Start4Life

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Public Health England (PHE) has launched its first ever Start4Life campaign offering parents support and advice on introducing solid foods to their baby, during what can be a confusing time.

A brand-new weaning hub has been launched on the Start4Life website to help parents during their weaning journey. Packed with NHS-approved advice and tips for each weaning stage, plus simple, healthy weaning recipes, it puts everything parents need to know in one place.

Official advice is that most babies should not start solid foods until they are around 6 months old. By this point their bodies are better able to cope with solid foods and they are more able feed themselves. They are also better at moving food around their mouth, chewing and swallowing. The last UK Infant Feeding Survey showed that three-quarters of parents had introduced solid foods by the time their baby is 5 months old.

A new survey of 1,000 mothers of young children conducted for PHE found that common misconceptions persist about the signs a baby is ready for their first solid foods. Just under half of mums (46%) mistake wanting extra milk feeds as a sign that their baby is ready for solid foods. Chewing fists (32%) and waking up in the night (24%) were also incorrectly identified as signs a baby is ready.

For expert advice and support on making healthy weaning easy, go to: nhs.uk/start4life/weaning