Weaning Your Bubba
After six months of being on full breast milk or formula milk feeds, your baby’s body weight should have doubled. At this point of time, you can start to introduce him or her to the exciting world of food!
Singapore Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommends weaning to start at 6 months. Weaning is essential as full breast milk or formula milk will no longer be adequate to provide all the nutrients that he or she needs for growing. You may wonder how to commence or what to give as a start, especially if you are weaning your first born.
How do you know if your baby is ready? There are some signs that you can look out for:
- Around 5-6 months (Doubled birth weight)
- Milk isn’t adequate anymore
- Watches you eat
- Sits with support
- Good neck strength
- Puts hands or toys into mouth
Giving the first food can be daunting, so it should not be complicated. Safe and recommended first food can be:
- Rice cereals, followed by
- Single ingredient vegetable/fruit puree such as carrot, pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, apples and pears.
Preparation can be easy and hassle free. You can choose to make it in bulk and freeze it, or prepare it on a daily basis. You may splurge on equipment to help you blend the baby food well, but the usual kitchen apparatus works just as well too.
Things you may need for food preparation:
- Clean cutting board and knife
- Pots and pot stand
- Ice-cube tray (preferably with cover)
Steaming is the easiest way to cook these first foods thoroughly and healthily. After cooking, use a spoon to mash up food through the sieve until it reaches a smooth consistency. It is alright to store it in a thicker consistency because you can dilute it to a runny consistency with breast milk or formula milk just before feeding.
You can start with 1-2 teaspoons of rice cereals in runny consistency that’s similar to formula milk. As your baby adapts to eating off a spoon, you can gradually increase the quantity of rice cereal per seating up to about 5 tablespoon or as recommended. Similarly for the pureed fruits or vegetables, start off with 1 ice-cube per feed and gradually increase at a pace that your baby is comfortable with.
Feeding apparatus you may need is simple:
- Comfortable, supportive chair
- Soft tip spoon
- Wet towel
- Small, non-breakable bowl/plate
- Food warmer (optional)
Appropriate time and conducive setting is essential to enhance the weaning process:
|Any time of the day as long as…
Every baby is different and will develop at their own pace. If your baby rejects a certain food, be patient and do not force feed. Try out the same food again at another sitting.