Babies are able to handle new and exciting foods at different times in their life. However, determining when to introduce new stages of food to your child should be predicated on their developmental progress and not necessarily their age.
Until a baby has enough control over his body to sit while supported, he should not be introduced to any solid foods. Breast milk or formula should be the primary source of nutrition for the first year, and the only source of food until he can sit supported.
Introducing Gerber cereals is acceptable after a child can sit supported. These provide the first transitional step from formula to actual stage one foods. It is important to start with cereals, because they are bland and less challenging on her digestive system. Rice cereal should be introduced first, followed by oatmeal.
Stage One Foods
You can introduce stage one foods as soon as your child has adapted to eating introductory cereals. When feeding him solid foods for the first time, it is best to begin by introducing one type of fruit or vegetable over a period of several days. This makes it easier to identify which food is responsible should an allergic reaction occur.
Stage Two Foods
Generally, a child is ready for stage two foods when she can sit independently. Second stage foods have new flavor combinations and should only be introduced after she has eaten the separate food types in the first food stage to eliminate potential allergens.
Stage Three Foods
It is safe to introduce stage three foods once a child begins to crawl. These foods are thicker and include small particles of foods to introduce him to the process of chewing, thereby easing the transition to "real" table foods.