COMPLIMENTARY FOOD FOR YOUR BABY
This complimentary food should be timely introduced, that is after completion of 6 months. Along with breast milk semi-solid should be introduced. By the completion of 8 months, most of the babies will be able to take solid food. Along with solid should continue breast milk for 2 yrs.
So complimentary food is when a baby stops nursing breast milk and gets all the nutrition from sources other than the breast. It is a replacement for breastfeeding with other nourishment and nurturing activities. Complimentary food is very complicated but if done gradually and with love can be a positive experience for both the mother and the little one.
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Till the baby is six months old, breast milk contains all the nutrients that a baby requires. But to support their activities, as they grow, they need food richer in nutrients. Besides, with growth, their taste buds develop and they get more inclined towards new food tastes and textures.
When they are around six months old, most babies can take semisolid foods, hence, it the right time to start weaning. Babies who have developed an affinity for the breast are more difficult to wean. In such cases, mothers should maintain distance and have someone else offer the bottle. Trying to feed on a cup, a spoon or a syringe (with the needle removed) can also help.
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Care To Be Taken While Weaning
Weaning helps babies experiment on a wide range of tastes, hence, the need to provide them with one taste at a time. If they like the food, sticking to it for four to five days will help before introducing a new dish
Fresh food should be given every time the baby is fed
Solid food can be given once a day in the beginning and then the frequency can be increased.
Consulting a paediatrician is a must before introducing any food to the baby.
Food texture should be as smooth as possible without any lumps.
It is good to avoid non-vegetarian food as the weaning process begins.
Foods like purees of vegetables, fruits, gluten-free baby cereals mixed with usual milk can be given.
Sugar and salt should be avoided at least until the baby is a year old.
Some babies are easily weaned while others fight the change. Hence, a lot of patience is required to cope with the emotional and behavioural development of babies during the process. Mealtime should be a fun time and a happy occasion. More importantly, one baby should not be compared with another since every baby is different.