Thursday 1 March 2018

Weaning Series Phase 2 : 10 Useful Tips on How to Introduce Semi-Solids to a Baby

I began Weaning Phase 2 in the mid of 6th month.

Baby has already got a taste of solid food through its extracted water. So, they are ready for the feel of semi-solids on their tongue.

This phase can be both exciting and stressful.

You may see acceptance some days, or rejection all together. Have patience and keep offering the baby soupy dishes because after all the baby is growing and he/she has to eat food items that are beyond milk.

  • Semi-solids stage can begin even earlier provided your baby has begun to sit properly with or without support and has sufficient head/neck control. You should not attempt to feed semi-solids to your baby when they are lying down. This will lead to choking and vomiting.

So, lets start with "Phase 2 Weaning" 

  1. Earlier I strained water from boiled rice and lentil. But in this stage begin using a blender and made a thick puree/soup out of the whole mixture. For boiling rice and lentil I used more than the required water so that it is enough for boiling and pureeing later. This also ensured that baby is not consuming un-boiled water. Therefore, for 2 tbsp. of rice and 2 tbsp. of lentils I would add 2-2.5 cups of water. Some would evaporate in the process of cooking and rest remaining will be sufficient for making a thick yet runny soup.
  2. You can add carrots and potatoes. So, the recipe is 2 tbsp. rice, 2 tbsp. lentils, 1 chopped small carrot and 1 small chopped potato boiled in 3 cups of water. Blend and serve with a tsp. of homemade ghee/butter. Each day you can introduce new vegetables like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, french beans, etc.
  3. Begin with only once a day with this dish and monitor the baby, especially the poop. Sometimes the digestive system is not able to adjust and baby might have loose motions or of different color. Best suggestion is then to inform the doctor. Just for information, your baby's poop will begin to get different in term of firmness and smell. It will be like mashed potatoes and much smellier!
  4. Provided all goes well, after 3-4 days offer the baby semi-solids as lunch and dinner. You will notice the baby will begin to get less frequently hungry and you wont have to breastfeed as often as you earlier did.
  5. Do not add salt or sugar or spices to baby foods.
  6. Do not give up breastmilk. You may introduce water (boiled and cooled) through a sipper, bottle or spoon. But keep feeding the baby your milk.
  7. Babies should not be fed medicines for usual cold, cough and fever. Breastmilk is the best medicine and immunity building tonic. So keep enriching your baby with it.
  8. You can introduce Formula Milk/Top Feed in this phase as it is necessary for your baby to consume extra nutrition and fats for growing tissues and bones.
  9. Avoid plastic cartoony plates and bowls available in the market. I was advised for using silverware because it is pure. So, I started using pure silver bowl and spoon. Recently my gynecologist aunt said that for babies utensil must be sterilized each day and since baby takes 3-4 meals a day, its better to sterilize 4 bowls and 4 spoons everyday. The silverware got corroded the first day I tried sterilizing and I realised that stainless steel utensils are working best.
  10. Do not be disheartened if your baby rejects semi-solids and cries for milk all the time. Even a tablespoon a day is okay for beginners. Their liking or disliking depends upon their ability to shift from drinking sweet milk to bland gloop of odd tasting rice and vegetables. Moreover, do not think that adding little salt will make the puree tasty and baby will eat it. Babies have never tasted salt and they do not know the difference between salt and unsalted dishes and also which one tastes better. What you offer is what babies will learn to think as "tasty food". Weaning phase is a tricky time in life of a person because his/her mindset/taste glands/preferences are building. X always prefers spicy and heavily salted gravy because that is what X grew up eating. Whereas, Y likes lightly sautéed noodles in boiled chicken and calls it yummy. Therefore, "delicious" or yummy" is a very subjective term and does not depend upon salt and spices.
  11. Many would suggest for Store-bought baby food. My girl is getting close to turning 1 and she has never tasted store-bought food till date. Whether it is lunch, dinner or snacks, its all home cooked. If mum or any guardian has the time then there should be no excuse for not preparing fresh food at home each day. Ofcourse it is helpful when you are on a holiday and do not have access to kitchen, but keep store-bought baby food as your last resort.

Click for knowing the next step -  Weaning Phase 3 - Solids.

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