Baby Weaning Date: 09/12/2023 | Views: 348

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Babies grow at different rates and their needs may vary. But in general when the baby is between 4-6 months old the mother should begin giving additional foods to complement the breast milk.
By introducing additional foods to the baby’s diet the mother begins to accustom the baby to a new pattern of eating and once additional foods are given on a regular basis weaning has started. The baby, however, continues to need the nutritional and emotional support of the mother and breastfeeding. To stop breastfeeding suddenly can be distressing and harmful for the baby. Breastfeeding should be continued as long as possible no matter what other foods are being given. Because the baby is especially vulnerable to malnutrition and infection during the weaning period, weaning should always be a gradual process. At first the mother should give the baby a specially prepared meal of mashed food once a day. She should then gradually increase the number of these meals. Local foods such as vegetables, cereals and fruits prepared at home and mashed, are more suitable for this age group than any liquid foods.
If necessary the nurse should help the mother identify suitable local foods and explain ways of preparing them.
As the baby gradually gets used to these solid foods, general family foods can be added to the diet. These too should always be carefully mashed so that the baby can swallow and digest them easily. It is best to use a spoon and cup to feed the baby. They are easier to clean than a feeding bottle and teat. Bottles and teats are easily contaminated and expose the baby to an added risk of infection. If spoons and cups are not commonly used, other culturally accepted feeding utensils may still be better than a bottle and teat.

Prepared by- Professor. Dr. Muna Abdulwahab Khaleel
College of Nursing / Al-Mustaqbal University / 2023-2024