Thursday, September 1, 2011


I am definitely not an expert here as I've never even gotten through weaning one child yet.  My only knowledge is from what I've read, what I believe and of course experienced parents who have done this a number of times.

Weaning is the process of introducing an infant to what will eventually be it's adult diet.  "Starting solids" is also a common phrase.  It is also the process of increasing the solid intake and lessening the breast milk or formula intake.  It does not mean taking away the formula or breast milk from baby's diet.  Many mother's breast feed until close to two years old (some even longer).  Typically a formula fed baby is switched over to milk at one year.  I always thought this was supposed to be whole milk but recently read that if a child is predisposed to obesity or overweight for their size already that 2% milk can be given (I'm sure this would be determined by your doctor).  Some parents also chose to go with soy milk or other types of milk.  This should also be discussed with your doctor in case supplements are needed to provide full nutrition.  Do not cut out breast milk or formula with the introduction of solids.  As my doctor put it when I asked about when it was appropriate to replace a meal fully with solids...formula (or breast milk) is important for your baby because it provides the full nutrition they need whereas solids are only providing bits and pieces at this point.

From a handout my pediatrician gave me:  Infants 0-4 months should have 5-10 feedings a day (16-32 oz).  Infants 6 months of age should have 4-7 feedings a day (24-40 oz).  Infants 6-8 months should have 3-5 feedings a day (24-31 oz).  Infants 8-10 months should get 3-4 feedings a day (16-32 oz).  Infants 10-12 months should have 3-4 feedings a day (16-24 oz).  A feeding is breast milk or formula and does not include the amount of solids your child is eating.  For more information on solids and amounts to give refer to your doctor.  This is simply a guideline I was given and is not meant to substitute medical advice.

Baby Led Weaning.  Many parents also practice or use baby led weaning.  I hadn't heard of this until I started reading up on solids.  Basically it is allowing your baby the opportunity to express interest in the food you are eating and to not introduce solids or food before this point.  Some parents just start offering the same food that they are eating (probably pureed or put through a food mill for texture depending on the age of the child).  This would also include age appropriate food that isn't at a high risk for allergens.

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