Not too early
Lots of babies go through a growth spurt at around 4 months old which can make them temporarily hungrier, but although your little one might seem ready, it’s not advised to start giving them solids before 17 weeks (4 months). Your baby’s digestive systems won’t have formed properly yet, so feeding them anything other than their milk before this time could be quite harmful.
Not too late
Even if your baby shows no signs of wanting to begin weaning, it is still best to make a start at 6 months since this is an important step in their development. Delaying weaning may also mean that your baby doesn't get enough of some important nutrients such as iron.
Some telltale signs to look for
Every baby is an individual, but there are three clear signs which, together, show your baby is ready for solid foods alongside breast milk or formula. It’s very rare for these signs to appear together before your baby is six months old.
- They can stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady
- They can co-ordinate their eyes, hands 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 with their tongue, so they get more round their face than they do in their mouths
Asking for advice
It's a good idea to have a chat with your health visitor for information and tips on weaning, especially if you’re feeling unsure when to start.