Signs your baby is ready to wean on to solids
Breastfeeding provides babies with the best nutrition and is preferred whenever possible. The World Health Organisation recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for six months, with timely introduction of adequate, safe and properly fed complementary foods while continuing to breastfeed for up to two years of age or beyond.
Breast milk or infant formula should be your baby's main source of nutrition for around the first year of life, with experts recommending the introduction of solids from six months of age. Expose your baby to as many new tastes and textures as possible, as it will encourage the development of their jaws and teeth and make them more adventurous during the picky toddler years.
Your baby may not be ready for solids if
They poke out their tongue and push the food out of their mouth. This reflex prevents choking and indicates your baby is not ready for solids.
Your baby may be ready for solids if
- They no longer display the tongue-poke reflex.
- They are able to hold their head unsupported.
- They watch you eat with interest.
- They indicate, through gestures and sounds, their interest in sampling whatever it is you're eating.
- They hold their mouth open and imitate eating behaviour.
This article was written by Joanna Bounds for Kidspot, New Zealand's parenting resource for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Sources include Vic Government's Better Health Channel.