“Is my baby ready for solid foods?🤷♀️”
“How should I go about introducing my baby to solids?🍎”
“What if my baby refuses to take in solids?👶”
These could be some questions that might be looming in your mind when it comes to weaning your baby.
Fret not! This article will help you unlock all your fundamental understanding of weaning so that it will be a breeze when you embark on this fun adventure with your little one!
What is weaning
Weaning is the process of switching your baby’s diet from breastmilk or formula milk to solid foods for their further growth.
There are two basic approaches to this transitional phase:
• Traditional weaning – starting with spoon-fed purees and gradually introducing mashed textures, followed by finger foods
• Baby-led weaning – skipping spoon-feeding and the smooth food phase; instead, as the name suggests, letting your baby take the lead by allowing them to feed themselves with whatever the rest of the family is having, but in smaller chunks and lumps
Wondering which approach is more suitable for your child? Well, either of them is fine! As long as your child sticks to a healthy, pure and nutritious diet, a well-balanced growth is guaranteed regardless of which weaning approach is used.
Read on below to find out how to start your baby off on solids — the organic way!
When to wean?
From 6-month-old onwards, babies require more than just breast milk or formula milk for further growth, as their nutritional needs start to exceed what can be given by breast milk or formula milk. This means that solid are needed around the age of 6 months to prevent their growth from faltering.
Tips to wean successfully
Now onto the practicals: how to get your baby off to a good start with solid foods! Explore 5 key tips below for a smooth, healthy and fun weaning experience with your baby.
1. Gradually reduce breastfeeding, one step at a time
The best way to introduce solid foods to your baby is to do it slowly and patiently. Begin by replacing breastfeedings your child needs with solids. If they refuse the latter, breastfeeding can be continued, but try shortening the amount of time spent on feeding or postponing it. This way, your baby will eventually grow less interested in breastfeeding for a smooth weaning transition.
2. Allow your baby to touch and hold the food
In other words, let them play and explore the food before their eyes! The more they do this, the more they learn and become accustomed easily to eating solid foods.
Here’s how you can do it: for traditional weaning, allow your baby to hold the spoon to feed themselves, as soon as they show an interest; for BLW, give them the liberty to touch, feel and taste an array of food textures as well as flavors — all at their own pace.
3. Keep distractions at bay
This is very important if you do not want your baby wandering around mealtime! Make an effort to eliminate surrounding distractions that might steal your baby’s attention away while eating. These include phones, tablets and televisions.
4. Show ample physical affection
For some babies, weaning from the breast indicates separation from a parent. So, keep your little one close to you at all times and soothe them with ample hugs, kisses and cuddles.
5. Set a good example
Show them the right way to eat! Babies often copy what their parents do, from the way they put food into their mouths to even what kind of food they have (yes, it’s true). That said, consuming healthier foods and fostering a good weaning diet for your baby simultaneously can help your child set up a healthy journey throughout life.