It’s rewarding for any parent to see how quickly their tiny newborn grows. Starting to wean with solid foods alongside milk feeds will give your baby the extra energy and nutrients needed to keep growing healthily and happily.
Is my baby ready for solids?
Generally, after the first month, babies gain an average of 1 to 2lbs a month for the first six months. Breast milk is the ideal first food, but beyond this stage, both milk and solid foods are needed to help your baby grow and continue to gain around 1lb per month.
Many babies are happy to wait until around six months to begin weaning and at this age can learn the skills needed for eating solid food very quickly. However, babies develop at different rates and your little one may well be ready before six months. Just be sure not to start your baby on foods other than milk before they’re four months old as their kidneys and digestive system won’t be fully developed.
Starting to eat solids is a very exciting phase, as your baby learns to enjoy new and different tastes.
Signs that your baby is ready to wean:
- Your baby can sit up with support and show head control – which means your child is less likely to choke on solid food
- Your baby will start to investigate by sucking on toys and other objects – a sign that your baby is happy to try new sensations, such as food too
- Your little one will watch you with interest when you eat
- You may notice your baby seems to be less satisfied just with milk feeds
If you are unsure about when to begin weaning ask you health visitor for advice. You could also give your baby a weaning spoon to hold and get used to before trying to feed.
Waking at night doesn’t always mean a hungry tummy.
If your baby is beginning to wake during the night when previously sleeping through, it’s not necessarily a sign of hunger. Babies tend to change their sleeping patterns around this age. Sleep varies between deep sleep and lighter sleep, with brief periods of arousal when babies wake and cry for attention.
Your medical team will need to assess your preterm baby before you begin weaning. Five to eight months after your baby’s actual birth date is likely to be the best time to begin weaning. However it is also best to wait until three months after the estimated date of delivery (EDD) to allow muscle co-ordination to develop. Pre-term babies at this age may still not have good head control so you will need to make sure your baby’s head and neck are well supported when you’re feeding solid foods.
Please be aware that the information given in these articles is only intended as general advice and should in no way be taken as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you or your family or your child is suffering from symptoms or conditions which are severe or persistent or you need specific medical advice, please seek professional medical assistance. Philips Avent cannot be held responsible for any damages that result from the use of the information provided