Is your baby ready for weaning?
WHO recommends starting solids at 6 months as most developmental signs showing readiness don't show up till then. Here's a checklist to determine when your baby is ready to start solids:
Baby can sit with minimal support and hold head on their own
Our digestive systems are made up of muscles- so when a baby can sit up that means their body's muscles are ready to digest food. Some support is okay- but they should not be slumping back and forth or to the sides when on the high chair. They should have enough core strength. They should not need to lean back to sit on chair. Baby can hold their head and neck up themselves- this is important as they will then be able to signal signs of fullness by turning their head. Also is a choking hazard to feed baby on a recline.
Tongue thrust reflex has diminished
This is when a baby sticks their tongue out- it is a defence they use to try to keep something out of their mouth. Once this subsides- this means they are ready to accept an intake of foods. You should not have to force a spoon inside the baby's mouth.
Hand, eye, mouth coordination
Babies will start picking up objects with their thumb and forefinger instead of palms (pincer grasp)- showing they have the coordination to pick up foods and place it in their mouth. This will probably not be fully developed at 6 months- you just need to lookout for signs that they are working on this skill. This is important for finger foods.
Showing an interest in food
Babies will start showing an interest in your food- they are eager to grab it, put it in their mouth and chew. They also show an interest in sitting around during mealtimes.
Please note that all these developmental signs must be met and should not be looked at on an individual basis. Always check with your pediatrician before beginning solids.