Weaning advice – when is the best time to wean my baby?
Jules asks – when is the best time to wean baby Sacha?
With the recent TIME magazine cover hoo-haa, we’ve been talking a lot about attachment parenting, and when we should start thinking about introducing solids to a baby’s diet.
Introducing solid foods, or ‘weaning’, should start when your baby is around six months old. The Department of Health and the World Health Organisation recommend nothing but breastfeeding for the first six months*.
Why is it important to wait until they are ready?
If you are breastfeeding, giving your baby only your breast milk up to around six months old will give them the extra protection against infection, and it will keep protecting them for as long as you carry on breastfeeding.
Whether your baby has breastmilk or infant formula, waiting until your baby is ready for solid food will save a lot of time too.
They will quickly be able to feed themselves, whether by Baby Led Weaning (BLW) or you with a spoon, and with less mess as they’ll be able to swallow easily.
How do I know if my baby is ready to start weaning?
Weaning is a gradual process where your baby will learn to eat solid foods. Milk feeds should provide sufficient energy and nutrients for optimal growth and development until your baby reaches six months of age. *However, if your health visitor of GP recommend that you introduce solid food before 6 months some of our foods are suitable from 4 months (17 weeks).
Your baby may be ready for weaning if…
- They take an interest in the food you yourself are eating
- They stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady
- They co-ordinate their eyes, hand and mouth so that they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth all by themselves
- They can swallow food. Babies who are not ready will push their food back out of their mouths.
If you think your baby is ready, we have teamed up with Organix to give you a chance to win one of ten weaning goody bags. Organix also have a useful weaning guide here – www.organix.com/
Before six months
The NHS guidelines also suggest that if you do decide to introduce your baby to solid foods before six months, these listed below should be avoided as they may cause food allergies:
- wheat-based foods and other foods containing gluten (for example, bread, rusks and some breakfast cereals)
- soft and unpasteurised cheeses
Other useful links:
click here to read some of our Amoralia customers’ experiences of weaning.
World Health Organisation – http://www.who.int/features/qa/21/en/