Learn When Is the Right Time To Wean A Baby?
After some time, your baby will eventually have to be introduced to a new form of food. The Department of Health, as well as pediatricians, recommends that babies be weaned by the time they reach 6 months. The reason is that by the time the baby is at 6 months of age, the extrusion reflex is now gone. This reflex is seen as a tongue thrusting activity of a child when something that is foreign to the baby is introduced in her mouth. This is a natural physiologic response of the baby to protect her from digestive problems. If food is introduced too early, metabolic disorders such as celiac disease may develop. Other than that, your baby might get indigestion and gastric upset that can lead to irritability or colic.
It is best to stick to the age of 6 months when weaning a baby. You must observe the following when you are about to introduce solids:
- Your baby must be able to hold her head up. This way, chocking is easily avoided for your baby’s neck muscles can now aid in swallowing.
- Your baby is able to sit upright with support. Aspiration is easily avoided when the baby is sitting upright during feeding. Some cases of pneumonia in babies are due to food that has entered the respiratory tract during feeding.
- Your baby seems to be chewing something. Even though your baby does not have anything in her mouth, she may be doing some chewing motion. This means that the extrusion reflex is slowly disappearing, and she can now swallow her food.
- Your baby has doubled her birth weight. By the age of 6 months, your baby must gain adequate weight, which is normally twice her birth weight. This means that her digestive system is fully functioning and able to digest and absorb food properly.
- It looks at every person who eats very closely. This means that she’s very curious about what you are eating, and would like to try out the experience.
How Weaning Happens
These behaviors must be noted on a baby before you wean her to solid food. Metabolic and eating disorders will be avoided when weaning is started correctly. Weaning is also a personal choice. No one should tell you when you start weaning other than your baby and you. You must also not wean your baby abruptly. Both you and your baby will suffer some withdrawal symptoms when you do. Your baby will be irritable and will show that she misses being breastfed by rejecting food or anything that is a substitute for your breast. On your part, you will experience some breast engorgement for the milk that is not being expelled. You may also develop an infection or formation of a mass due, as well as hormonal fluctuations. For well being of your baby and yourself, proper weaning techniques must be observed to prevent any future complications.