Weaning is the process of gradually introducing solid foods to a baby’s diet and reducing their dependence on breast milk or formula.
There are many different ways of achieving this that differ to practices that used to be implemented. It is important to remember that this is you and your baby’s individual journey.
In other words, other people’s opinions about how you should wean your baby are not important. What is important is your own individual journey with your baby.
The following are some methods of weaning babies:
- Baby-led weaning: This method involves allowing the baby to self-feed and choose what to eat from a selection of soft finger foods. The baby is encouraged to explore different tastes and textures at their own pace.
- Traditional weaning/Spoon feeding: This involves introducing pureed or mashed foods gradually, starting with very small amounts and increasing as the baby becomes more comfortable. This method is often recommended for babies who may have difficulty self-feeding or have special dietary needs.
- Combination feeding: This involves combining breastfeeding or formula feeding with solid foods. The baby is given small amounts of solid food in addition to their usual milk feeds.
- Gradual reduction: This involves gradually reducing the number of breastfeeds or formula feeds over a period of several weeks or months. The baby is introduced to solid foods during this time and eventually weaned off breast milk or formula completely.
It’s important to remember that weaning should be a gradual process, and babies should be allowed to progress at their own pace. It’s also important to introduce a variety of healthy foods and avoid any potential allergens. Consult with a healthcare provider or a paediatrician before starting any weaning method.
In addition, weaning can be a very emotional time for the mother. Especially if the baby has breastfed. Breastfeeding can be a very special time between a mother and her infant and it is important to remember the emotional implications of weaning.
At Hera Family Care we are here to support you!