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Weaning & Nutrition

 

Weaning to Solids

The benefits of breast-feeding for both you and your baby are not only to nurture the mother-child relationship. It helps build immunity and can help in cutting down the risk of developing breast cancer. Breast feeding (up to the age of 6 months) may also delay the development of allergic disease in high-risk infants (those with a family history of allergies). The ideal is to breast-feed (or bottle-feed) your baby up to the age of 6 months, and then introduce solid foods gradually as a supplement to their milk until the age of 1 year. However some babies are extra hungry! If this is the case for your child, weaning can begin from 4 months.

 

How to Wean

Breast milk is the ideal food for infants up to the age of 4 to 6 months. Formula milk is the best substitute for breast milk. A baby should never be given cow’s milk as a substitute of either of these as it does not contain the balance of vital minerals and vitamins needed in those first months. From 4 to 6 months it becomes important to start introducing ‘solid’ foods. As your baby grows, she requires more iron and other nutrients than breast milk alone can provide. However, weaning off breast milk can be a challenging task!
Weaning has to be a gradual process of introducing different flavours and textures to allow your baby time to adapt and accept solids as he/she learns to chew and swallow. Introducing a variety of individual flavours and textures (such as apples, pumpkins, carrots) gives your child the opportunity to differentiate between tastes and subsequently helps in recognizing each flavour. It also allows you to identify any foods that your child may potentially have an allergic reaction to.