The World Health Organisation recommend an introduction to solid foods to gain additional nutrients as well as the experience and oral motor development of swallowing, chewing and speech.
The weaning stage is an exciting time for parents, but for some it comes with trepidation, what can you expect and what happens to breastfeeding? Breastmilk compliments the transition to family meals for as long as mum and baby choose to continue breastfeeding. Here are some commonly asked questions on breastfeeding and weaning:
If my baby is always hungry after feeds, should I start weaning?
The answer to this is that your baby is possibly going through a growth spurt, and not that milk supply is diminishing; this usually falls around 3- 4 months. Mums tend to feel a little vulnerable as baby’s feeding pattern changes with more frequent feeds but it’s usually in response to the surges in growth for brain development, and the extra activity your baby does through play and wake time. When mums have a flexible feeding pattern, breastfeeding continues and mums’ milk supply adapts to their growing baby’s needs, until around 6 months of age. Talk to your Health Visitor for further reassurance and address any concerns you may have.
How do I know if my little one is ready for weaning?
When babies breastfeed they suck, swallow and breathe removing milk by vacuum. Babies have difficulty supporting their heads