Starting to wean!!!!

Kerry - posted on 03/19/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )




So my daughter is coming up to 4 months and i have been told to continue giving her milk until she is 6 months and not to start weaning her on porridge or rusks. Now when I had my son i was told to start at 4 months.
What do you guys think should i not start til she is 6 months or give it a go at 4 months????


Louise - posted on 03/19/2011




If your daughter is showing signs of being hungry by chewing her hands or crying for more feeds then it is time to move onto solids. Each child is different and needs treating differently.

Renae - posted on 03/19/2011




This recommendation is different in different countries and changes every few years when new research emerges. Currently the strongest evidence suggests waiting until 6 months. However, you should also watch your baby for signs of readiness as all babies are different (some are not ready until after 6mos). Signs include starring at you wantingly while you eat, trying to grab your food, trying to touch your face while you chew and making a chewing action when watching you eat.

Also, "weaning" is not quite the right term any more. This suggests that you are introducing food to take the place of milk, which should not be the case for the first few months. Babies obtain most of their nutrition from breastmilk or formula for the first 12 months and it is important that this is not decreased in the first months of introducing food.

Generally the first food offered to babies is rice cereal. This doesnt contain any nutrition (except iron is now added to most brands since research about 5 years ago showing iron levels in breastfeeding mothers start depleting after 6 months). The purpose of cereal is to make a solid substance out of the baby's usual milk, so that they can practise eating (to aid sensory development, muscle development and digestive development). Once cereal is going down well you can introduce other foods. There are plenty of lists on the internet that suggest appropriate orders of foods to introduce.

Initially, give one feed per day approximately 20-40 minutes after a milk feed. Increase this to 2 feeds after about a month and then 3 feeds. At around 10 months the baby is usually obtaining more nutrition from the food and will automatically begin to decrease their milk intake. At this time you can start to offer the solid food first and top up with milk after. By 12 months the baby should be eating 3 meals per day and milk feeds down to 2-3 per day. If you wish to continue milk feeds past 12 months, they are commonly given either first thing in the morning and last thing at night - or with morning and afternoon tea.


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