Weaning a baby off the bottle or the breast can be more difficult than first anticipated by many parents. Since birth, a baby has been used to being fed and feeling full from just one source, it grows extremely attached to that particular source.
The longer a baby solely feds from a bottle or on the breast, the more difficult the weaning process will be. Getting the timing right is essential to successful weaning. Instead of just plunging in at the deep end, follow these baby weaning tips and you and your baby will be better prepared to tackle the weaning process.
1. Wait until your baby shows an interest in food. Sitting a baby at the table when you or any older siblings are eating will encourage your baby to show an interest in food. Encourage him/her to hold a spoon.
2. Meal and snack times should remain consistent from day to day. By having regular meal times will help get your baby into a proper feeding routine.
3. To make the transition period less difficult, when your baby is approximately six months old, introduce a cup for feeding. By the time your baby reaches ten months old, he/she should be drinking from the cup by their self.
4. Do not let your baby associate his/her bottle as a pacifier or something that comforts them. If a baby exclusively associates the breast and bottle with being fed, they will find the transition from milk to solids much easier.
5. Never put juice in a bottle, always just use the bottle for milk. This way your baby will not become used to other tastes coming out of a bottle.
6. Gradually eliminate mid-morning and mid-afternoon milk feeds by offering your baby more finger foods.
7. Try to avoid letting your baby fall asleep at the breast, as they may become dependant on milk on get them to sleep.
8. If you are breastfeeding, let your partner or another adult put your baby to sleep, this way he/she will not be tempted by the smell of your milk.
9. Start with bland solids which are almost liquid in consistency. This way the food won’t feel so ‘alien’ in your baby’s mouth and will be more easily digested.
10. Experiment with different tastes but always give your baby one taste at a time, so you know which food he/she prefers.