Weaning refers to the process through which children nearing the age of 1 are gradually introduced to solid food whilst simultaneously reducing breast milk supply until the child is exclusively reliant on sold food for nourishment. Weaning off your baby on time (Between 6 months to a year ) ensures that your baby receives holistic nutrition, explores different food sources and texture, and develops important motor and developmental skills.
Here are some tips and tricks that new parents can try while getting their baby to wean off from breastfeeding:
- Weaning requires as much effort as breastfeeding does, if not more. Babies find most experiences new and refreshing and get accustomed to various activities at their own pace. Ingesting solid food after sustaining on breastfeed for a prolonged period is also a whole new activity and each child takes to it differently. All babies are not likely to react to all food textures the same way. Some kids might be quicker than the others. Do not get disheartened, be flexible, and keep trying patiently.
- Babies can process and are very receptive to encouragement, especially when it comes from their primary caretakers. In your own love language, reward and motivate your child to try out different varieties, flavors, and textures of food while getting your baby to wean off breast milk.
- Allow your baby to convey the cue for when they need to be fed versus when they are full. Observe your baby’s eating pattern and make sure not to force-feed your child.
- In order for their digestive tracts and body clock to accommodate this change in diet, Follow a consistent baby diet chart when your baby is:
- 4 months old
- 5 months old
- 6 months old
- Even though this might end up becoming a rather messy affair, allow your baby to explore, enjoy, and devour his/her food on their own. If your baby takes the initiative to touch solid food, it is a good sign that he/she is taking to baby-led weaning.
- Allow your baby to hold his/her bottle or spoon on his/her own.
- Keep distractions to a minimum so that your baby can focus his/her entire attention towards getting accustomed to the food.
- The best way to get your baby to feed himself/herself is by encouraging hi/her to copy your actions. Demonstrating how to eat would be really helpful as babies often tend to imitate people in their surroundings if sufficiently encouraged.
- Subconsciously, babies manage to relate themselves a lot more to other kids or toddlers closer to them in age than adults. Hence if you have other kids around, encourage him/her to dine with or around your baby so that your baby feels encouraged to eat on their own quicker.
- Do not substitute breast milk for any other form of animal milk as a part of weaning off. Toddlers’ digestive tracts are not designed to break down the solubles found in animal milk. Make sure to introduce animal milk to your child only after they have turned a year old.
Weaning off your child is a natural step in the process of child-rearing. Embrace the process, so that both you as well as your baby develop a healthy attitude towards it. Weaning off your child overnight is neither good for you, nor good for the baby. Go about it strategically and make sure to consult an expert via the doctor online app in case of any hiccups.