When to start weaning
Is your baby ready to start weaning?
As your baby becomes more active, they start to use lots more energy. Pushing their chest away from the floor, rolling over or practising sitting up all give them a bigger appetite. Which means it’ll soon be time to move onto more than milk, to provide them with the nutrients they need to develop.
The signs to look out for
Your baby will usually find ways to show you that they are ready for more than just milk -here's what to look out for:
- Not fully satisfied with their milk feed.
- Begin to demand milk feeds more frequently (this lasts for longer than one week).
- Show more interest in food, may begin reaching out for foods.
- Watches with interest when others are eating food.
- Is able to sit up with some support
- Directing objects towards their mouth and putting them in their mouth
Try to wait for a combination of these signs before introducing solid foods. Simply waking up during the night or sucking their fists does not mean your baby is ready. If you think your baby is ready but is only showing one or two signs, speak to your healthcare professional or give us a call on 1800 570 570.
When to start
The exact timing should be driven by the needs of your baby. Generally the introduction of solid food to a baby’s diet should take place at around 6 months (but not before 4 months (17 weeks)) of age.
If your baby was born early (pre term – earlier than 37 weeks) you should begin introducing solids sometime between 5 to 8 months of their actual birth date. Speak to your healthcare professional for more advice.
Could it be a growth spurt?
At 4 months, lots of babies go through a growth spurt which can make them seem a lot hungrier than usual. It’s important not to confuse this with the real signs of weaning though because their digestive system needs time to develop before you introduce solids, however puréed they are! Be patient and if it is a growth spurt, your baby’s appetite should go back to normal relatively quickly. Remember you can always speak to our team or ask your healthcare professional for advice.
Breastfeeding is best for babies and provides many benefits. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, you eat a varied, balanced diet. Combined breast and bottle feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of your own breastmilk, and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. Always consult your healthcare professional for advice about feeding your baby.
Any more questions?
Our specialist baby advisors and experienced mums are here to talk and ready to help whenever you need them. You can call us or reach us on Live Chat 8.30am-5.30pm Monday-Friday.