Weaning your baby from milk to solid foods is definitely a milestone that is worth celebrating. But to be sure that you are providing your baby with the nutrition that he or she needs through this important transition, check out the tips below.
A Few Quick Guidelines
If you are weaning your baby when he or she is under 6 months of age, you can substitute a bottle feeding for every nursing session that is eliminated. Be aware that your baby may be reluctant to take a bottle at first.
Also, it is best if you wean your baby gradually over the course of a few weeks or months. The pace at which your baby is weaned will ultimately depend upon your child, so be patient. Weaning your baby in this way will allow you to carefully evaluate your child at every step to ensure he or she is getting the right nutrition.
Weaning Gradually within the First Year
During your baby’s first year, there are a lot of changes that take place, and weaning is one of them. Your baby may start showing signs of wanting to wean at any point from 6 months to 12 months, so it is important to pay attention. Many babies will typically lose their interest in nursing from you anywhere from 8 to 10 months of age.
Foods That You Can Give to Your Baby
When your baby is ready to try some solid foods, you can begin by giving him or her just a teaspoon of iron-fortified, single-grain baby cereal. A good example is rice cereal. Simply mix this with 4 or 5 teaspoons of your breast milk. As your baby becomes used to eating the cereal, you can begin introducing other yummy foods, such as pureed fruits and vegetables, as well as pureed meat.
The key is to give your baby one new food to try at a time. Wait a minimum of 3 days to see how your baby’s body adjusts before adding another new food. You want to be certain there aren’t any allergic reactions. By 9 to 12 months, however, your baby should be eating small amounts of mashed or finely chopped finger foods like graham crackers or dry cereal.
Even though weaning your baby off milk and onto solid foods can seem complicated, it is a natural process that will occur gradually and with surprising ease if you follow your baby’s cues and you do a bit of research in advance to know what to expect. Of course, if you have any questions about the nutrition that you are providing to your baby, just ask your doctor, who can steer you in the right direction and ensure your baby will grow big and strong.