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Weaning the Baby onto Solids

When should solids be introduced in a child's diet

If the mother is breastfeeding the baby, she should give breast milk exclusively in the first four months, and then from the fifth month onwards, start introducing solids (see section on introducing solids).  From the fifth month onwards, breastfeeding should be continued, but you can now start weaning the baby and introduce the other foods in her diet.  Note that as the baby starts having less of the mother's milk, water should also be introduced.

If the baby is having breast milk, when should regular milk be introduced

Either cow's or buffalo's milk can be introduced in the child's diet around 8-9 months.  If the baby is breastfeeding well, it can be delayed even more, because external milk often does not suit very young babies. Note that you should continue breastfeeding the baby, although the number of breast feeds may now be reduced to about 3 times a day.  Since breast milk protects the baby from many infections and illnesses, breastfeeding (along with other foods) should be continued until the baby is at least 1 year old.

I have been told that I should introduce only one new food each week

The purpose of weaning is to not only introduce the baby to regular food, but also to develop a wide range of tastes in the baby.  Therefore, instead of sticking to the same diet everyday, it is good to vary the diet with different foods.  However, do not introduce different foods at the same time.  In fact, introduce only one new food each week and try it for a few days.  The reason is that you will know if the child is tolerating that food well, or if it does not suit him.  For the same reason, many of the readymade foods like Gerber have infant foods with only one kind of fruit or vegetable in a bottle.

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