At six months, your baby will need extra nutrients from food. While it is recommended to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months and continue up to two years where possible, some mothers begin earlier than six months.
Reasons for early weaning vary from need to go back to work, frequent travels, lack of enough breast milk supply, and poverty or high cost of living rendering necessities such as milk formula out of reach for some women. In the event you are considering it before the six-month lapse ensure your child:
- Can hold their head up steadily
- Can sit up when supported
- Has obtained healthy weight
- Is exhibiting chewing motions
Whatever your decision though, weaning needs to be done carefully and gradually.
Carry out the process initially by reducing the duration of nursing time and feedings throughout the day and night to encourage your child to take up the new food. Introduce one food (finely blended) at a time. Every baby is different; your baby may take a while to get used to it or he may tuck in straightaway.
Here are foods you may start with: well-mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrot, courgette, broccoli or cauliflower. For fruits, you can give well-mashed avocado, banana, paw paw or cooked apple. Porridge is a given. Once they have adapted to being weaned, you can introduce other foods such as blended meat, fish or chicken, well mashed lentils and pulses and whole milk yoghurt.