As our baby grows, milk alone will not be enough to sustain him. Usually most babies will need extra nourishment from around 4-6 months old which is a good time to start. In my experience with my baby, I started to give him infant cereals at the age of 5 months.
What is Weaning?
Weaning is the gradual move by your baby from milk feeds to ultra-smooth purées, then to coarser purées, until he is fully joining in with family meals at around 12 months of age.
Signs that your baby is ready for weaning:
- Baby is watching you as you eat.
- Baby seems hungry and wants a feed, even though he has been in a routine of full feeds from both breasts or a 250ml (8fl oz).
- Baby is beginning to chew his hands constantly and trying to put or chew a lot of things into his mouth.
Always start with very bland solids first. I remember the first food that I prepared for my baby is the milk-mixed infant cereals. Choose a soft, tiny, shallow sterile plastic baby spoon and small non-breakable plates and bowls for first solid food metals.
Preparation of first food
- Milk-mixed infant cereals – follow the infant cereal preparation from the indicated instructions from the box usually 1/2 to 1 bowl of infant cereal then add formula milk for at least 1 tablespoon or instead of using water to mix the infant cereals replace it with the breast milk/ formula milk.
- Baby rice (sold in powdered form) – is one of the easiest and comforting first food. Mix 1 teaspoonful of powdered rice with expressed breast milk, made-up formula milk or cooled boiled water until it is a smooth, slightly sloppy purée.
- Am baby rice (traditional first food preparation for babies in the Philippines) – popularly known the traditional first food preparation for babies here in the Philippines. Before cooking the rice, put extra water(about a cup) from the water level that you regularly prepare for your rice cooking , cook the rice then take a 1/2 or 1 bowl of extra rice water while it is still in heat cooking or when the rice was almost about to be cooked and the texture of the extra rice water on top of the pot is sloppy. The Am can be mix with breast milk or formula milk.