When to Start Weaningby Laura Driver
With so much conflicting advice available it can be very confusing to know when to start weanign your little one.
You should wait until your baby is around 6 months old - this gives them time to develop properly, so they can cope with solid food.
Why wait until my baby is around 6 months?
- If you’re breastfeeding – this is the best food your baby can have during the first 6 months. Babies who are not breastfed are more likely to get infections
- Breast milk or formula provides the energy and nutrients needed until around 6 months
- It gives your baby time to develop so they can cope fully with solid foods
- Your baby is more capable of feeding themselves
- Your baby is better at moving food around their mouth, chewing and swallowing. This may mean they can have mashed, lumpy and finger foods, and may not need smooth, blended foods at all
What are the signs that your little one is ready to wean?
There are three clear signs that your baby is ready to wean.
They will be able to:
- Stay in a sitting position and hold their head up and steady
- Coordinate their eyes, hands and mouth so they can look at their food, pick it up and put it in their mouth
- Swallow food and not rather than spit it back out.
The following behaviours can sometimes be mistaken for signs of being ready to wean:
- Chewing their fists
- Wanting extra milk
- Waking up more than ususal in the night.
These are totally normal baby behaviours and not necessarily a sign of hunger, or being ready to wean.
It is a common misconception that weaning will make your baby more likely to sleep through the night. Sometimes a little extra milk will help until they are ready for food.
If your baby was born prematurely, ask your health visitor or GP for advice on when to start weaning.