Tips & Tricks for Parents

When can I start feeding my baby solids?

27 Mar, 2023

Your baby will have only ever tasted, digested and had the sensation of milk in their mouths, so you can imagine the textures and flavour sensations they’ll experience when they move onto pureed vegetables and soft fruits. Babies should grow to love all the new foods they put in their mouth.

Six months

The official guidance is that babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. This means that babies should only be given breast milk (or formula milk, if they are formula-fed) and not any solid foods during this period. It is the age at which your baby’s digestive system is developed enough to be able to handle solid foods. Some parents start weaning their babies earlier than this, but you should seek advice from your GP if you are considering doing this. Your baby can safely live off breastmilk for the first six months, so there’s really no rush for solids.

Spot the signs

When your baby is ready to move onto solid foods, you will start to notice some changes. Some signs to look out for include sitting up with support, being able to hold their head steady and showing an interest in food. Additionally, if your baby is still hungry after a feed or seems generally unsatisfied, this could be a sign that they are ready for solid foods.

Weaning your baby

Once your baby reaches six months of age, you can start introducing solid foods while still continuing to breastfeed or give formula milk. However, it's important to note that weaning is a gradual process and it's recommended to take it slow and introduce solids one at a time. This will give your baby's digestive system time to adjust and will allow you to identify any foods that may cause an allergic reaction. At this stage, solid food is more about exploration than nourishment. When introducing solids, it's recommended to start with pureed fruits and vegetables and gradually move towards more complex foods. Foods like egg and nuts should be introduced with caution and only after other foods have been established. It's also important to avoid foods that can cause choking, such as nuts, seeds, and popcorn. 

Weaning can be a fun and exciting time for both parents and babies, but it's important to take it slow and follow the official guidelines to ensure that your baby is getting the right balance of nutrients as they transition from breast or formula milk to solid foods.

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