To many parents this is a question of great concern.
The Department of health recommends only, 'breastfeeding', exclusively for the first six months of a baby's life! This would of course include for, 'baby formula', in the case of the mother being unable to breast feed.
So just when baby first be introduced to solid food?
And leading from this question, at what age should they start weaning?
Despite the recommendation from the Department of health, referred above, the actual parallelment of weaning times usually occurs, for one reason or other, between the ages of four and six months.
Do not attempt to wean baby before four months of age.
Be aware that it is certainly not advisable that you attempt to wean a baby, under the age of at least four months.
The reason for this is because of the simple fact that the baby's digestive system can not cope with solid foods, before this time. So there is absolutely no point in trying weaning, any earlier than this.
The age that you first introduce baby to 'solid foods' are very much dependent upon the individual needs of the baby.
As we have already stated, there is no good reason to try to introduce anything other than 'breast milk', or 'baby formula milk', before the age of four months.
Different baby's have different nutrition needs.
Some babies may not be ready for weaning, even at four or five months, but some babies will be hungry for something more fundamental and parents will recognize the signs and when they do they will start the most important process of 'weaning'.
Weaning should, however, definitely be followed after the age of six months. This is the age when the baby needs more nourishment that milk alone can provide.
It is important for the child's future development, that the correct nutrition is given in the form of other suitable, solid foods.
How do parents decide when baby is ready for this change in his diet?
Look for the signs: –
o Baby still seems hungry, even after a good milk feed.
o Baby demands for more frequent feeds.
o Baby wakes during the night, for additional feeds.
o Baby watches with interest, when you are eating.
So how and what, should you now start feeding your baby?
Baby's first feed should just be a "taster".
Baby's first feeding should be initially a way of giving the baby new taste experiences. So after the unchanging bland taste of milk baby will get a new taste experience.
Any change from the blandness of milk, will usually be an adventure welcomed by baby. But sometimes the baby will resist the challenge to his / her taste buds. They may also sometimes completely reject a particular new taste or flavor while at other times absolutely loving another.
Do not rush things; just enjoy your and your baby's experiences at this very interesting time. Babies are very much the same as the rest of us; our tastes are individual and differ greatly from one to another.
'Spoon fed', a new experience for Baby.
The tastes and the texture, coming from a spoon is a big change from the experiences he or she, previously previously used to. But it is the way things have to go, for both you and the Baby. It all part of the growing up and developing experience.
The fist food you should introduce to baby is recommended to be 'gluten free', because some baby's are sensitive to this, and there may be adverse effects.
'Gluten', is a protein contained in cereals, wheat, rye, oats, and barley. 'Gluten free' foods, such as puree of cornmeal, or rice, pureed vegetables, potatoes, carrots and parsnips. Or pure fruits, in the form of banana, apple, or pear, are the best of the fruits, as weaning food for baby. The weaning process can be a lengthy period of time, but baby will eventually settle into the new experience of food tastes.
Source by Joan Warburton