Weaning can be defined as a process where there is a gradual transition from an infant’s diet to a fully grown adult’s diet. Weaning is considered a period of complementary feeds, which helps an infant to establish a better connection with food. Weaning can also be considered as a process of developing infants taste buds. Weaning should always be introduced after 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding (from birth to 6 months).
Since the entire process of weaning takes a lot of patience and perseverance, mothers are expected to be creative to bring the best introductions in her child’s menu. It is more of a trial method for the new mum, as it helps her govern a basic taste of her tiny tot.
Below are some points which can benefit both the new mum and the baby towards effective weaning.
Points to be kept in mind for a fruitful weaning
- Feed only supple or soft foods To avoid the potential risk of choking, which can be common with the foods like apple, grapes, nuts, popcorns, The rule here to follow is to make sure that the food fed, should be soft enough to get mashed between the finger and the thumb. It becomes very important to go choke free. One can conveniently start with blends.
- Offer purees and nutrient dense meals Weaning should be a gradual and relishing process and purees play a vital role in resetting the overall process since they are loaded with important nutrients and are also easy to digest, they can be an ideal meal to begin for the growing infant.
- Diversify the baby’s prospect as a part of growing Babies like to see the world as a process of constant change and learning. Including wide varieties of mild herbs like basil, turmeric in his daily weaning diet, will help in developing a stronger immune response.
- Discourage the use of salt, sugar and honey all together Do not encourage the use of salt and sugar till the baby turns one. They can prove to be very heavy on the baby’s tiny developing system, without contributing much on a nutritional front.
- Go slow and enjoy the overall process Considering this period as a time of bonding with your baby, by doing so you will be able to help your baby attain a healthy, positive and fun loving rapport with the new mum and the food, which will last with the baby for rest of his life. By any sort of force feeding involved, baby can get rebellious and might never want to have food at all.
- Encourage self-feeding By encouraging it, the baby will eventually learn the process of self-feeding. Self-feeding will help the baby to have a better grip over fine motor grip and also help him be more independent. Self-feeding should be monitored under vigilance and allow baby learn self-feeding by himself, in spite of some futile attempts.
Weaning should be a gradual, happy and a positive process, which should be initially done at a turtle pace. It should evolve as a learning process for both mother and the baby since that will help them to establish a better understanding and connection with the food habits. Weaning can sum up to the benefit of new mum by attaining a better understanding towards baby’s food preferences.