As a mother, you want the best for your child. But just like every mother is different, so is every baby and every parenting journey.
It’s worth noting that every journey starts and ends in unique circumstances, so as a mom, you shouldn’t compare yourself with what other mothers are doing for their babies. The decision to wean should be a personal decision, and no matter what factors trigger it, it can be a very emotional time.
For instance, you may feel sentimental, relieved, or sad, and at times, all the three combined. However, as a mother, you should feel proud for what you have accomplished whether it’s for some years, months or weeks you gave your baby the best nutrition you could, and that’s all that matters.
Here are some tips to make the weaning process easier for both you and the baby:
Introduce one food at a time
When starting the weaning process, it’s always advisable that you start with just one meal at a time. This way, your baby will be able to adjust to a different flavour and texture than that of breast milk. It also becomes easier to spot any allergic reactions to a specific type of food. Within a few weeks, you can introduce other meals but do ensure that it’s a gradual process.
When weaning your baby, you have to keep in mind that you are introducing something new to your baby’s digestive system. As such, start with small portions, sometimes several teaspoons since your child will be producing different types of enzymes and gut bacteria for the very first time. Over time, they will learn to cope with more food, so be patient and don’t rush the process.
Avoid adding sugar or salt
During the first months, your baby does not have an acquired taste for seasoned foods and it’s pointless to add ingredients like sugar or salt into their food. Also, extra sodium may overwork their kidneys at their young age.
When starting the weaning process, it can be hard to stop your baby’s desire to breastfeed, so you may consider creating some distractions to address this. You can offer your baby his/her favourite snack or provide him/her with a particular game instead to distract his/her thoughts.
Follow your baby’s lead
The most important thing you should keep in mind as a mother is that every baby is different. The time your baby takes to adjust or how much they eat should not concern you at this stage. Be patient and go with the pace of your child.
The weaning stage marks a unique relationship with your baby. Take your time and understand what it takes to start weaning your baby. That way, you won’t compromise the physical and emotional needs of your child.