Jen Hamilton offers advice on when to start feeding your baby solids
Primarily babies are fully breast fed or bottle fed. They will thrive on breast milk or formula alone. Six months is the optimum time to start solids but some babies may need to start a little earlier.
You’ve probably had most professionals tell you this and these are the main reasons why you should wait:
- The risk of infection and allergic reactions is reduced.
- The digestive system of a baby under six months is immature and their ability to digest food starches is limited until then.
- There are no advantages to starting foods earlier than six months as long as the baby is receiving adequate intake of milk and thriving.
- By 6 months babies are beginning to show interest in chewing and biting with their gums. Their hand-mouth co-ordination is becoming more accurate.
- From around three months of age it’s a normal sensory motor development for babies to explore with their mouth. If you offer solids at this time you may mistake your baby eagerly putting food to his mouth as readiness for solids. He may appear ready but his tummy definitely isn’t.
- You run the risk of filling your baby up so they don’t take their required daily intake of milk and milk is their main source of nutrition in the first eight months.
- This one comes from my own parenting experience…Once you start you will be preparing your child’s meals every day for a very long time to come. It’s worth holding off for as long as you can!