Pediatrician's Guide on Weaning

A Pediatrician’s Guide on Weaning- When, How & What to Do to Make your Child Eat Better

What is Weaning?

Weaning is the process through which a baby gradually becomes accustomed to eating adult foods and becomes less reliant on breast milk. The procedure differs from culture to culture and is frequently regulated by the child’s specific requirements. It is a complex process that starts at six months and continues until the baby starts eating correctly.

Pediatrician's Guide on Weaning

What is the Right Age to Wean My Baby

The IAP recommended exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months following birth and combined breastfeeding with solid foods until at least age one. Breastfeeding is advised for as long as you and your child choose to continue.

The decision to wean your child is a personal one. It’s frequently best to start weaning when your baby starts on its own. Breastfeeding patterns often change naturally at 6 months, when solid foods are typically introduced. Around the age of one, some babies begin to seek alternative forms of sustenance and comfort. By this age, most youngsters can eat a range of solid meals and drink from a cup. Other children may delay weaning until they are toddlers when they are less willing.

Your child may have another time in mind when you decide to wean. Some children wean themselves sooner than their mothers intended, while others resist weaning when their mothers are ready. People who wean later in life are more resistant. A 2-year-old toddler, for example, may be more connected and less flexible about discontinuing breastfeeding than a 12-month-old baby. It’s critical to take it slow and be sensitive to each other’s needs during times like this.

How to Start Weaning My Baby? How baby will start eating solid food?

Weaning is a slow and gradual process. You cannot start giving your baby solid foods immediately after breastfeeding. There are specific weaning guidelines to be followed before beginning the process.

If you want to ensure that your baby receives the benefits of breast milk for as long as possible, you can start pumping instead of nursing; until you’re ready to wean your baby completely. Drop one feeding at a time. Give him formula before a nursing session or progressively reduce the feeding time. Cow’s milk or a snack can replace breast milk for toddlers over one.

Take note of how your child is handling the transition. Some newborns and toddlers adapt quickly to weaning. However, if your child is waking up more at night or behaving moodily, it could signal that things are moving too fast.

Weaning Guide for 0 to 3 Months / Let your baby start eating solid food during 0 to 3 Month

Early weaning can be simpler because your baby isn’t as attached to breastfeeding as he would be a few months later. You will need to accustom him to the bottle, which you may do by introducing it before each breastfeeding session and discontinuing nursing entirely.

Weaning Guide for 3 to 6 months / Let your baby start eating solid food during 3 to 6 Month

By four months, your kid has most likely developed an attachment to his regular source of nutrition: your breasts. Weaning may be more difficult as a result.

Begin gradually with the daily feeding he dislikes the most, and then taper off from there.

Weaning Guide for 6 to 12 months / Let your baby start eating solid food during 6 to 12 Month

by now, your baby must be highly aware of his environment. It is the correct time to stop breastfeeding. Start by delaying feeding times and instead give mashed or pureed foods to the baby. Ask your pediatrician about the diet before introducing other solid foods.

Best Way to Let your baby start eating solid food

Weaning should be done gradually to allow both mom and baby to acclimate physically and emotionally to the transition.

Here are four essential ways to make the weaning process easy for your baby.

1). Have family table time- After six months, at least have one meal together with your baby. Sit and eat in front of him. It does mean that you force feed the baby; instead, he will observe what you are doing and gradually would want to repeat the same.

2). Teach your baby about food and hand & mouth coordination-  Talk and eat in front of your baby. Teach him what is going on. For ex: “hand is going in mommy’s mouth”, etc. The baby will slowly understand what is happening. Once he gets hold of his hand-and-mouth coordination, it will still take time for him to put food in his mouth. But after 7-10 days or more, he will understand the process of eating.

3). Never grind or churn the baby’s food- Grinding will make your baby swallow the food directly. He won’t learn to chew and adjust to other foods. Make sure to add semi-mashed and semi-solid foods to your baby’s diet.

4). Make eating a joyful process– Remember, weaning has to be a joyous process. Your baby needs to understand that as well. Force-feeding your baby can make him stressed and make the weaning process even harder.

Weaning might take several days, weeks, or months. Even if you have successfully weaned your kid from day feedings, you may wish to continue breastfeeding in the morning and before your child’s bedtime to maintain that feeling of closeness.

It is advisable to consult your pediatrician to make the weaning process more manageable.

Do you have doubts about your baby’s weaning journey?

Get connected with the best pediatricians in Surat at Nirmal Hospital.  The Pediatrics department at Nirmal hospital boasts of top pediatricians in Gujarat, who are committed to provide personalized and inclusive care for wide-ranging pediatric specialties.  At Nirmal, we follow a patient-centric treatment plan to offer comprehensive treatment according to the unique needs of each patient. We strive to prevent and treat diseases affecting pediatric patients and help them live happy, healthy lives while providing comfort and convenience to their families.