For every mom, the weaning process is a significant step in their child’s development. It is a period when the child gradually moves from breast milk or formula to solid food. As a mom, it can be an emotional time, but it is also a joyful milestone to celebrate. This blog post will discuss three essential things that moms need to know about the weaning process.
When to start weaning
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life. After six months, you can start introducing solid foods while still breastfeeding. In the Philippines, it is encouraged that mothers breastfeed their children up to two years of age, even if the babies are eating solid foods.
However, every child is unique, and some may be ready for solid food earlier, while others may need more time. It’s essential to watch for signs that your baby is ready to start weaning, such as sitting up well, showing interest in food, and chewing on toys. If you are unsure, consult with your pediatrician to ensure that your child is ready for the weaning process.
How to introduce solid foods
*This is based on my own personal experience and it may differ with what will work for you and your baby
When starting the weaning process for moms and babies, it’s crucial to introduce solid foods slowly. Begin with one meal per day and gradually increase the frequency as your baby’s appetite grows. You can start with pureed fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, apples, and sweet potatoes, and then move on to mashed or soft foods, such as avocado and cooked carrots. Avoid giving your baby foods that are high in sugar and salt, such as chips and candy, as they can be harmful to their health. I think Baby Yani was already 13 months when she tried eating chips (haha! She loves tasting different food). Additionally, ensure that the food is properly cooked and mashed to prevent choking. Sit with your baby every time they eat so that you can watch over them. But even if you watch over them, allow them to feed themselves and explore the food you served.
When you start the weaning process, it’s essential to remember that it’s a gradual transition for your child. You don’t have to stop breastfeeding immediately, but rather, slowly reduce the frequency of breastfeeding. You can begin by replacing one breastfeeding session with a solid food meal per day and gradually increase the number of solid food meals. Additionally, you can start to introduce a cup with water or formula to your baby. The weaning process can take several months, so be patient with your child and yourself.
As a mom, I thought I would stop breastfeeding my daughter, Baby Yani, earlier. My eldest daughter stopped breastfeeding at exactly 12 months. Baby Yani is now 16 months old and still breastfeeding continuously at night and sometimes during the day. I tried weaning her completely and even booked a hotel just to try out being away from her for the evening, but I ended up missing her and she missed hugging me, too. This is what happened… (Check out video).
Breastfeeding has been a rewarding experience for both of us, but I am also looking forward to the weaning process so that I can get back more time for myself. I have been slowly introducing solid foods and different kinds of foods, and I can see that she is curious about them. I am planning to continue breastfeeding while she wants it. I’ll adjust to what she wants.
The weaning process for moms can be an emotional time, but it’s also an exciting time for your child’s development. Remember to watch for signs that your baby is ready to start weaning, introduce solid foods slowly, and be patient with the process. If you have any concerns, consult with your pediatrician to ensure that your child is on track. With these tips, you can help make the weaning process a positive experience for both you and your child.
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