Your guide to weaning your baby

Author : nonyss
Publish Date : 2020-09-10 11:19:52


Your guide to weaning your baby

As the baby grows, the nutritional requirements also need to be re-evaluated. Weaning is the process of adding solids and fluids other than milk to the diet of the infant. The expert opinion and recommendations of American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) state starting weaning at 6 months of age.

However, some people decide to wean their baby earlier than 6 months. Talk to your Child Specialist in Islamabad or similar child experts about making your decision to wean your baby.

Starting off the process

The process of weaning should be a gradual one, as the baby needs to be acclimatized to this new diet. However, solids and other fluids do not replace the need for breast milk.

While AAP recommends that babies should continue to be breast fed at least one year of age, World Health Organization is a strong proponent of breast feeding for two years or slightly longer. Introducing cow’s milk to the child before they are a year old can be problematic, so steer clear of it even when weaning.

In many cultures, without scientific knowledge, parents or grandparents start feeding the baby solid foods, based on their own previous experiences. While many a times starting this process earlier than 6 months is safe, but it is better to stick by standards.

Another important thing to always remember is to introduce the solid foods when the babies are physically ready for it. Solids can get stuck in the throat and thus pose a choking hazard. Hence, ensure the absolute safety of the before starting off weaning. They should be able to hold their head up and should also have hand-eye coordination so they can pick and eat food themselves.

Baby gives some weaning signs too!

Breast feeding can be hard and can tiresome for the mother who can be all too tempted to start weaning. If your baby is giving some signs during breast feeding, perhaps they are ready to move on to the next phase.

If the baby is being fussy during nursing, or is losing an interest, it is better to start weaning so that they are able to meet their dietary requirements. Other signs include not suckling well or enough, using the act of nursing more for comfort rather than diet, biting the nipples etc.

The diet in the initial phase of weaning

It is very vital that the food is soft and in limited quantity. Do not overwhelm the baby with rich, solid food but instead start off with a tablespoon or 2. One excellent food to kickstart the weaning process is fortified rice cereal.

In a small amount of this cereal, add formula or breast milk, whichever your baby takes. Make sure the consistency is thin; thicker versions can be done later when the baby is ready.

According to NIH, the baby should not be introduced to a variety of cereals in the very beginning. Instead, gradually add different types of cereals like wheat, barley etc. as the baby can have allergies and gradual introduction makes it easier to diagnose them. 

The logistics of weaning in the beginning

Here to, gradually shifting the baby to the solids is important. Start off by one meal of solid foods in lieu of the breast milk. It does not have to be food per se; weaning is also about shifting the baby over to bottle or sippy cup as many mothers work to get back to and thus cannot nurse the baby always.

However, mothers who want to continue giving their baby breast milk need to pump the milk regardless, as otherwise it can dry up.

Some babies can be fussy as well!

Mealtimes can be hard on the mother as the baby is not always receptive to the solids. Nursing also makes less mess and well is easier at times when the baby makes a ruckus during feeding sessions.

However, patience is key here. Weaning is an important milestone in the life of the baby. Moreover, breast milk is insufficient to keep up with the nutritional requirements of babies older than 1 year of age.

Hence, mothers have to explore other avenues to placate their child. Fun activity like making up a feeding game, distracting the baby etc. can be helpful. Other family members can also pitch in and help the mother out.

Moreover, if spoon feeding is better than letting the baby-led weaning, do it instead. It is also recommended to not give the baby too much flavored food in the beginning. Take guidance from the child specialist in Lahore about the diet allowed for your baby. A healthy diet makes a healthy baby, so don’t be afraid to seek help.



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