When is the best time to begin introducing solid foods to your baby?
Research has found that babies need nothing but breastmilk for the first six months. This gives your baby's digestive system time to develop so that they can cope with solid foods. Some babies may be ready to begin weaning sooner than this - check with your health visitor if you feel unsure.
Signs that your baby is ready for weaning:
Be aware that there are some signs that can be mistaken that your baby is ready for weaning even when they are not - this is why it is always worth checking with your health visitor. Research suggests that these are normal behaviours and not necessarily a sign of hunger or a sign that your baby is ready to start solid food (fist chewing; waking in the night when they have previously slept through; wanting extra milk feeds).
Gradually you'll be able to increase the amount and variety of food that your baby eats until they can eventually eat the same things as the rest of the family, but in much smaller portions
Some parents choose to begin the weaning journey by letting baby feed themselves when they are ready (as opposed to spoon feeding or using pureed food). Baby sits at the table with the family and is offered food rather than given. This method of weaning allows baby to build his/her confidence and explore foods in his/her own time.
Useful Weaning Links
Start 4 Life
Baby-led Weaning (Gill Rapley)