My daughter is 6 months old. I have already started her on baby foods, but I was wondering about the "stages" of baby food. Is it okay to give her stages two and three or do I need to stick to stage one? I have already given her stages two and three and she seems to like them a lot more than stage one.
Stephanie, it sounds like your baby is doing well with starting solid foods. Health and nutrition experts recommend starting baby cereal and pureed solid foods from 4 to 6 months of age. It’s good to wait for signs your baby is ready—she shows interest in food (e.g., reaching toward it), has good head control, doesn’t thrust out her tongue so much and can swallow soft food.
Usually, it takes a couple months to advance through starter baby foods (stage one). You should start only one new food at a time, and wait at least three days before starting a new food to watch for signs of an allergic reaction such as skin rash, vomiting or diarrhea. It’s best to start with baby cereals mixed with breastmilk or formula: first rice, oatmeal and barley cereal; then wheat and mixed cereals, since they can cause allergies. Add pureed vegetables, starting with the orange ones (e.g., sweet potatoes, squash and carrots) then the other vegetables (e.g., peas, beans, beets), pureed fruits (e.g., bananas, apples, pears, peaches, plums) and finally pureed chicken and meat.
Stage two and three foods include mixed foods and those with a coarser texture. It’s fine for you to continue with stage two and three foods if your baby advanced well through stage one foods, showed no signs of allergy to any of the individual components, can chew or grind the food with her gums and can swallow it well. As you advance to finger foods and table foods, make sure they’re soft and cut into small pieces. Be sure to avoid food that she could choke on such as large chunks of meat or peanut butter, whole grapes and hot dog rounds (cut them into strips), raw carrots, popcorn and nuts.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.