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Weaning: when is it time for solids?

Once your baby reaches the age of about the five months, breast milk alone is no longer sufficient. Then it is time for solids. Find out here what you need to know when switching to solids and how you get your baby used to this new diet.

When breast milk can no longer meet your baby’s need for nutrients, it is time to switch to solids. This switch can sorely test the patience of parents and child alike. But with a few tricks, your baby will also come through this big change with flying colours.

The right timing
When you want your baby to get a taste for solids for the first time, you should try “the experiment” between two breastfeeds, because your baby will hardly be inclined to try something new when he or she is either replete or already very hungry. Alternatively, you can also try it halfway through the breastfeed.

To begin with, serve your child a pure vegetable mush. Many babies especially like slightly sweet vegetables such as carrot and pumpkin. If the pureed vegetables go down well, you can mix in potatoes after a week and some meat a few days later. If this combination also goes down well with your baby, the meat can be replaced once a week with fish. This is then followed by purees of milk, grains and fruit. A precise step-by-step guide to the introduction of solids can be found here (in german).

Every child is different
It does not matter whether you prepare your baby’s meal yourself or fall back on baby food from jars. However, when you buy baby food, make sure you go for high-quality food and check the list of ingredients to ensure that it contains no salt, sugar or preservatives. 

Remember that every child reacts differently to the introduction of solids. While some babies take to it wholeheartedly from the outset, others need much longer to get used to it. If your baby is one of those who do not accept the new diet right away, you should not on any account resign yourself to this. Instead, experiment with different varieties of vegetable and at different times of the day. Time and patience are essential.

Diversity pays off
From the age of about ten months, your baby can try solid food from the family table. In this case (almost) everything is permitted that your child likes and is able to swallow easily. Ideally, however, the food should still contain little salt and sugar and should be both sparingly seasoned and as free of additives as possible. Experts believe moreover that allergies occur more rarely if the immune system of the child is accustomed to different foods at an early age. And the risk of coeliac disease (gluten intolerance) is also said to be lower.

If you have any further questions about the health and nutrition of your baby, then as an insured member of SWICA you will find the doctors and medical staff of the free breastfeeding hotline of sante24 at your disposal, offering expert advice, on tel. +41 (0)44 404 86 86 at any time of the day or night.

SWICA supports the 2014 breastfeeding campaign. For further information, go to