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. The aim is to give baby a little taste and not actual food. Begin with rice water. Rice water is plain white rice boiled in clean drinking water and feeding the baby only the water (not rice). Start with once a day about 20-30mls. 
  2. In the second week, introduce Lentil/Legume/Pulses Water (Dal ka Pani). Only Moong and Masoor. Boil pulses in clean drinking water and drained the water for drinking.
  3. In the third week, boil equal amounts of rice and pulses and then strain the water for drinking. This can be offered for lunch and dinner.
  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.
  5. Whether its rice or lentil water, it was all bland. No salt and sugar. Babies digestive system and kidneys are not well-equipped to flush out 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. 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 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


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