Weaning or complementary feeding, also known as introducing solid foods while continuing breastfeeding, is a crucial phase for infants. Parents often wonder, “When to start weaning?” as they navigate this transition. In this comprehensive guide, we will address this common query and provide insights and guidelines on determining the appropriate time to start weaning for your baby.
When to start weaning for babies?
The decision of when to start weaning your baby and introduce solid foods can be a confusing and overwhelming one for many mothers. With conflicting suggestions from family, friends, and doctors, it’s crucial to rely on well-founded recommendations backed by extensive research. Through extensive research on this issue, I have compiled the following evidence-based recommendations to help you navigate this important milestone and make an informed decision regarding when to start weaning.
Recommendations on When to Start Weaning
According to the guidelines set by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it is generally recommended to begin weaning around 6 months of age. This timeframe aligns with the readiness of your baby’s digestive system and nutritional needs.
Recent studies have revealed that introducing a variety of food varieties between the 17th and 27th week of life can potentially reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including allergies and coeliac disease. This highlights the significance of gradually introducing diverse foods within this specific time window.
It’s important to note that your pediatrician may have differing opinions from the aforementioned guidelines. Ultimately, the choice of when to start weaning is yours and should be based on your baby’s individual needs and developmental readiness.
Research conducted by the AAP has shown that introducing solid foods before 4 months of age carries a higher risk of obesity later in life. Therefore, it is strongly advised to avoid starting weaning before the 4-month mark. Instead, beginning the weaning process between 5 and 6 months, as recommended by the AAP, allows your baby to reach important developmental milestones and reduces potential health risks.
How to know my baby is ready for solids
- Baby can hold her head. Head control milestone is achieved by the end of 3 months.
- The baby is able to sit upright with or without support.
- The baby can move the tongue in and out but does not push the food out.
- Makes chewing motions.
- When you are eating, she puts out her tongue and watches closely your hand and mouth.
Precautions to be taken while feeding solids
- Always feed the baby sitting upright, never feed with baby lying flat on its back.
- Use soft-tipped spoon so that it does not injure the tender gums of the baby.
- Before making the baby food, take caution to sterilize all the equipment and utensils.
- Baby Food Maker are available in the market which is easy to clean and sterilize.
- To provide more calories, the food should be thick in consistency, so that it stays in the spoon without running off.
- Consume the food within 2 hours of preparation, any left over should be discarded, and fresh food should be prepared for the baby’s next meal.
You can check out the Monthwise Diet chart for each month.
Check out our complete Guide on Starting Solids for your baby
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The article is based on the views of the author and it is the sole discretion of the reader to implement it, the author does not take responsibility for it.
# – 2013 Sep-Oct;41(5):337-45. doi: 10.1016/j.aller.2012.08.012. Epub 2012 Dec 31.The timing of introduction of solid food and risk of allergic disease development: understanding the evidence.
Sansotta N1, Piacentini GL, Mazzei F, Minniti F, Boner AL, Peroni DG.
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