Starting Solids? All the Answers to Your FAQs

The answers to questions most parents ask when starting their pēpi on solids.


Q: How will I know when my baby has had enough solids to eat?

The following signs are an indication that your baby has probably had enough:

  • Turning head away
  • Pushing your hand away
  • Locking their lips
  • Throwing things
  • Playing with their food and no longer eating
  • Squirming to get out of their highchair


Q: How often should I feed my baby solids?

Most babies around 6-7 months have 1-2 feeds of solids per day. By nine months, they may be having a meal 2-3 times per day, and by 12 months they will likely be having three meals per day plus two servings of snacks. Your baby may want more or less than this; it’s best to be led by them and follow their cues that they’re ready for more food.


Q: What are the signs that my baby is ready for thicker purées and finger foods?

If your baby can sit unaided, pick up food and bring it to their mouth, and are learning to bite and chew, they may be ready for mashed foods and finger foods. This is typically around 7-8 months.


Q: What order should I introduce foods in?

There is no hard-and-fast rule for the order in which foods need to be introduced. However, when introducing common allergens it is recommended to offer common allergy-causing foods one at a time to check for a reaction, ensuring your baby doesn’t have an allergy to the food they’re currently trying before introducing something new. If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, don’t offer that food again and book in to see your GP. Research shows that introducing common allergen foods before your baby turns one can greatly reduce their risk of developing a food allergy.


Q: Nuts are a common allergen but also a choking hazard, how can I introduce them to my baby safely?

Thinly spreading some of the specific nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew etc.) on a toast finger or small sandwich is one way that parents can introduce nuts to their babies – you can buy store-bought nut butter or make your own at home. Another way is to finely ground or grate a small amount of the nut into their food. 

Note: It’s important to not just give your pēpi one variety of tree nuts but that they are introduced to them all individually (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts). 


Q: Will my baby’s poos change when they start having solids?

Yes, they will likely become firmer and may be different and stronger in odour. When changing their nappy, you may notice certain undigested foods in your baby’s poos, such as peas, corn kernels, or grape skins. Your baby’s frequency of poos may change to be less or more and may vary based on what they have eaten recently.

If you’re worried about your baby’s poos or if you think that they have constipation, call PlunketLine for free advice 24/7 on 0800 933 922 or book in to see your GP for an appointment.