To wean or not to wean?


Now that Eliza is 5 months old we have started to think about weaning. When she was diagnosed with reflux our paediatrician mentioned that earlier weaning can be beneficial to reflux babies – purely because food is generally thicker than milk and sits in the stomach far better. This was definitely something we found to be the case with Max, and his reflux did improve once we started to wean.

But recognising the right time to start is never easy – ultimately we just don’t know! Current guidelines say 6 months, but some babies may be ready earlier or later than this. There are some signs to look out for, that may indicate your little one is ready to try something other than milk:

  • They are able to support their own head when in a sitting position, and may be able to sit unaided
  • They are able to co-ordinate their hands and eyes – put simply, this means they can look at something, pick it up and put it to their mouth.
  • They can swallow food. Again, this sounds a bit of an odd one, but swallowing milk is totally different to swallowing food. To eat, babies need to push food to the back of their mouths with their tongue. A baby who isn’t ready for weaning will push the food back out of their mouths, so they end up with more round their face than in their mouth. 
  • Showing an interest in food. If you pop your baby in the highchair at the dinner table, they may watch intently you as you eat, lick their lips and try to reach out.
  • They have gained weight well. If there are any concerns about your baby’s growth or weight gain, you shouldn’t start weaning without advice from your doctor or health visitor. Eliza didn’t gain weight well at the start, but in the last couple of months she has sat consistently on the same percentile, and the health visitor has been happy with her progress.

After reading through all these points again, I really think we might be on the cusp of weaning. Although my original plan was to wait until 6 months, Eliza can almost sit unsupported, can hold her head independently, can co-ordinate her hands and eyes to pick up toys, shows an interest in what we eat and is gaining weight well. I don’t yet know if she will be able to swallow food, but I guess we won’t know unless we try. Over the next week or 2 I plan to stock up on some weaning essentials and give it a go. If she’s not ready, we will wait and try again at 6 months. 

What age was your baby when they tried solids for the first time? What foods did you start with?




  1. November 7, 2015 / 7:29 pm

    It’s funny how the guidelines change. When my eldest was a baby it was fine to start weaning at 3/4 months. My eldest was nearly 4 months old and was eating milky mashed potato for Christmas dinner. That was her first taste of food. lol It was 13 years ago and the guidelines were different! My youngest was about 5 months old and started sensibly on baby rice…
    Good luck with the weaning x
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  2. November 7, 2015 / 8:51 pm

    We weaned Z at 5.5 months. He was a reflux baby and around the 5 month mark we just knew he was ready but I was just so reluctant because of the guidelines. Then I took the plunge and was so glad I did. Good luck, may the mess and love of eating commence!! (When you’re ready I mean :))

  3. November 8, 2015 / 11:38 am

    My eldest was 4-6 months when she started and my youngest was over 6 months as she couldn’t chew and wasn’t ready. Every child is different – Wean her when you think it’s ok and there is no harm in trying lovely. x
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  4. November 9, 2015 / 9:10 am

    We weaned with Ellas kitchen. Chloe wasn’t able to sit unsupported and she almost held up her head at 4 1/2 months but she constantly was looking at our food and she was never a fan of the bottle so we started and you can’t keep her fed now.
    She only has 3 bottles at 9 months. Mist she takes is 6 Oz. That’s in the morning. Afternoon and evening ranges between 2 and 4 Oz
    Janine recently posted…Chloe’s Winter WardrobeMy Profile

  5. November 9, 2015 / 11:20 am

    Good luck with however you choose to go forward. I chose to wait till 6 months due to Wee Buns allergies, but she was very interested in food from 5 months. I weaned at 6 months with the toddler too. It’s such a messy (but fun) process that I was happy to leave it for as long as possible! 😉

  6. November 9, 2015 / 4:37 pm

    We started bang on 6 months and really slowly weaned Evie. But every baby is different aren’t they. You know your own children and what they need and it’s always good to try. I love that age when you can start to find out what foods they like and dislike and get to play around with flavour combinations. xx #lovetoblog
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  7. November 9, 2015 / 6:14 pm

    It is definitely individual to each child. My son was ready around 18 weeks but my daughter was fine until 6 months. Great tips as a reminder x

  8. November 9, 2015 / 10:16 pm

    It was suggested to us that we wean early due to Finn’s reflux but I am really glad we waited it out as I didn’t feel he was ready at 6 months. We started at 7 months and he still isn’t so interested now at 8.5 although we are getting there. I hope it goes well!
    Bex @ The Mummy Adventure recently posted…Beaches – Ocho RiosMy Profile

  9. November 10, 2015 / 9:44 am

    It’s funny how the guidelines change. With my first I was told to wait until 6 months but at 4 months she was hungry all the time so we weaned early. With my second she showed no interest yntil 7 months so we weaned later.
    Tori Gabriel recently posted…Letter to My Little SisterMy Profile

  10. November 10, 2015 / 10:33 am

    We started weaning a week or 2 before Aria turned 6 months, we were always going to wait but she got to the stage where she was trying to steal our food and I figured a little tiny bit early wouldn’t hurt!
    I started with purees, I had no idea where to begin so I bought the Annabel Karmel book and followed the planners in there for the first month. We are now on mainly finger foods which is a lot easier!
    Good luck on your weaning journey!
    Leanne Cornelius recently posted…Aria’s Eight Month UpdateMy Profile

  11. November 10, 2015 / 10:35 am

    I think Eva was around 5 months old when she started. It can be such a confusing time as they seem to change the guidelines year by year. I’m pretty sure it was baby porridge or rice we started on. You will know when your child is ready as they are all ready at different times. Good luck with it xx
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  12. November 10, 2015 / 11:26 am

    I started weaning my oldest at 13 weeks, he is 19 now and the guidelines were a lot different then. My other two were between 5-6 months when I started them. I started them on baby led weaning and it was a real success x
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  13. November 10, 2015 / 10:00 pm

    my eldest two were about 5 months when I started but my youngest just wasn’t interested at all such a boob baby I kept trying and eventually around 7/8 months she started taking a little food so funny how they are all so different isn’t it x
    everything mummy recently posted…Valintines Gift GuideMy Profile

  14. November 11, 2015 / 7:44 am

    The rules change so much don’t they. It was 12 weeks when I had Abbey, then 16 weeks with Callan, 20 weeks with Kian and then jumped to six months. If I am honest my Eliza was 6 months but the boys were much earlier as they were ready (about 16 weeks) – good luck xx
    Kara recently posted…Planning our excursions with Carnival CruisesMy Profile

  15. November 11, 2015 / 10:26 am

    It’s a hard decision isn’t it. My little boy was 5 months old, he was doing all the the signs you’ve mentioned. Have fun buying all the essentials, I loved buying baby spoons and plates! x
    Catriona recently posted…OUR ADVENTURES | A YEAR OF NATIONAL TRUSTMy Profile

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