The very thought of this process made my life very stressful. I would read every little piece of information available on the internet about it. I also asked new parents as to how they did it and what their experience was. So, here is the information that I found useful.
What is weaning process
It is when you start your baby on something other than your breast milk. It would be the first time you introduce outside food
How do you know when your baby is ready and when to start?
It is advisable to keep the baby on mother’s milk for the first 6 months and then start the weaning process.
There are several signs for you as a parent to identify that your baby is ready for the weaning process. Few of these signs occur before your baby turns 6 months once you notice all the signs it is safe for you to conclude that he or she ready.
1) Sitting up by themselves
2) Holding their head up
3) Hand, eye, mouth coordination
4) Shows interest in the food you eat
5) The most important of all is that they are still hungry after a feed
It is always advisable to consult your pediatrician before you start the weaning process.
How long does the process take?
For the first 6 months, the baby must be on breast milk. You start when your baby is 6 months, and it would take 6 months to completely wean off your baby. Take it one step at a time. Don’t be in a hurry to get done with the process this will only cause stress to you and your baby. Do it gradually. Reduce the number of times you feed in a day by replacing it with an external feed. This will gradually decrease your milk supply as well. There are a couple feeds during the day that babies take to comfort themselves. You will know better as to which times they do so. These should be the lasts ones you stop.
How many meals?
You start with one meal a day and slowly increase to replace every meal and completely off the breast milk. Don’t feel hassled if they don’t immediately take to external food. They might reject the food as well. But, be patient. They will adapt to it. Keep track of what your baby likes and dislikes. This will make your life easy going forward. Give a gap of 4 days between every new food you start. This gives you the time to analyse if your baby is taking to it well or not. Also keep an eye out for any allergic reactions your baby might get.
What should the diet be?
Diet for 6-9 months babies should include the following
- Dairy foods
Milk and Dairy foods should contribute to at least 40% of the total daily intake. Try not to introduce salt or sugar until the age of 1
Foods to avoid during the process of weaning
- Cow milk
- Veggies that could result in gas
- Citrus fruits
How Mom’s need to take care of themselves during this process.
Mom’s go through an emotional and stressful phase while baby’s weaning process.
Your baby will slowly reduce feeding from you, and this might accumulate milk in your breast making it hard. Keep checking for it and if you do feel something get yourself checked with the doctor immediately.