Last edited 10/2018 and last reviewed 06/2022
This is the process of introducing non-milk feeds to an infant. Several factors contribute to when weaning is appropriate:
- gastrointestinal and renal physiology must be sufficiently mature to cope with the variety provided by a weaning diet.
- babies are generally able to form a bolus of food at about five months.
- babies may be able to chew at about 6 months.
NHS advice suggests (1,2):
- babies get most of the nutrients they need from breast milk or first infant
formula until they are around 6 months old
- if you are breastfeeding, having breast milk alone up to the age of around
6 months will help protect your baby against illness and infections. Breast
milk will carry on protecting them for as long as you carry on feeding
- waiting until your baby is ready for solid food means they'll quickly be
able to feed themselves and will be able to swallow more easily
- your baby gets all the fluid, nutrients and energy they need from breastmilk or formula - this is why it's best to hold off introducing solids until they are around six months old (2)