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September 13, 2017 - How to know when to wean your child? okMy mood while writing this blog:

As the baby grows up day by day and month by month, one question that is on every nursing mom’s mind is ‘when should I start weaning my child?’ Weaning is a stage when the baby stops breast feeding and starts to take semi-solids and solids as food. Weaning does not necessarily mean that the emotional bond and connection between you and your baby will diminish; it will take shape in other forms at various growing up stages of your baby.

Generally, babies start solid food at six to eight months, but this may differ from child to child. So, there is no permanent time frame to wean a child. See for the signs that will tell you if your baby is ready to be weaned.

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Is the baby ready to be weaned?

Don’t set a timeline for weaning your baby, as there is no set time to wean the baby. See and observe if your baby is ready for the step. Doctors recommend that you nurse your baby for the first six months exclusively on the mother’s milk and slowly introduce solid from thereon. But, your baby might want to start solids before or after this six months’ time frame. Consult your paediatrician and see if easing your child into solids is okay for the child.

Is it too soon or late?

Weaning your baby too early or too late can result in either digestive disorders or lack of essential nutrients that they will get from food items. Weaning too early (before 4 months) and starting on solids can prove to be fatal as their digestive system is not fully developed and this will lead to digestive disorders.

Weaning too late will lead to nutrients deficiency that the breast milk is insufficient in providing. Another drawback is that the baby will get so used to breast feeding that they will refuse to take the bottle as a substitute. Mothers might find it difficult to get the baby used to the bottles or cups.

How to wean?

Try skipping one or two feeds a day and replace it with formulas or cups and see if the baby is showing any interest in them. Slowly, reduce the feedings to a minimum as this will give ample time to your baby to adjust to the change.

Don’t just jump on the solids when you reduce the milk intake of your baby. Ease them slowly onto the solids. Introduce soft foods like boiled and mashed apples, bananas, and watery porridge. Introduce water in cups and sippers to make up for the water requirement that was previously met by the mother’s milk.

It is best if your baby initiates the weaning process. The best way is to follow the ‘don’t offer, don’t refuse’ mantra to make it easy for your child to ease into the change.

Ruchi Gupta is a mother of 2, a parenting blogger and loves to travel and explore the children’s world deeply and intimately.



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