Knowing When to Introduce solids to your little one

Introducing your little one to food can feel make you feel daunting and unsure of where to start, in this blog, we share some tips for you to commence this stage with your little one confidently. 

Many experts say babies are ready for a scheduled feeding routine around 6 months of age when they start to show interest in food. 

It is important to continue breast milk or formula when solids are introduced, this should continue till at least 12 months of age.  

Babies show signs when they are ready to try solid foods. These include:

  • Good head control and able to sit up with support
  • Watching and leaning forwards when food is around
  • Reaching out to grab food or spoons to put in their mouth

Hungry babies should be offered more breast or formula feeds until they are ready for solids.

Some parents may be tempted to start solids early to help their baby grow, sleep or settle better. However, introducing solids too early may lead to problems such as:

  • Poor growth – especially where solid food replaces breast milk or formula.
  • Loose bowel actions or diarrhoea because a baby is unable to digest solid food.

Although you may find introducing solids tricky, don’t be put off by your first attempts or your baby’s lack of interest. You will eventually learn their cues and when they are ready.

Starting solids too late may also lead to health problems such as:

  • Delayed growth due to low energy intake.
  • Iron deficiency anaemia.
  • Feeding problems – particularly if solids have not started before 7 to 9 months.

Be guided by your baby and if you have any concerns, speak to a maternal and child health nurse or doctor.


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