What is weaning?
The term weaning is derived from the Anglo-Saxon “wenian”, which means “to become accustomed to something different”. When your baby has stopped breast feeding and gets all of his nutrition from other sources than the breast milk, he / she is considered weaned. At present the World Health Organisation recommends that all babies be breastfed or formula fed exclusively for six months before introduction of solids.
In the past, many babies were fed solid foods at very young ages. It is now believed that their bodies were unable to cope with the demands this placed on them; a dramatic increase in the incidence of allergies and food intolerance meant guidelines were reviewed and altered.
When to start weaning?
Remember – “All babies are different”. If you need a consultation, we are here for you. Following are the signs of readiness for babies
- Putting toys and objects in their mouth
- Chewing fists
- Watching others who are eating with interest, trying to take food off the plate
- Waking in the night when previously sleeping through.
- Good head control, able to sit in high chair
When your baby is six months old, and you are sure that he is ready for solid food (see above signs), try a teaspoonful of watery baby rice or baby porridge. Try to keep foods very bland and runny at the beginning. Introduce runny porridge initially but move quickly to more lightly blended food. Even without teeth babies of over 6 months can negotiate harder and more lumpy food.
Which are the ideal foods for weaning?
Mashed or lightly blended soft cooked fruit and vegetables, parsnip, broccoli, potato, yam, sweet potato, carrot, apple or pear. Finger foods when you are ready for baby-lead weaning (letting them feed themselves from the start). There’s no more risk of choking when a baby feeds themselves than when they’re fed with a spoon.
Our health visitor can give you the complete list of foods you can try.
It is wise to only introduce one food at a time so that you can identify any intolerance or allergies. Sometimes these can take several days to take effect, so stick to one food for a few days before moving onto another.