The World Health Organisation recommends that babies have solid foods at about six months old. This is because breast or formula milk has everything your baby needs to grow until this point and introducing solid foods too soon can increase the risk of them getting an infection.
Babies will often let you know when they are ready. Once they can sit up in a highchair, and bring food to their mouth, they are usually developmentally read to eat more than milk. In most babies this usually happens at around six months which is one reason why it makes sense to start giving them solids at this time.
You might find that other people try to give you lots of advice to introduce solid foods earlier. Some of the most common myths and why they are untrue are explained below:
- Giving solid foods won’t help your baby sleep better. Babies don’t wake up just because they are hungry – they wake for lots of other reasons. If they were waking because they were hungry, milk has many more calories in it that weaning foods.
- Big babies don’t need solid foods any sooner. Again, if your baby is bigger and hungry, offering them extra milk feeds will give them more calories than introducing solid foods will.
- If your baby is watching you eat it doesn’t mean they need solid foods. They like to watch you do everything including driving the car – and we don’t recommend you let them do that yet!
- Read more about the myths surrounding timing of solids
Find out more:
- Explore what normal infant sleep looks like and how solid foods won’t affect how much your baby sleeps
- Have a look at our article on the Essential Parent website ‘Ten laid back steps to giving your baby solid foods
- Watch our animation on top 10 tips for introducing solid foods
- For a comprehensive guide to the evidence behind introducing solid foods to your baby, you can read our book ‘Why starting solids matters’.