great guide. Don’t think you can’t ever give a 16 month old baby food–again, don’t take this list legalistic. Take it as a good guide, then follow baby’s lead from there.


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Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at Babywise.life, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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  1. Steph
    March 29, 2011 / 5:04 PM

    Wow, this is so helpful! I've always wondered about when to start and what to try first. Thanks for the tips 🙂

  2. Plowmanators
    April 11, 2011 / 7:26 PM

    Thanks to you both and you are welcome!

  3. MusicalAmie
    February 20, 2013 / 3:24 PM

    I am wondering about starting solids for my 4 month old. We plan to take a trip to Japan for 3 weeks right as he is turning 6 months old. I don't plan to take a whole bunch of baby food, but just to continue nursing. Is it more important to introduce foods early so he gets okay with the idea and flavors, or to wait until we can consistently feed them to him, even though he'll be nearly 7 months? Thanks!

  4. John N. Crain
    December 10, 2016 / 5:27 AM

    Pediatricians recommend introducing solid foods to babies any time between 4 and 6 months if your baby is ready. Before that, breast-feeding or formula feeding your baby provides all the nutrition that your baby needs. Nutrient Value of Foods

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