Weaning Tips for Babies
Being a mother you have sufficiently fulfilled your duty to breast feed your child and now it is time to make your baby pick up his food and eat it on his own. Baby led weaning is when your toddler starts feeding on the food chunks with his hands. You may end up breastfeeding and cerelac feeding, but be ready to food on the floor and bed. Who should opt for weaning decision? A baby of 6 months of age who can sit up straight is ready to wean.
However, there are few things which should be kept in mind to make that possible –
- It is advisable that when you are taking weaning decision, you shouldn’t rush things because an immature baby can choke on food. A baby who has just begun to sit reclined may swallow unwanted food and slide through his throat rather than chew and gulp. NHS suggests waiting for at least six months before you begin weaning.
- Ensure that your baby sits in the upright position before beginning to eat to avoid hazardous choking. Do not leave your baby alone while eating.
- A simple to clean high chair is a good idea during weaning as babies will likely spill, throw and spit out of their mouth most of their meal. You can also keep a big wipe-cleaning mat below the chair to avoid spilling on your carpet. Going for bib is also an option.
- Try to know when your baby wants to nurse and distract him or plan substitution. For instance, offer the favorite snack or game to your baby during the routine feeding hours.
- Delay the time of nursing and your baby will gradually lose his interest in breastfeeding. If your little one wants to nurse, then avoid it. Make them busy with other things. They will get comfier nursing for shorter time period.
- You can begin giving your baby the normal family meals. If you have too much sugar or salt in your food, then avoid it. Going for some veggies and potatoes can be a good idea. Soft fruit slices are also an option.
- You need to take a step back now and trust your baby to get on with his eating habits. Do not force feed him. It is okay, if he is not eating too much. Let him experiment with his food. He will be getting his nutrition from formula milk till then.
- Offer your baby plethora of food options. Once your baby gets the right grip of his thumb and finger, you can give him berries, peas and raisins too. Do not give too many bits of food at one time.
- Weaning is a sensory experience, thus your infant may mess play for some time. Let your baby play with his food in the beginning. It will help her develop and enjoy her meals.
- Weaning could be messy so make sure you give your baby a clean shower after cleaning up the chair and floor.
- A lot of kids nurse for comfort and love. So, when weaning, make sure you still give sufficient time to your little one. Have special cuddling hour with their favorite book or on the bed side or rocking chair.
- Include some of your emotions. Try to explain your little one about the end of your breastfeeding journey. Explain the excitement of eating to your little one.
- Go for food options which are easy to pick up in the starting weeks. Sticky rice is better than loose grains. Overcook the food a little to make it slimy and saucier.
- Cut the food in shape of wedges and sticks. Chop apples, pear and bananas in halves with till peel at the bottom to easy management.
- Give your baby spreads on toasts to make them experience new flavors and tastes. It is an easy way to add taste to your baby’s tongue.
- Use wipe-clean bibs to wipe out the droppings and clean your baby face.
- Make runny food items little thicker so that your baby can gulp it quickly without making it fall. As your baby gets bigger, add celery, carrot sticks to add more nourishment to their food.
- Be patient, your baby may need a little time to get a hang of the new things. But he will get used to it.
- During weaning, some moms may experience breast fullness. Use ice packs and cabbage leaves to relieve the pressure.
- Sometimes an illness may lead to separation from your baby and you may unexpectedly end up weaning procedure. So, be prepared with a little supply of frozen breast milk and ease the transition.
Weaning decision is a personal one depending on your relationship with your little one. When you know the time is right, just go for it.