Mothers always ask when they should stop breastfeeding. Try to do research for it and you’ll end up staring at a blank wall. Why? Because there is no specific time when to stop breastfeeding.
So, since there is no set age for it, society places the laurels on its shoulders, thinking that it has the right to do so. It was once said that at 4 months old, the baby can already be given solid food. Recent medical studies have shown though, that giving a baby solids at that age can only bring about an unreadiness in the child, as will be evidenced by the onset of certain allergies and medical conditions certain foods bring. This is because the mouth and the digestive system (which grows and progresses at the same time) are not fully developed yet.
This is also why there are many advocates to breastfeeding. At an early age, breast milk is very important to a baby because of its perfect balance of nutrients and enzymes that help fight off sickness, keeping him healthy and strong. And it’s not just easily digested and absorbed; it’s also very cost-efficient as breast milk is free.
Unfortunately, most mothers have their reasons as to why they need to wean their young from breastfeeding. It could be medical or otherwise. Whatever the reason, some of these mothers either express their milk and put it in a bottle, or they completely stop breastfeeding. Before doing so, they should first see if their baby can already do the following things:
– Can baby already sit with (or even without) support?
– Can he already hold his head in an upright position?
– Is your baby already curious as to what you are eating?
If you answered yes to any of these three questions, then yes, you can try weaning them to solids already.
When you have the food, do trial-and-error. If he doesn’t want to swallow and he pushes the food out with his tongue, then you may want to stop and wait for a couple of days before trying again.
Start with iron-fortified baby cereal. Mix a teaspoon of it with 4 to 5 tablespoons of either breast milk or formula milk. Serve it on a bowl, and tempted as you may be, do not put it in a bottle. Gradually adjust the quantity and the texture of the cereal over time. When he’s comfortable with the cereal, try pureeing vegetables, fruits and meat. Introduce one new food at a time. Let him eat it for at least 4 days before trying out another food group. During the 4-day period, observe him. If he develops any allergies or rashes, or even a tummy ache, you’ll know what caused it. Avoid eggs, fish, shellfish or peanut butter as these are usual factors contributing to allergies.
Be sure that when you start him on solids, he is comfortable with the idea. This is so you have an easy, hassle-free and enjoyable transition – one you will both cherish as a very good memory.
How do you know when to stop breastfeeding Find out what and how to do the proper wean, breastfeeding tips and stopping techniques. Click on the links now.
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