I hope you’ll agree with me when I say:
Breastfeed is very important diet for every baby.
During the first few months of life, mother’s feed provide baby with the anti-bodies and other essential nutrients to help him win a life-long fight with serious infections. Not only it protects your baby’s health but it also protects your from various type of terminal diseases.
If, due to any reason, you are not able to breastfeed your baby then its best to consult your pediatrician before getting any regular formula milk for your baby.
Weaning your breastfeeding baby on table food is not an easy task for most of the mothers.
Weaning your breastfeeding baby on table food is not an easy task for most of the mothers. Most of the breastfeeding mothers feel confused about the right time to start their baby on table food.
We must not forget that weaning babies on table foods is a very time-taking and complicated task. Due to the fact that babies have to feed only on mother’s milk for the first four to six months of their life so turning towards solid diet is not a preferable task for most of them.
Transferring your baby from weaning to breastfeeding is the process that seems to make most of the mothers lose their patience but you must, at all costs, remain patient and keep on trying.
Signs That Your Baby is Ready for Table Food
Nobody knows for sure that when your baby is ready for weaning. The biggest issue for most of the breastfeeding babies is that they are so hooked up on milk that accepting table food doesn’t look like a fun option for them.
On the other hand, mothers that are breastfeeding their kids can’t wait to get their kids on table food, so they can enjoy their pre-nursing body.
Mothers tend to feel mixed sort of emotions when they have to wean their babies on table food. When you get to transfer your baby on table food, your baby reduces his dependency on mother feed due to which most of the mothers feel a sense of loss.
Such feeling is quite natural for stay-at-home mothers while on the other hand, working mothers are quite eager to get their babies on solid food so they can get back to their normal working routine.
When should you start your baby for weaning, is a question that confuses most of the mothers. In order to know the correct time for weaning, you must first recognize the readiness signs that your baby will display when he is ready to be weaned.
The general concept is that a baby should be weaned when he reaches the age of six months but most of the mothers prefer to start this process as soon their babies reach the age of four months. There are two important things that you should keep in your mind before weaning your babies.
You must not start weaning your kids before they have reached the age of four months. Starting before this age might be too early for your baby and can cause severe digestive issues for your little one.
You must remember that babies have extremely delicate digestive system due to which they are not easily able to digest solid diet. Before the age of four months, the digestive system of your baby can only bear the burden of milk.
Another thing that you must keep in mind is that if you start your baby early on weaning then your body will start producing less mother feed and as a result your baby will not get the required amount of mother feed.
You must not delay the process of weaning once your baby reaches the age of six months. If your baby is six months old and doesn’t show interest towards food, still you must start the process of weaning in a gradual way.
If you don’t start the weaning by this age then later your baby’s digestive system won’t be able to accept the food and his body will get weaker due to lack of essential nutrients.
If you are still feeling confused about the correct time to start your baby for weaning then you must lookout for readiness signs. Here is a list of all those readiness signs that will tell you that your baby is ready for weaning:
- Baby can support his own head
When baby crosses the age of three months, it starts raising its head high and is in the position to control the movements of its head. This is one of the initial symptoms, that your baby is almost ready for weaning.
- Baby is able to sit comfortably if provided support
At the time of four months, baby is not able to sit by himself. So if you are planning on starting weaning then you must make your baby sit in your lap. When the baby is able to sit by himself then you can make the baby sit on the highchair but this must not be done until baby is independent in sitting.
- Baby moves his mouth as if chewing on food
Chewing is easy for babies but swallowing food is not an easy task. If your baby can move the food back and forth in his mouth and can easily swallow that particular food item then it means that your baby is ready for weaning.
- Baby weight has almost doubled
If your baby has increased its weight over the months or has reached double the weight of its birth weight then it means your baby is ready for weaning. Most of the babies, when reach the age of four to six months, attain the weight that is almost double to their birth weight. This is a great symptom that baby is ready to wean on table food.
- Baby keeps an eye out for table food
If your baby keeps his eyes on your food while you are having dinner or lunch then it clearly means that he is interesting in getting a bite out of your food. Be careful if you share the table with your baby at meal times because your baby might make a move to attack your food when you are not looking.
- Baby can independently handle food
If your baby can recognize food with his eyes, hold the food with his hands and transfer the food into his mouth from his hands then it means that the baby is ready for weaning.
Signs You Must Ignore
There are also some signs that might make you feel that your baby is ready for weaning but in fact these signs do not signify your baby’s readiness for weaning.
If your baby chews or sucks at his fists, if your baby wakes up in the middle of the night because he slept early, or if your baby requires more milk then it doesn’t mean that your baby is ready for weaning.
Here you must keep in mind that your baby will show these signs at different times of his growth cycle. But showing these signs don’t mean that your baby will start sleeping more at night or won’t feel hungrier if you feed him with table food.
