The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding or using formula for only the first six months, and then combining it with solid foods for up to six months. * Weaning and introducing solid foods can seem like a daunting task, but there are things you can do to make it easier. When you think your child is ready, check out these steps we've created to help you.
Some children may wean naturally when they experience the solid foods they like to eat. For others, breastfeeding or their bottle may be comfortable and may be more difficult. Weaning can take days, weeks or months. You may consider weaning if:
● your child eats solid foods well
● the bottle just calms you down
● your baby seems hungry, even if he has just been bottle fed or breast fed
You may need to wait to start weaning if:
● Your child may have allergies that you want to be tested for. If you or the baby's father are allergic to certain foods, such as gluten or dairy, you should wait until you are sure they are safe to eat these foods before introducing complementary foods.
● Your child is sick or teething. This bottle comforts them and keeps them hydrated when they feel sick. The ingredients in breast milk can actually help your child fight disease.
● Your child is going through a major life change. Moving house, getting out of bed, starting nursery are all examples of when you might decide to wait for weaning.
To start the weaning process, change solids slowly during feedings and remove nighttime feedings. I figured it was easier to provide food than to cancel nighttime feedings, so I did that first, but every child is different. It's important to be patient and flexible when you can support your child.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the introduction of solid foods at 4-6 months of age. You can choose to prepare your own baby food or buy pre-made food.
Signs that your baby is ready for solid foods include:
● they can sit up straight and hold their heads up
● can shut up around the spoon
● Can move food from the front of the mouth to the back of the mouth
Start with simple mashed fruits, veggies, and meat, and as your kids get used to it, you can add pasta, bread and work from there. Start with one food and wait 2-3 days before introducing another. This way, if your child has an allergic reaction, you can easily tell what it is. Don't expect them to eat a lot right away. It will initially be more of a workout than a meal.
How to wean and introduce complementary foods! The two go hand in hand, and if done well, they can complement each other! What was the first food you introduced to your baby?