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Right time and smart approach to start weaning foods

Posted:  Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Are you ready to tickle your baby’s taste buds? Mothers are always excited to introduce first solid foods to their baby. However, deciding when and how to start the weaning process should be done with extra care and sensitivity.

As per the American Academy of Paediatrics, exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months after birth; and till age one in combination with solids foods. Breast feeding sessions can be cut down gradually after 6 months with introduction of weaning foods.

Children by age 1 start eating variety of solid foods and might be able to drink from a cup, yet a few may not initiate till they become toddlers.While breastfeeding and weaning your baby, both you and your baby’s nutritional needs have to be considered.

It is very important to consider the - when, how and what of including new foods in your child’s diet. Delaying the weaning is advised if there is:

Allergy to cow's milk and wheezing in early childhood.

Health issue experienced by both mother and child

Change in home environment leading to stress.

Weaning is to be introduced in the following manner:

Weaning can be initiated by giving expressed breast milk during the day and breastfeeding can be continued at night

Slowly tapering of the duration and frequency of breastfeeding will gradually diminish milk supply and prevent engorgement of the breasts.

Children are more attached to first and last feedings of the day, it is advised to initially replace midday breastfeeding by weaning.

If solid foods are accepted and successfully dropped one breastfeeding, you can start working on dropping another.

Tips for managing the weaning process:

Weaning process should be gradual and accepted by the child

If child refuses or is cranky, focus on the child and distract him or her

If bottle is introduced for first time, choosing nipple with a slow flow rate

Iron fortified milk can be introduced after consulting doctor.

Mothers are always eager and enthusiastic to start giving their babies foods other than breast milk. Complementary feeding plays a crucial role in ensuring adequate nutrition in an infant Mother’s love and affection helps child to gradually shift from exclusive breastfeeding to healthy weaning foods.

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