Peter Andre has sparked a baby weaning debate after sharing a picture of daughter Princess feeding his baby son Theo.
The father-of-four posted the image to his Instagram account, writing alongside: ‘This is just… I mean’, and many of the comments about the image of the siblings were initially positive.
‘She is proper hands on! Bless her. She’ll make the best mum, in about 20 years though,’ one fan wrote, whilst another agreed: ‘Gorgeous! Always makes me giggle when feeding little ones how the person feeding opens their mouths too!’
However, other followers warned Pete that he may have opened up a bigger debate, as the photograph showed Princess feeding Theo, who was born on 22nd November 2016, from a small plastic bowl.
‘Careful the weaning police will be on your case lol he’s only 4 months 😂 btw none of mine got to 6 months just await the I’m the best mum comments lol,’ one of the commenters said, to which another responded: ‘agree with you 😂😂😂 my little boy made it to 3 n half months and was the health visitor that told me to start giving him baby rice and porridge every child is different’
As predicted, some Instagram users soon began question Peter and Emily’s choice to wean Theo at his current age.
‘Isn’t she a doctor for gods sake?’ one asked.’She should know the detrimental affects of early weaning more than anyone. It’s 26 weeks for a reason, and has been for over 10 years.’
A second added: ‘If I’m right he isn’t yet 26weeks old? I would of expected them to be educated on the affects of early weaning… Also, I kind of expected a blw approach.’
After reading the remarks, many of Pete’s followers jumped to the couple’s defence, with several sharing their experience of weaning their own children.
‘My oldest son was on apple puree at 8 days and fully weaned by 16 weeks,’ one explained. ‘He has the most amazing and varied diet of any 8 year old. My youngest who I followed health visitor guidelines of start weaning at 6 months although he had baby porridge and rice from 16 weeks due to sheer hunger, he is my fussier eater……nothing wrong with what they are doing. No-one knows their child better than the parent and it is their decision. Good for you @peterandre for getting your kids involved. What a beautiful image’.
‘The weaning police need to get a grip my son was 4 months yesterday and I have given him a little bit of baby rice and rusk,’ another stated. ‘My health visitor has told me to wean when he is ready and he’s ready now. No two children are the same so these people who stick to rules need to get a grip of your child is ready then your child is ready.’
‘My baby is same age and the weening process has started!!’ a third chimed in. ‘My 11 year old was weened at the same age and she’s a healthy happy 11 year old child! Parents know they’re children and know what they are doing! Peter is a father of 4 Emily 2 sure they know what they are doing and don’t need advice of anyone!’
According to the NHS, a baby’s introduction to solid food should start when they are around six months old.
‘Research shows babies can get all the nutrients they need from breast milk or infant formula until they are around six months old. Waiting till then gives their digestive system time to develop fully so it can cope with solid foods. This includes solid foods made into purées and cereals added to milk,’ the body explains.
They advise that there are three principle signs that a baby is ready for food: remaining in an upright position and holding their head steady, co-ordinating their eyes, hands and mouth so they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth, all by themselves, and the ability to swallow food.