As a first-time mum, when the time came to start my baby on his solids journey, I found myself overwhelmed with conflicting advice - everyone I asked had something different to say about when to start, how to start and what to start with.
If I tried to search for the answers online, I ended up even more confused.
So I called in an expert - Paediatric Dietitian Olivia Bates.
Here Ms Bates, who hosts free 'Intro to Solids' webinars, answers the starting solids questions real parents want the answers to. And yes, there is even one about baby poo.
My youngest wasn't interested in solids until two months after my first was. When should you start being concerned about your baby's interest in solids? Sarah
At seven months, if your baby is showing no interest in starting, I would check in with a paediatrician to check for something like an undiagnosed tongue tie.
In terms of what signs to look out for, the number one sign is neck control.
If you put them in a high chair, they should be able to hold their neck upright. Also things like reaching out for your food if you are eating, or if you put a spoon in front of their mouth they open to take it in. A general want for food when they see it.
If you present it to them, and by seven months they are still turning away or shutting their mouth, I would be checking in to see what else might be going on.
Does your baby need teeth to start finger food? Reema
No. Your baby doesn't!
A lot of people think this. All babies teeth come in different stages, but babies have an amazing ability to gum food – chew with their gums.
Some babies won't get their first teeth till after they are around eight/nine months old, and some after a year.
Little Izaha munching on some peanut butter toast Photo: Supplied
What change should we expect to see with their poo once they start to consume food? Courtney
There will be a lot of changes to their stool. It usually goes from being quite soft to firm. As they go through multiple foods a day, some babies can become particularly constipated.
Once they start, some babies might not even do a poo for three, four or even five days. If it's getting to the point of five days, I would check in with your doctor.
Some of the ways that you can naturally relieve it, is a drop of water - which is why we encourage offering water as soon as you start solids.
Another option is to offer prune juice mixed with water, or prune purée. Just give them a spoon of that and it can help get things moving.
Their poo also gets a bit more stinky, as it starts to take on the food they are eating.
Until what age should we be prioritising milk over food? Nilab
For the six months of age, milk will will provide most if not all nutritional and immunological benefits.
Once solids are commenced, around six months, milk will still be the priority and should be fed before solids, allowing around 30 minutes in between milk and solids.
From around eight/nine months, at the point when your baby is consuming three solids meals, solid feeds should be given before you give the milk feed - from that point the milk will start to decrease naturally as your baby takes more and more solids.
That is a turning point. From 12 months, solid foods should make up the majority of the nutrition they are getting and milk should be limited to approximately 500-600mL per day.
Is it possible to give your baby too much food? How do you know when to stop? Carrie
All babies will feed a different rates, and some babies will take to it much more quickly than others.
I would say, if they keep opening their mouth, I would still offer them food. The point at which I would be worried, is for example, if they are six months old and it's starting to interfere with their milk feeds.
The best indicator is also just watching them on the growth chart.
What's the deal with iron? I hear babies need 11mg per day, but how do you make sure they get that much? Catherine
Yes, that's true! Between six and 12 months they need eleven milligrams, which is a huge amount for a little baby.
Really you want to try to offer an iron rich food at every solid meal that you are giving them. Red meat will be your best source. You can also offer things like poultry, fish, seafood, liver and any animal product. You also have plant based sources like dark leafy green vegetables, chickpeas, legumes, as well as some cereals and breads that are fortified with iron.
Sarah enjoying her veggie packed lunch. Photo supplied
What are some food allergies that you should look out for that aren't so common? Rebecca
Things like tomatoes and citrus fruit can cause a bit of redness around the mouth. They can also result in nappy rash. 'This is usually due to compounds such as amines and salicylates in these foods and is more likely to be an intolerance. Allergies to tomatoes and citrus foods are fortunately, very rare.
I wouldn't necessarily be look for allergies. Make sure you are educated on the most common allergens, and the signs and symptoms to look for and when to seek medical attention.
How many solid feeds should my baby have a day, and when should they be? Melody
Start with one meal. If you start your baby on solids any earlier than six months, do not add a subsequent meal until they are six months of age, as you don't want solids to interfere with their milk intake. I usually say, add another meal after one month.
The meals should eventually become breakfast, lunch and dinner. But remember, babies don't have any concept of what the meal 'should be', so you can give them savoury foods during breakfast.
What are some safe foods that you can first introduce? Tina
There is no hard and fast rule. I am a big believer in 'veggies first' and as many veggies as possible.
The reason is, because babies innately have a preference for sweet foods, and naturally breast milk or formula is quite sweet. So if you just give them fruit, it takes them a bit longer to start to like savoury food.
It is also important that, from six months you are including sources of iron. Mixing foods such as pureed red meat, into a tolerated vegetable puree is a great option.
Do I need to drive to a hospital carpark when I give my baby peanut butter for the first time? Priyanka
No, you definitely don't need to. But if you are really anxious about it, you can do it in a doctor's or hospital's carpark. And, if you and the father have a history of allergies, maybe you'd like to do it to ease your nerves.
Is baby led weaning safe? Jackie
It is something first time parents get quite nervous about, because of the chocking. However, babies gag reflex is much closer to the surface, so they will gag well before they choke.
It's just important to make sure the food is soft enough that they can squish it between their pallet and their tongue.
And, cut food into the shape and size of a little finger - a baby's airway is like a straw, so you just don't want to give them anything that could block that passage.
Baby Cooper with his favourite finger food - banana! Photo: Supplied
Does food start to affect a baby's sleep? Jenna
Yes, it definitely can. This is why some people say the four month regression may be an indicator that your baby needs to start solids. Some parents find their babies start to wake up hungry and, often when they introduce solids, the baby sleeps better.
In saying that, you do want to make sure that when you are introducing new foods, you are introducing it in the first half of the day. If it causes an upset tummy, you don't want that to happen at dinner time before they are about to go down for bed.
What's the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance? Krystal
A food allergy is when there is a immune mediate response to specific proteins in food. Protein in the food is perceived by the body to be harmful, so the immune system can overreact, and this may result in swelling, rashes, difficulty breathing ect.
With an intolerance, it is more likely to cause digestive problems. That could be an upset tummy, constipation, diarrhoea, gas or things like that.
How much water should your baby be drinking when starting solids? Roché
Only a few sips, and you might just want to give it to them on a spoon. It's more about getting into the habit of drinking water, but also just to help keep things moving.
Remember they are getting all their hydration from their breastmilk or formula, so it's not about them being dehydrated.
Except, if it was a very hot day, I would up the amount of water - still only giving them a maximum of 20-30ml in the day.