Four day rule when introducing solid foods


Four day rule when introducing solid foods

When introducing a new food to your baby’s diet, it is important to observe her body’s reaction. Since every solid food will be new for the baby, it should be done by steps, giving the baby’s system the time to accommodate and the mother the time to detect any abnormality.

The “four day rule” is a strategy that helps spot baby digestive problems or potential allergies, and easily identify the food causing it. The rule is easy to follow: introduce one food at a time and keep giving it to the baby for four days. If no reaction occurs, another food can be introduced and given for another four days. And on. The baby shouldn’t be introduced to two new foods at the same time.

Morning time frame

The newest food should be given in the morning, so if any allergy reaction appears, it smooths by the evening, meaning better sleep for both, the baby and the mother. And also the eventual reaction appears within the pediatrician’s office hours. Allergic reactions or digestive problems usually appear quickly, sometimes within 1/2 hour. But it can take longer, like 3-4 days. The baby may not be ready to digest a food at a given time and be perfectly fine with the same food some time later. The rejected food should be retried when the baby’s system is more developed.

Benefits of ‘four day rule’

Introducing the baby to new foods is definitely exciting but should not be rushed – it pays to be patient and apply this rule:

  • the baby has time to digest new food and get used to it
  • the mother can observe the baby’s reaction to one food at a time
  • if an allergy occurs, the allergen can be easily detected and eliminated from the baby’s diet


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