HELLOOOOO WEANING! YASS! You are growing fast! Weaning is this milestone that every mom looks forward to but still scares them most. I mean, the first 6 months are easy. Pure breastmilk or formula is enough. As they get older, their bodies requires more nutrients to support their growth and development. That’s when we introduce solid foods! Babies are greedy! By the time they are four months, you will notice that they want to grab your food while you eat, or give you “GIVE ME FOOD NOW OR I CRY” look. And as moms we feel sorry and helpless. Some of our fears being, is the digestive system well developed? How will they swallow solid food? What if they get chocked? What about infections? Should I boil or fry their foods? How much salt? How about allergies? How will the nanny warm food and ensure that it’s at a safe temperature for the baby to eat? The list can go on. That’s why in today’s post, I will give you a few golden rules of weaning and I hope to make your journey a little easier. Let me remind you. You are not alone.
- Start after 6 months of age- World health organization (WHO) recommends weaning at 6 months of age. By this age, babies have a well-developed digestive systems and have mastered the art of swallowing. Remember weaning is complimentary feeding meaning that it aids breastmilk in provision of nutrients in the baby. Weaning does not mean that you stop breastfeeding. One sure sign that your baby is ready for weaning is when you put semi-solid food in the mouth and she retain and swallows without vomiting
- Get feeding utensil and equipment’s- You need to purchase feeding cups and spoons. Preferable in variety of colours to get the baby’s attention. I highly recommend heat sensitive spoons to warn the feeder of the right temperature to give food. You may also consider acquiring a feeding chair and table to ensure that the baby sits at an upright position during meals time.
- Sanitize feeding utensils- You want to prevent your baby from any infection hence hygiene is paramount. Clean the utensil after use and sanitize them. You can dip them in boiling water for final rinsing and you will be sure to kill at least 99.9% of germs. I prefer doing this just before meals just to be sure.
- Warming food- Avoid heating the food directly. For cooked food, they will end being overcooked losing vital nutrients that your baby needs. Also, not heating the food ensure that the food stays fresh longer. Furthermore, some weaning foods like cereals are not cooked. Place the feeding cup containing baby’s food in a bowl hot water and keep stirring the food it it warms up. Heat sensitive spoons will indicate the right temperature. If you don’t have one, you can place a little food at the back of hands and feel the temperature. Avoid tasting using the baby’s spoon as you may spread infections.
- Three days rule- Do gradual introduction of solid food. Don’t be so excited to try out different recipes and foods just yet. Remember you still do not know the foods that your baby is allergic to. Use same ingredients at least for three days to detect any reaction. In case of allergies like itchiness, rashes, boils you may need to drop those ingredient for a while and try out others. After two months of weaning, you will have established the best ingredients and now you can play around with recipes.
- Start with mashies and purees- start with light foods of running consistency. Yes, we solid foods but remember the baby is only used to swallowing milk. Mash the food well to ensure that there is hardly any unswallowable piece in the food. You can blend or pass through sieve to ensure that the food is soft enough for the baby.
- Give water- You do not want to fight with constipation. You need to give water between means. Please give boiled or distilled water to avoid any germs. Also give it warm to avoid colds and coughs
- Start with fruits and vegetables- puree fruits like bananas, pawpaw, mangoes etc. When starting, give one fruit at a time. Vegetables like pumpkins, butternuts, green bananas and throw in a leaf or two of spinach, terere (Amaranth). I will giving recipes in a different post. So be sure to follow me not to miss a thing.
- Single grain porridge- I know moms are keen on nutritional aspect of the flour. So most of us mix so many grain like sorghum, millets, maize including omena into the baby’s porridge. Please do not go this route while starting weaning. Use single grain of flour e,g millet flour only for the first three months. From 10 months, depending on the baby’s reaction, you can now mix with other things.
- Oil and salt- use these two sparingly. They are important to the baby’s diet but too much could harm the baby. I recommend Elianto cooking oil as its cholesterol free and hence heart friendly.
- Avoid sugar- Avoid introducing sugar too soon to your baby.
- Youghurt and not cow milk- from 7 months you can introduce Natural yoghurt. Avoid cow milk as babies are not able to digest lactose at this age. Youghurt ha it lactose broken down and hence safe for the baby to drink and digest. You can add a banana or a fruit of your choice to sweeten the yoghurt.
Worried about when and how to introduce proteins? This is how to go about it
Those are my 12 commandments of weaning. Good luck in your journey. Remember that you need to be patient with your baby. Like, share and educate other new moms. It takes a village to raise a child! Please follow me on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook icon below not to miss a thing! Coming up! WEANING RECIPEEEE! I CANT WAIT TO SHARE. SEE YOU SOON!