Weaning Your Baby

As your baby grows his dietary requirements also change. After six months mother’s milk is not enough to take care of his growing requirements. Doctors advice introducing semi-solid foods to your baby at six months and gradually moving to solid foods. Some mothers also want to wean their babies at this stage. Although doctors advice on breastfeeding a baby for at least 12 months, however for some babies mother’s milk is not enough to fill their requirements.

At whatever stage you plan to wear your baby it is important to do it slowly. Sudden deprivation of mother’s closeness might leave the baby traumatized. For a mother also abrupt weaning can lead to painful breast engorgement. Although only one breast gets affected yet the feeling of hardness is extremely uncomfortable.

Start by reducing only one feeding session. If you nurse your baby six times a day, now do it only five times. Eliminate the feed that your baby is normally fussy about. Follow these five feeding sessions for a period of at least a week more if you feel your baby is not adjusted in a week. Also try feeding your baby formula milk in a bottle.

If the baby is a year old or more, you can offer the baby solid substitutes instead of breast milk. When it is feeding time engage the baby in some fun activity or by taking him to the park for a walk. If the baby is not one yet give him bottle milk when it is time for his feeding session.
If your attempts at distracting the baby don’t work, give up. Pushing your baby will make him cranky and fussy. So nurse the baby if only for a few minutes. This comfort feeding will greatly satisfy his emotional need if not his physical need.

Don’t offer sodas and other sugary drinks as substitute to breast milk. These will fill the baby’s tummy without providing any nutritional value. Also calorie laden drinks lead to weakening of bones as well as causing tooth decay. Babies will also feel a little insecure when you start the weaning process. The baby starts missing the physical closeness with the mother. Spend some extra time with the baby. Reassure him by keeping him physically close to you and engaging in physical demonstration of your love.

Anubha Pandey