The browser you are using is too old for our website. Please visit from Chrome and you will be able to browse normally.


      Signs of weaning

      Baby With Mum And Nurse

      Signs of weaning

      Ready for more

      How to tell if it's time for solids

      If your baby can coordinate their hands and eyes to guide objects to their mouth, they may be ready to start weaning. This is an important stage in their development and should only be started when you are sure they are ready. A sudden, short-lived increase in appetite is not a sign of readiness for weaning.


      Brighter futures start here

      Discover more about infant development to help shape your baby's future

      Join now for free

      Recognising weaning signs

      As your baby learns new skills such as rolling over and sitting up, they’ll be using a lot more energy every day. With their growing appetite, it’ll soon be time to start introducing them to the tastes and textures of first weaning foods. When they are ready to start weaning, your baby will show definite signs that they’re ready for more than milk. All babies develop at their own pace, but knowing what to look out for will make it easier to provide the extra nourishment they need, when they need it.

      Ready for weaning or a growth spurt?

      Babies often experience growth spurts within their first six months, leading to an increase in hunger. It’s important not to confuse this with the real signs of weaning, as your baby’s digestive system needs time to develop before it is ready to process solids. Research confirms that you should never introduce solids before 4 months (17 weeks). Before this, the gut isn’t sufficiently developed to deal with foods other than breast or formula milk, which means it is more susceptible to sensitivity and infection.

      The Department of Health recommends that breast milk or infant formula is the sole source of nutrition for healthy term infants until around six months.

      The Department of Health recommends that breast milk or formula is the sole source of nutrition for healthy term infants until six months (26 weeks) of age. Before then, your baby will get all the nutrition they need from infant formula or your breast milk.

      If your baby’s going through a growth spurt, the increased hunger will only be temporary and their appetite should return to normal relatively quickly. Extra breast milk or formula should be sufficient to meet their increased hunger while it lasts.

      Signs Of Weaning Gif
      The Department of Health recommends first weaning at 6 months

      When to start weaning

      A number of signs will tell you when your baby is ready for weaning. While one or more of these may occur before 6 months, it is rare for all to develop before this time. When your baby exhibits most or all of the simple actions below, they should be ready to start weaning1.

      Signs they are ready:

      • Sitting up independently - can they sit easily in a highchair with their back supported?
      • Holding head upright - can they hold their head steady and move it from side to side?
      • Coordinating hands, eyes and mouth - can they grasp objects, like teethers, and put them into their mouth?
      • Interested in your food - do they avidly watch you eat or try to take food from your plate?
      • Able to swallow food - babies who aren’t yet ready will push their food back out
      • Still hungry after a milk feed - this could be a sign, or they might be growing

      Waking during the night and sucking fists can be mistaken for signs of weaning. However, these alone are not always signals that your baby is ready for solid foods. If you feel they are ready to wean before 6 months, you should ask your health visitor or doctor for advice.

      Important notice

      Breastfeeding is best for babies and provides many benefits. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, you eat a varied, balanced diet. Combined breast and bottle feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of your own breastmilk, and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. The social and financial implications of using an infant formula should be considered. Improper use of an infant formula or inappropriate foods or feeding methods may present a health hazard. If you use an infant formula, you should follow manufacturer’s instructions for use carefully – failure to follow the instructions may make your baby ill. Always consult your doctor, midwife or health visitor for advice about feeding your baby.

      Your baby's future health begins here

      Your baby's future health begins here

      At Aptaclub, we believe that experience helps to build resilience; that
      each new encounter, whether in pregnancy or after birth, can shape your
      baby’s future development. With our scientific expertise and one-to-one
      round the clock support, we can help you and your baby embrace tomorrow.

      Join Aptaclub

      Related articles

      Questions about feeding and nutrition?

      Our nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.

      Brighter futures start here

      Discover more about infant development to help shape your baby's future

      Join now for free

      Your privacy is important to us and therefore we would like to explain how we use cookies on this website. With your consent, we will use cookies to measure and analyse how our website is used (analytical cookies), to tailor it to your interests (personalisation cookies), and to show you relevant advertising and information (targeting cookies) we think you will like. For more information please read the cookie statement.

      Privacy Settings

      You can choose your preferences anytime for cookies and tracking. For more information please read our cookie policy.

      • Strictly necessary

        They are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services (setting your privacy preferences, logging in, filling in forms, etc.). You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work.

      • Analytical cookies

        They allow us to count visits and traffic sources, to measure and improve the performance of our site. They show us which pages are the most and least popular and how visitors move around the site. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

      • Personalisation cookies

        They enable website’s enhanced functionality and personalization. They may be set by us or by third parties whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, some or all of these services may not function properly.

      • Targeting cookies

        They may be set through our site by our advertising partners, to build a profile of your interests and to show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.