Weaning your baby

Weaning your baby is a process, therefore it has to be done gradually for your baby to get used to the transition. The focus should be on the best nutrition for your baby at all times.

It is also important for a mother to gradually transition from breast milk to other forms of nutritious food as it will gradually diminish breast milk supply and avoid discomfort.

When to start weaning your baby off breast milk?

There is no specific age group to wean your baby off breast milk. Either you let your baby lead the weaning process or you. It is a decision you as a parent makes depending on the comfort of your baby and you. However, breast feeding is recommended atleast for the first six months after your baby is born. When you naturally start the process of introducing solid foods to your baby by the age of six months, your baby will automatically wean itself off breast milk – which is when the baby leads the weaning process. It’s a happier process.

However, if you consciously make an effort to wean the baby off then you are leading the weaning process. This may be a bit difficult for your baby to adjust as your baby may not be ready to be weaned off. You can start a combination of soft solids with breast feeding till the age of one.

However, it is recommended to breast feed your baby as long as your baby is comfortable with it. In such a case, do not force weaning.

Breast feed your baby if you have to and do not deprive the baby of the feed.

When not to wean your baby off breast feeding

  • If your baby is unwell, do not make a new change in the feeding patterns or weaning. Delay it till your baby is healthy again.
  • If you are stressed or unwell yourself, do not bring in the new change of weaning as it is a process that can be taxing and one needs to be patient throughout.
  • If you have changed the environment or there is a change of location or climate then do not bring in the new adjustment of weaning. Give you baby time to adjust to the new changes first.

 

Important Facts

  • Babies usually need the first and last breast feed. However, one can start skipping the afternoon breast feed and replace it with the doctor’s recommendation food plan. Compensating it with soft foods or formula is your choice according the babies age and a professional’s recommendation.
  • Once your baby is used to the change you can then drop another breast feed and replace it with the same.
    However, do not be in a rush to wean your baby off breast milk. Take it slow and steady.
    Observe how your baby reacts to the new food and if it is easily digestible. Follow what your baby is comfortable with; do not force your baby to have formula or other weaning foods. If your baby does not like it, you must breast feed your baby.
  • Remember each baby is different and so is the weaning process. What worked for another baby may not work for yours. The focus should be on your baby and its needs. Do not compare babies and their habits. Be sensitive to your baby’s needs and requirements.