Weaning a baby is something all breastfeeding mothers will eventually have to consider. Guidelines issued by the World Health Organization have suggested that new born babies should only be breast feed for the first six months of their lives. Weaning a breast feed baby after this time will allow the babies system to adjust easily to solid food, parents should be aware that moving a baby on to solid foods too fast can lead to kidney problems later in life.
Breast feeding for six months may not be possible with all babies as each baby will have different preferences for when it will intake solid foods, so weaning a breastfed baby can start as early as four months. If the mother is unable to breast feed for this time they should try and experiment with stored expressed breast milk or a light formula feed instead of solid foods.
Starting off slowly mothers should feed their children with very bland food, one of the suggested foods is baby rice which can be mixed with breast or formula milk. Adding foods slowly to your child’s diet will also make identifying foods that cause allergies much easier. Typically your baby should only start off with one very small meal per day, a tea spoon full will allow your baby to become used to solid foods.
Gently Weaning A Baby From Breast Feeding
When your baby has became used to solid foods you can start to increase the variety of mixing different textures and flavors. Avoid sweet tasting foods to begin with, instead you should try savory products. Babies usually like pureed vegetables such as turnip, parsnips, peas, carrots and broccoli. Pureed fruits are also often loved but try the less strong tasting fruits first such as bananas or strawberries.
Do not add gravy or other sauces which contain high amounts of salt, if you are preparing your babies food along with the main family meal then you should remove your babies portion first.
Breakfast Time – Bread and hard boiled eggs can be given to babies that are six months or older, breakfast cereals such as Readybreak or Weetabix can also be given. Be warned that eggs and fish may cause problems for some babies so introduce these very slowly and stop immediately and consult a health specialist if your baby becomes sick.
You should also take care with foods that contain peanuts, it is recommended to wait until your child is at least one year old before you try out these foods. If you have a history of allergies in your family you should consider waiting until the child is three years old.
How to tell if your baby is ready for solid food.
Your baby will have some tell tale signs when they are not fully satisfied with breast milk. They may try and overfeed placing a high demand on the mothers milk or sometimes a baby can be seen attempting to chew when they see others eating. When your baby has teeth this is a sign they are ready for solid food. Now is the ideal time to start weaning your baby from breastfeeding.
Conclusion Weaning off Breastfeeding
Your babies first six months will be a tiring time on the mother but this will pass as soon as solid foods are introduced to the child’s diet, one benefit for parents is the child will often start sleeping for longer periods of time due to the added workings of the babies digestive system.
If you are still breast feeding make sure to check the Breast Feeders Checklist if you would like to see more articles from this author check out babies4.com.