Don’t be in a hurry to wean your baby onto solids because milk provides all the nutrients your baby needs for the first 6 months or so. The UK Department of Health recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months, as this should meet all your baby’s nutritional needs.
There is no ‘right’ age to introduce solids, as every baby is different. If you feel that your baby needs solids earlier, speak to your health visitor or GP. Whilst the guidelines are there I think its important to follow your instincts because no two babies are the same and mum usually knows best. However, solids should not be introduced until at least 17 weeks after your baby’s due date as a young baby’s digestive and immune system is not sufficiently developed before this time.
If weaning is delayed until after six months, some babies can have difficulty eating foods with lumps. Also as your baby gets older he will need more iron and nutrients than milk alone can provide.
Signs that your baby is ready for solids
Milk is Major
To begin with all your baby’s nutritional needs will come from breast or formula milk, so don’t cut down on milk feeds. Up to the age of one year, your baby needs a minimum of 600ml (20 oz) of breast or formula milk a day.
When can I give my baby cow’s milk?
Although breast or formula milk should be your baby’s main drink for the first year, cow’s milk can be introduced in small amounts in the preparation of solid foods from around 6 months. You can use cow’s milk with your baby’s cereal or when making recipes like cauliflower cheese. Always choose full fat pasteurised milk for children under the age of two.