Weaning and Moving onto Solid Foods

When should I start to introduce solid foods?

Most experts recommend starting to introduce solid foods once your baby is around six months old; before this time, the baby’s digestive system is still developing and introducing solid foods may increase the risk of allergies, choking and infections. Signs that your baby is ready to try solid foods include sitting up independently, chewing objects and toys and being able to reach out and grab hold of toys and surfaces. As the baby reaches the four to five month stage, they may start to wake in the middle of the night for a feed; if this is the case, try to breastfeed them or give them formula milk, rather than trying them on solid foods early.

It is important to introduce solid foods because your baby will require additional nutrients and minerals than those provided by breast milk. Experts recommend introducing solid foods whilst still breastfeeding; most women start to breastfeed less and less as their baby becomes more confident and comfortable with solid foods.

How should I introduce solid foods?

Try to introduce different foods gradually and combine the food with breast or formula milk; baby rice is a common starting point for many babies. Start by giving a small amount of solid food each day and gradually increase the amount as the baby gets used to eating different foods. The following tips will help the baby to enjoy eating and trying new foods and help the weaning process to run smoothly:

  • Wait for your baby to open their mouth before you put the spoon near their mouth
  • Let your baby play with and touch the food
  • Let the baby hold the spoon and try to feed themselves
  • Try to introduce your baby to a range of different foods and textures
  • Don’t try to force the baby to eat; if they don’t want it, try them again later
  • Mix foods with the milk your baby is used to for foods like porridge and baby rice

It is best to try and feed your baby in a high-chair; this way they will be upright and the risk of choking will be much lower.

Weaning and Moving onto Solid Foods:

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