Introducing solids is a exciting and wonderful time for mums and bubs. However, it is normal to feel confused about introducing solids to your little ones. This is because mothers feel overwhelmed by conflicting information and advice by health professionals, health authorities/organisations, books and internet searches. When I started working, I also felt overwhelmed with all the information.
Below, I have listed the most important areas that I think need to be addressed when introducing solids to your bubs.
1. What age should I start introducing solids?
The World Health Organisation the National Health and Medical Research and Australian Breastfeeding Association currently recommend 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding (no other food or drink) and then the introduction of solids while breastfeeding continues.
2. Does introducing solids before 4 months or after 6 months lead to food allergies?
It is strongly recommended that solids are not introduced before four months of age, as a baby’s system is still immature. At this age, the digestive system, immune system, kidneys and ability to chew and swallow are not yet fully developed or ready for solids and can lead other illness.
There is a lot of current research being conducted when to introduce solids and the reduction of food allergies. Unfortunately, there is no answer or solution for this relationship of introducing solids and allergies. No study has shown that delaying allergenic foods beyond 6 months results is a lower risk of allergy – rather the opposite. However, there have been no studies where babies were exclusively breastfed for 6 months and then introduced to solids. There is current research being conducted in Australia and the UK to find out why there has been a sudden increase in children becoming allergic to foods.
3. Readiness for solids…
From personal experiences, I have met a lot of mothers that are caught up with research, books and information from health professionals about the timing of introducing solids. However, just like adults, every baby is different, it might just be looking at your baby and their signs for their readiness to introduce solids.
- Showing an interest in food, including what’s on your plate – babies might also start putting their fingers in their mouths
- An increased appetite for breastfeeds or formula
- Opening mouth when food is offered on a spoon
- Good head and neck control, and the ability to sit upright when supported
I love to show mum’s this picture to know whether their bub is ready for solids:
Look out for what first foods should be introduced….