Weaning in babies is the process of switching the baby from a diet of breastmilk to an equally or more nutritious diet that involves food and fluids. Breast milk is a nutritious meal for a child when he/she is a baby. But with time, breast milk is not enough to sustain the growth of a child. At this time, one needs to be aware of the importance of weaning babies.
Now that you are aware of what weaning is, the next logical question is whether your child is ready to be weaned. Usually, weaning begins after the six month mark. But having said that, weaning a baby is a personal decision and one must consult doctor online before taking the decision. The factors weaning depend on are the health of the baby and mother as well as how comfortable the mother and child are to adjust with the lifestyle change. There are two approaches to weaning:
- Traditional weaning: The process involves the parents feeding their children a variety of solid foods. At first, it is advised that parents begin weaning with pureed food, followed by mashed, chopped food, finger sized food and finally small bites.
- Baby-led weaning: As the name suggests, the baby makes the first step towards eating solid food on his/her own. In this case, as in the traditional weaning method, the food handed to the child should be small in size to avoid choking.
To assess whether your baby is ready to wean, you must notice the obvious signs such as:
- The child disinterested or fussy about nursing
- The nursing sessions don’t last as long as they used to
- The child is distracted during nursing
- The child constantly pulls or bites during the nursing process
- Nursing for comfort
The transition into weaning should be a slow one. A slow progression allows the mother as well as the child to adjust mentally as well as physically to the changes taking place. During the process of weaning, the foods that a mother could try with the child are:
- Carrot puree
- Pear and sweet potato puree
- Apple puree
- Sweet potato and lentils puree
- Apple and banana puree
- Avocado and banana puree
- Sweet potato puree
- Oats mixed with pureed fruit
- Pear and Rice puree
There are foods that must be avoided as well. These are:
- Undercooked eggs
- Grapes, raisins, and peas
- 4 to 6 months: Cereals (single grain)
- 4 to 8 months: Pureed food (vegetables, fruits, and meat)
- 6 to 8 months: Baby finger foods with a single ingredient
- 9 to 12 months: Mashed, ground, or chopped foods
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