Knowing where to start on your baby’s weaning journey can be confusing, especially for first-time parents.
Advice from the NHS suggests that parents should introduce solid foods when their baby reaches the six month mark.
This usually involves fruits and vegetables being incorporated into their diet, along with the usual breast milk or formula feeds.
But previous research has found that 40 percent of first-time mums in the UK feed their babies solid foods by the age of five months.
Experts have warned that weaning too early can increase the risk of infections and allergies, as your baby’s digestive system and kidneys are still developing.
According to Dr Zoe Williams, The Sun’s GP columnist: “Weaning can be a very confusing time for parents.
“For most healthy babies, the easiest way to cut through the confusion is to wait until your baby is around six months old.
“This gives them time to develop properly so they can cope with solid foods.”
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The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) has advised that babies are ready to start eating when they can sit up and hold their head still and have the coordination to pick up food, put it in their mouth and swallow it themselves.
“The first 1,001 days are crucial for development and impact a child’s health for the rest of their life,” explained minister for women, Maria Caulfield.
“Every child should have a solid foundation on which to build their health and I am determined to level up the opportunities and support for all children, no matter their background or where they grow up."
If a baby is weaned too early, they could stop drinking as much breast milk or formula, which is key for early development.
Earlier this year, the OHID introduced a campaign to keep new parents clued up about feeding their babies.
The campaign included the launch of an NHS website called the Start for Life Weaning Hub that offers advice and recipes for babies’ first meals.
Vicky Sibson, from First Steps Nutrition Trust, added: “The introduction of solids is an important and exciting milestone for babies, which can have lasting impacts on their dietary habits and health.
"To get it right, their parents/carers need information and advice that is practical and independent."
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