Weaning is a process when a baby shifts from breast milk to semi solid or solid food items. It is one of the important milestones in the development of your baby.
Weaning is very important after six months as the growing baby does not get all required nutrients from breast milk. You should exclusively breast feed your baby till six months of age but after that you must gradually start introducing semi solid food.
Always wean slowly and gradually. Never force your baby and be patient. There are some signs that indicate that your baby is ready for weaning. Some of them are:
– When your baby shows interest in other food items.
– When your baby can sit in a proper upright position to eat.
– Keeps chewing on whatever is available.
Weaning earlier than six months may lead to digestive or other stomach disorders. On the other hand, weaning too late may result in under nourishment.
Try to introduce new food very gradually. Introduce only one new food at one time so that it is easier to know which foods can cause allergies for your baby.
Some semi solid food items which you can introduce are:
Boiled vegetables, boiled rice, oats, banana, fruit juice, cereals etc. Also you can easily find variety of baby foods in the market.
Never leave your baby unattended while he is eating. Make sure that the temperature of the food is right for a small baby. Never force your baby to eat something. If your baby refuses to eat a particular food, try to re-introduce it after few days.
You can make some alterations to suit the tastes of the baby. Encourage all family members to sit together with the baby. This increases the enthusiasm of the baby and helps in inculcating proper eating habits in the baby.
Try to avoid foods which are very salty or spicy. Stay away from foods which a baby cannot chew like nuts or seeds. Remember that some food items are not meant for babies like coffee, tea, cold drinks etc.
Do not feel disappointed if your baby is a fussy eater. Have patience and try to understand the taste of your baby and then prepare the food accordingly.