Babies develop very fast and by the time you are just settling into a great routine you realize it is already time to introduce a new thing. Babies can’t survive on breast milk or formula forever so they will need to be introduced to other more adult foods as they grow. This is known as weaning and is usually started at around 6 months of age.
There are so many myths passed around to new mothers about this process and these sometimes make weaning difficult. Some just end up confusing you and asking questions may seem a little rude or disrespectful, especially if the information is being given by an older woman. Some of these have to go however so that your baby gets the right kind of weaning.
Bland food comes first
Whoever started this story should be punished. You will find mothers being advised to give their babies bland foods all in the name of them being babies. Breast milk is not tasteless so they have already been introduced to flavor.
Your job when weaning is to continue encouraging the adjustment to more different flavors. Babies’ taste buds are still young and fresh so they will be very receptive to new bursts of flavor. Experiment with one item at a time while remembering to keep it tasty and natural.
With teeth comes solid food
Some babies cut their teeth very early and introducing solid foods as soon as teeth appear even though the baby is not almost six months yet is not a good idea. A baby’s gut is not yet ready for solid food before six months so just be patient and introduce solid food when their gut is right and not their teeth.
Babies that are underweight should be weaned early
It is actually quite the opposite. Babies with a small weight should continue breastfeeding until they are six months so that they can get their daily dose of nutrients and energy. Most of the foods introduced when weaning begins are usually of low energy.Your baby still needs this energy to continue growing so be a little patient with Mother Nature.
High fiber and low fat
Most parents are focused on their babies having enough fiber in their diet so that they can have regular bowel movement. More often than not this comes with something low in fat. Babies need more fat than adults and all the nutrients they can get so their diet should not include things like low-fat yoghurt or milk.
Some people say that delaying weaning will ensure that your baby does not develop any food allergies. This is not true at all because some allergies may even develop later. The only effect you may notice with delayed weaning is that your baby may not be too keen to try out solid foods even though they eventually come around.
When you start weaning you will realize that there are so many foods in the market that have a baby label on them. Yoghurt, milk and even cereal specifically made for babies will pop at you very often on the supermarket aisle but remember to read the labels. Some of these may have some unhealthy ingredients in them and you would not want to catch yourself eating, let alone your child.
You can make your own vegetable and fruit purees at home from fresh fruits and vegetables. Mash them up and serve them with an extra dollop of love and your baby will flourish as they enjoy mummy’s food. It may take a while before your baby gets used to the new food but she will eventually.