If your baby feels hungrier before he has reached the age of six months then you must breastfeed him more times than the usual or for longer duration.
Switching from Baby Food to Table Food
There are three things that you must keep in your mind before starting your baby on weaning:
- Weaning is not an easy process
- Every baby is different and responds differently to weaning. If your sister’s baby responded to weaning at the age of four months then it doesn’t mean that your baby will also start weaning at four months.
All you need to do is to wait for your baby to reveal the readiness signs or attain the age of six months.
- Weaning your baby on a different food item is not an easy task. If you want to wean your baby on any particular food item then introduce only a small portion of that food item to your baby.
If your baby turns his face away or seals his mouth on that food item then you must instantly abort the weaning mission and try again after the interval of few days. Never force your baby to eat anything otherwise your baby will develop hatred towards that particular food item.
In order to wean your baby on adult food, you must follow the following initial steps.
The very first step that you need to take is to take a small spoon. It must be a teaspoon; teaspoons are also available in different sizes so we would suggest you to take a small-sized teaspoon.
Take a small amount of the adult food on the tip of the spoon. Bring the spoon closer to the baby’s mouth. If the baby opens his mouth then well and good but if he doesn’t then you must take the spoon near baby’s eyes so he can see the food.
Bring the spoon closer to the baby’s lips and dab some food on the lips if the mouth is still closed. If baby opens the mouth then you must put the food inside the mouth.
Keep a close eye on the chewing movements of your baby. If your baby easily chews and swallows the food then you can proceed with more food but if there is some sort of difficulty in swallowing the food then you must stop giving the food and try again after five to six days.
Keep an eye on the throat of your baby in order to determine whether your baby is able to swallow or not.
If your baby shows disinterest towards a certain food item then never ever force that food item into your baby’s mouth.
Doing this will make the matters worse. Just ditch that food item for the moment and try it again after the interval of six to seven days.
Never underestimate the smartness of your baby when it comes to the process of weaning. Your baby is going to guide you throughout this process by giving off different signals.
For instance, if you are confused about how much should you feed your baby then do keep a close eye on your baby’s facial expressions and movements while feeding him.
If after eating for a while, your baby seals his mouth or moves his face away from the spoon, it clearly means that he is not hungry anymore. You must increase the amount of food in a slow motion after analyzing your baby’s interest in the adult food.
Simple Tips for Moms When Weaning
If you have just started weaning your baby on the adult food or are thinking about doing it then here are a few things that you should keep in your mind:
- Once you start weaning, there is no need to ditch breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has its own positive impact on baby’s health so even if you are weaning your baby on solid diet; still you must breastfeed him according to the schedule.
- You must always breastfeed your child before feeding him with the solid diet. Don’t reduce the amount of breast milk.
Remember your baby will only be a few months old when you have to start weaning him, so breast milk will be essential for your baby.
- If you want to introduce a new food item then you must wait for the time when your baby feels really hungry. If your baby is hungry and is in good mood then he will easily accept the new food item, otherwise he will create a lot of racket.
- You must make your baby sit in a straight posture before feeding him with adult food. At first you must try feeding him by making him sit straight in your lap.
After a few sessions, you can shift him on any comfortable chair and support him with cushions or shift him in a high chair. Once the baby is able to sit in the high chair, you will find it easy to feed him.
- You must try hard to keep the eating sessions enjoyable, calm and entertaining for your baby.
- You must not wean your baby if your baby is feeling ill.
- You must not wean your baby if you are feeling ill or extremely tired. Understand that weaning is a time-taking process and requires lots of patience so if you are not feeling well then you won’t be able to show patient behavior towards your child.
- If your baby is facing any sort of stress due to any recent change in his surroundings then you must not wean him for sometime otherwise he will respond negatively to weaning. Most of the babies get stressed due to change of accommodation or arrival of a new person in the family, if this is the case with your baby then don’t proceed with weaning.
How to Cope with Food Allergies During Weaning?
Food Allergies is a very sensitive issue when it comes to weaning little babies.
You might never know which particular food item is harming your baby so here are some tips that you need to follow in order to keep your baby safe.
- At the start you must always give single food to your baby, for instance you must never blend potato and carrot together because if your kid gets allergy from anyone of them then you won’t be able to know it.
- Give any one food item once a day and then wait for one whole day before introducing any new food item. If your kid has allergies to that particular food item then he will start showing symptoms within a day.
- If you have fed any new food item to your baby and the baby starts vomiting, feels difficulty in breathing, develops rashes, or gets loose motions within a day then it means your baby is allergic to that food item.
- You must keep a list of all those food items that cause allergy to your baby and maintain care not to include those food items again in your baby’s daily diet.
- If your baby gets allergic to any particular food item and his condition is getting worse then you must immediately rush him to the hospital.