The start of weaning is an important stage in your baby’s development. Babies who have only been fed breast milk or formula until now are finally starting to eat food. This is one of the most joyful and smiling growths.
However, for parents, the start of baby food is the first experience of “preparing food for their child,” and there must be many things that are confusing and worrisome.
Here, we will explain when to start weaning and what to worry about from the perspective of a doctor who is a working mother. And this is part 1. Part 2 will be continued after this.
When to start weaning?
Many people may be wondering when is the right time to start weaning and whether the timing is really right. How should the timing be determined?
The start of weaning is getting later.
According to one survey, the start of weaning today is later than it was 10 years ago.
In 2010, the largest number of families (46.8%) started baby food at 5 months of age, while in 2020, the largest number (44.9%) started at 6 months of age. Common sense regarding child-rearing changes with the times. The timing of the start of weaning is no exception.
On the other hand, the time to complete weaning also tends to be delayed. In 2010, the largest number of families (45.0%) finished weaning at 12 months of age, while in 2020, the largest number (33.3%) finished at 13 to 15 months of age.
In the past, the majority of families believed that weaning should be done as early as possible to allow the child to graduate from breast milk or formula, but today, the general trend is to wean the baby slowly over time and allow the child to graduate naturally.
Babies’ signs of “Ready for Weaning”
The majority of families (84.3%) used “age in months” as a guide when timing the start of baby food. However, this does not necessarily mean that the timing is appropriate for the baby.
While using the age of the month as a reference, consider the following signs as signs that the baby is getting ready to start eating food.
- He or she is interested in food.
- He or she is able to put a spoon in his or her mouth without spitting it out.
- Drooling has increased.
Questions about the weaning process and foods
According to one survey, 74.1% of families have some kind of concern about baby food. On the other hand, 83.5% of the families answered that they had an opportunity to learn about how to proceed with baby food at a local health center or public health center.
This means that there are many situations in which prior knowledge is not useful once baby food is actually started.
What to do if you are not good at making baby food/feel overwhelmed?
Weaning food is for babies whose chewing and swallowing abilities have not yet fully developed. Naturally, the ingredients and the form of the food are different from those used by adults.
Especially in the early stages of weaning, it takes a lot of time and effort to prepare foods, such as straining porridge and pureeing cooked vegetables. Preparing baby food can be a major burden in the midst of busy child-rearing.
What we recommend is commercial baby food. Some people have a little bit of resistance to feeding baby food that is not homemade, but it may be just a stereotype to say that homemade food is the love of parents (if it is not homemade, it lacks love).
We believe that if you cannot afford to prepare baby food, you should make good use of baby food. Today’s baby food products are additive-free, made from carefully selected ingredients, and are sold at a level comparable to homemade food. Of course, nutritional balance is also taken into consideration.
In addition, recently, baby food preparation kits that make it easy to prepare baby food, such as straining ingredients, are now available. These products are the result of extensive research into baby food preparation and are designed to reduce the time and effort required by parents. Although they are not meant to be used for a long time, it is a good idea to have a set for shortening the time required for making baby food.
When you start making baby food, you may be concerned about many things and you may feel tired of preparing baby food. However, there are many products available in the market, so use them from time to time.
In the next article, we will explain more details about preparing baby food.