Moving on to solids
A growing appetite
Milk has provided them with all the nutrition they need up until now. But your baby’s development will call for more than this over the coming months. As their eyesight improves, they learn to sit up, and their grip strengthens, they’ll require specific nutrients in their weaning diet to support their future health.
Signs of weaning:
If your baby can coordinate their hands and eyes to guide objects to their mouth, they may be ready to start weaning. This is an important stage in their development and should only be started when you are sure they are ready. A sudden, short-lived increase in appetite is not a sign of readiness for weaning.
Recognising weaning signs
As your baby learns new skills such as rolling over and sitting up, they’ll be using a lot more energy every day. With their growing appetite, it’ll soon be time to start introducing them to the tastes and textures of first weaning foods. Your baby will show definite signs that they’re ready for more than milk. All babies develop at their own pace but knowing what to look out for will make it easier to provide the extra nourishment they need, when they need it.
When to start weaning:
A number of signs will tell you when your baby is ready for weaning. While one or more of these may occur before 6 months, it is rare for all to develop before this time. When your baby can do most or all of the simple signs below, they should be ready to start weaning:
Able to stay in a sitting position with some support and hold their head steady
Coordinating their eyes, hands and mouth so they can look at food, grab it and pull it towards their mouth
Starting to show an interest in what you are eating and drinking
Swallowing food – babies who are not ready will push their food back
Appears to still be hungry after a milk feed
Waking during the night and sucking fists can be mistaken for signs of weaning. However, these alone are not always signals that your baby is ready for solid foods. If you feel they are ready to wean before six months, you should ask your health visitor or doctor for advice.