If you’re planning to wean from breastfeeding and you see that baby is ready, willing and able, then you need to be able to prepare yourself for the dangers up ahead. By “dangers”, I mean nothing harmful. If you’ve watched TV where the mother is trying to feed baby, after about 5 minutes, you’ll notice that the dining area already looks like a warzone.
Now breastfeeding is still highly recommended, mind you. No other food can replace breast milk as it has almost all of the essential nutrients your baby would need to help him grow stronger and to help him ward off infections and sickness. But to wean a baby from breastfeeding doesn’t mean that you are neglecting baby’s needs for comfort and security. Rather, you can see this as a way of teaching him how to be independent – that’s provided that he let’s you know that he’s ready to be weaned.
Now that he’s prepared for solid food, you should also arrange the things you would need. Also, know what you should watch out for during the “flying food” game and messy face:
– Have drop cloths and old newspapers at hand. A baby still has no concept of clean and dirty. A messy face just means that in playing with his food, he starts to recognize certain patterns and textures in it. This also means that your baby is developing really well, so this is no cause for alarm or upsets. Spread out old newspapers and drop cloths on the floor to prevent stains made by the “air bombs” that your baby just threw at you.
– Sit him on a high chair. Use one with a stable base, and broad enough for some leg room. Strap him in, and keep other children from playing near or climbing on the high chair, as this may not only distract the baby from the food, but also risks the chair from falling – baby with it.
– Give him a cup instead of a bottle. Offer him a cup of formula or breast milk during mealtime. This would help in weaning him from a bottle.
– Give him a spoon. While feeding, allow your baby to hold a spoon with a rubber tip. Since children are great imitators, he will eventually get the message and will try to dip the spoon in the food and put it in his mouth.
– Put food in a baby bowl. If you buy store-bought foods and opt that your baby eats out of it, try to make him eat all of it. (Of course, if he’s full, he’s full. Don’t force him.) If there are leftovers, then it’s time to throw them away because bacteria and saliva from the spoon may make the food spoil easily. To be safe (and cost-efficient), put the food on a baby bowl or dish. Offer another serving if the baby seems to want more.
– Baby doesn’t want the food. Don’t pressure him if he doesn’t like it. Give him other food first. Wait for a couple of days or a week or two, then try that food again.
– Baby is full. When he pushes away the spoon, leans far away from you, or refuses to open her mouth, then take the hint – she’s already full.
To wean from breastfeeding is a new experience for mother and baby, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Read this and other articles on how to wean a baby from breastfeeding by clicking on the links.