The Department of Health recommends you should wait until your baby is 6 months old before you start them on solids, but I started weaning early.
My son was born weighing 9lb 2oz and always seemed to be feeding. From as early as 7 weeks old, older relatives kept telling me he was hungry and that I should try him on baby rice, but as a first time mum I had read the advice that I shouldn’t wean before 6 months. I felt under a lot of pressure as I wanted to do the right thing by my son but felt stuck in the middle of two generations and their advice.
I came to the decision to start our weaning journey when he was 17 weeks (about 4 months old), after doing my research. The advice was clear – it can be OK to start solids from 4 months if your baby is ready – but never to start before 17 weeks. I thought about the pros and cons and completed a checklist to ensure he was ready.
He had great neck and head control, he had almost doubled his birth weight (weighing 18lb 1oz), he watched everyone eating and would grab anything he could and put it straight in his mouth.
* Read more more about if and when it’s OK to start weaning early
At first, I was worried I was making the wrong decision as I kept reading studies that concerned me. The last thing I wanted to do was make my son ill or cause him to develop an allergy. But, 5 months later, I believe I came to the right decision. He has done really well taking to solids and will try anything. He has not been ill since we started and enjoys all his food.
I would never recommend you start weaning before 17 weeks, but I do believe that mums know best and you will know when your baby is ready. Just make sure you discuss your decision with your doctor or health visitor.