Weaning should be done gradually only after four months of exclusive breast feeding. Introduction of solids should be done to develop a wide range of tastes in the baby. Outside food should be given along with breast milk. Since breast milk protects the baby from many infections and illnesses, so it should be continued for up to at least one year.
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 breastfeedingthe 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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- The Indiaparenting Team