Weaning can be defined as the transition phase of toddler’s feeding, during which they change their feeding habit from breast milk or formula milk to cups.
As infants grow their body needs additional nutrients and vitamins for their development. This essential requirement is not fulfilled by either mother’s breast milk or any formula milk. So, it’s very important for mother to start the process of weaning in their kids. Besides this, weaning is also essential because of the following reasons:
* As kids grow, they become reluctant and hence it becomes very difficult to get them out from the habit of breast feeding and bottle feeding.
* It helps in eye-hand and brain development of kids.
* Chances of tooth decay and obesity is more in bottle feeding babies.
* Delay in weaning process may delay the development of feeding skills.
* Encourages baby for transition to solid foods
Before starting the weaning process in babies, moms should always look for the following clues and hints to see if the baby is ready for weaning.
* Usually a breast fed baby gets distracted very easily while breast feeding.
* It may show interest in drinking liquids in glasses or cups or in others solid foods.
* Baby is able to sit down on its own
Weaning is a gradual and consistent process.So; mothers should always show patience and should not lose hope and determination. This slowly helps in changing the time table of the baby and in adjusting to the same. They should never switch back to bottle during feeding time.
The process of weaning should be a relaxed process. Introduce a sippy cup during one of his feeding time. Repeat this feeding with cup on the same time next day also. Gradually increase the number of feeds with the sippy cup, there by decreasing the frequency of bottle feeding or breast feeding. Parents should preferably buy cups with handles, spouted lids or baby cups with straws to make it easier and attractive for their babies.
During this process, babies must be encouraged and appreciated. Parents must spend extra time with them and ponder their love, affection and cuddle them. Even at nights, parents must use spill proof cups for giving water to their babies.