When is the best time for the baby to start weaning?
The best time to start weaning a baby from breastmilk or formula to solid foods is generally between 4-6 months of age. Here are some more specifics on when and how to start weaning:
– Wait until your baby is around 4 months old before introducing any solid foods. Their digestive system needs time to develop to be able to process solids.
– Signs your baby may be ready for solids include: they can hold their head up steadily, sit with support, seem interested in food you are eating, and seem unsatisfied after feedings.
– Start with pureed vegetables, fruits, and cereals. Give only one new food at a time, waiting 2-3 days before trying another new food to watch for any allergic reactions.
– Offer solids once a day at first, after a breast or bottle feeding. Slowly increase frequency and variety.
– Around 6 months, you can try mashed or lumpy foods. By 8 months, finger foods can be introduced if baby can pick them up and feed themselves.
– Breastmilk or formula should still be the main source of nutrition until baby is at least 1 year old. Solids complement but don’t replace them in the first year.
– Respond to your baby’s cues – if they seem uninterested or upset with solids, go back to exclusive milk feedings for a week or two before trying again.
– Avoid added salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Don’t give foods like honey, cow’s milk, or large chunks that pose a choking hazard.
– Talk to your pediatrician if you have any concerns about starting solids or your baby’s readiness. Each baby’s timing on starting solids can vary.