Thursday, 22 February 2018

Weaning Series Phase 1: 6 Things to be Careful of When Introducing Liquids

Weaning is the phase in baby development when the baby is close to eating solid food but not quite there yet. But one should be very careful.

In this phase the task of the mum is to expand the diet of baby and introduce a few variety of liquids. I mention "few" because giving too many options may not be a good idea in this Weaning Phase.

Remember that your baby was only drinking milk and suddenly stuffing solids will be shocking to the tongue as well as the digestive system. Therefore, slow down!

To understand what are the methods and options available for feeding baby in the 5th month read below:

  • Typically weaning means introducing semi-solids to a baby. I however, turned it into 3 parts: liquids, semi-solids and solids.
  • When I mention "water" it doesn't mean "soup". Soup is a blend of cooked food into water. Water is straining of the water in which food was boiled.
  • Introduce each food item/liquid individually and not mixed with other things. If its rice then give only rice. If its pulses then give only that. Check for any allergic reaction or change in poop color or consistency or loose motions for the next 24 hour. Stop giving that food item/liquid immediately. Only after you are sure that your baby was able to digest rice and pulses, begin mixing both and feed. If from the very bringing you mix rice, pulses and vegetables, etc. and feed your baby, what has caused allergy or led to loose motion, you will never come to know.
  • Do not replace breastmilk. All the weaning liquids/foods are not meant for replacing the breastmilk. As long as the mum has no problem with producing a steady flow of milk and the baby is fond of it too, mums should not stop feeding.

So, lets begin with "Weaning Phase 1"

  1. I began the first weaning phase with my baby somewhere in the mid of 5th month. During this time, the aim is to give the baby a little taste and not actual food. So I began with Rice Water. Rice water is plain white rice boiled in clean drinking water and feeding the baby only the water (not rice). I fed her this once a day. The quantity was not enough to make her feel full because breastmilk was still her major meal. So, she consumed about 20-30 mls everyday.
  2. In the second week, I introduced her to Lentil/Legume/Pulses Water (Dal ka Pani). In that, I did not experiment with all kinds of pulses. Only Moong and Masoor. I boiled the pulses in clean drinking water and drained the water for her to drink. So, now her diet included lentil water as lunch, rice water as dinner, and breastmilk throughout the day and night.
  3. In the third week, I boiled equal amounts of rice and pulses and then strained the water for her to drink. This she drank both for lunch and dinner, and ofcourse breastmilk throughout the day and night.
  4. Ensure that each day the rice and lentil waters are freshly prepared. Baby food should be prepared in the most hygienic manner, served in a sterilized utensils and spoons, and to ensure all these measures are taken care of, mum is the best person to cook them.
  5. I gave my baby no salt or sugar. Whether its rice or lentil water, it was all bland. Babies digestive system and kidneys are not well-equipped to flush out the salts and sugar from the body. They get all the nutrients, salts and minerals from the breastmilk. A continued practice of not adding salt and sugar to babies and toddler meals will develop their tastebuds in such a way that they won't crave for salty or sugary items in future as well. You will not be able to undo their tastebuds later in life. I do not add salt or sugar to my daughter's meals till date, and she happily gobbles each bowl that I serve. I was warned by people that once she gets a taste of yummy adult food she will curse you and never go back to your bland baby recipes. Well, it never happened in my case.
  6. For feeding you can opt for spoons, feeding bottles and even a dropper.

Click to read the next in the series - Phase 2 Weaning


Post a Comment