The official guidelines are pretty clear around weaning; you should introduce solid foods when your baby is six months (26 weeks) old and not before 17 weeks.
The trouble is not everyone is familiar with these guidelines. Some people you look to for advice – your mum, sister or friends all have different opinions and advice. This can make the whole ‘when to wean’ issue rather trickier and more confusing than you’d think.
Look out for signs that may help you decide when your baby is ready for weaning but the most important thing is not to start before 17 weeks of age – before this age their little tummy is just not ready for anything other than milk.
These are some of the signs to watch out for:
- Your baby is beginning to show an interest in food – maybe watching you while eating or reaching out for food.
- If your baby is chewing and dribbling more frequently and putting their hands in their mouth (this can also be caused by teething so look out for other signs too!).
- Your baby is able to sit up with support and have head control.
- Your baby does not seem satisfied after feeding or is feeding more frequently for longer than a week (if less than a week it may be a growth spurt so hold off for now).
- Your baby may start suddenly waking up again in the night (having previously been a sound sleeper) demanding a feed.
If your baby is around 6 months old and is displaying some of these signs it could be time to stock up on coloured plates, spoons and more importantly a good mop!
For more information on weaning, call our freephone careline on 1800 570 570.