Weaning is a major milestone in your child's growth and development journey. Weaning involves introducing other foods to your child's diet apart from breast milk.

Most parents wean their children from six months, while others do it earlier or later. When you decide to wean your baby, it is important to consider certain factors as follows:

Portion size

Start by introducing small portions of one item at a time to spot any allergic reaction, and gradually increase the options.

Food texture

Turn the foods into smooth consistencies. This makes it easy for your baby to ingest the food without choking on lumps.

Preparation

Use fresh ingredients and avoid overcooking for your baby to get full nutritional benefits.

Types of weaning

Baby-led weaning

This is when a baby stops breastfeeding on their own. You can offer them finger foods and let them feed themselves once in a while.

Image/BBC Good food

Partial weaning

This applies to giving solid foods and breast milk at the same time as opposed to exclusive breastfeeding.

Gradual weaning

This is a slow weaning process that involves introducing your baby to one food at a time and gradually increasing portions and options.

Image/ Health line

Temporary weaning

Temporary weaning involves weaning for some time before getting back to breastfeeding. This could be because of a health issue or other reasons.

Sudden weaning

This involves suddenly stopping breastfeeding and orienting your baby into solid foods.

What mothers need to know before settling for an infant formula
Although infant formulas are not as effective as breast milk, circumstances may call for it to be used as supplement (not replacement) for feeding babies.

Here are some foods you can feed to your baby when weaning;

Pumpkin

Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A which helps strengthen the baby's immune system, promote growth, and promote good eyesight. Steam  the pumpkin then blend it to a smooth consistency.

Image/ An Italian In My kitchen

Potatoes

Potatoes have essential nutrients like iron, folate, Vitamin B6 and Zinc. They also contain choline, an important nutrient for brain development. They are a go-to weaning food due to their easy availability and quick preparation.

Pawpaw

Pawpaws are rich in vitamin A and C, which come in handy to support your baby's immune system, eyesight and skin. You can easily mash ripe potatoes to create a puree for your baby.

Food to increase your baby’s weight
Doctors advice against introduction of cow’s milk to a baby but yoghurt being a fermented food item can be added to your baby’s diet after the age of seven to eight months.

Banana

Bananas are packed with carbohydrates and nutrients like potassium, folate, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. All necessary for healthy development in babies. Nutrients in bananas vary depending on ripeness. Ripe bananas contain more soluble fibres which are ideal for babies.

Image/ Blender babes

Avocado

Avocado has healthy fats and soluble fibres which aid babies brain development. It is rich in vitamins that support growth such as B6 and folate, and those that support immune health such as zinc and Vitamin E. They also support easy digestion that is necessary since your baby's digestive system will try to adjust to these new foods.

6 ways to soothe your baby’s stomach discomfort
If your baby seems a little more fussy than usual, they could be having stomach discomfort and acting on it quickly might save them from the uneasiness.

Take home

Be patient with weaning your baby and give them time to take in the new flavours and nutrients. All children are unique, and what works for another child might not work for yours. Find a suitable weaning method for your baby and work from there to ensure they benefit wholly from the process.

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