Baby weaning, advice for new parents

An major change in eating habits that stimulates the cognitive and emotional development of baby.

No longer just milk

Weaning, also known as "complementary feeding", consists of the gradual inclusion of foods other than breast milk in baby's diet. Indeed, from a certain point, the latter is no longer sufficient to meet a child's nutritional needs.

When to start weaning

There's no specific moment when weaning should begin. The WHO and various paediatric organisations recommend starting at around 6 months; in any case, not before the 17th week of life, and not later than the 26th. This is because babies develop a more mature digestive system at around 5 months old, along with the neuromuscular abilities that enable them to swallow, grasp a spoon and sit upright.

The phases of weaning

There are no pre-established "recipes" for weaning; generally speaking, fruit is recommended as a first food due to the fact that it has a sweet taste, is rich in vitamins and minerals and has a semi-solid consistency. Following this, weaning can continue with vegetables, cereals, and finally with sources of protein.

More than just a change in diet

For newborns, weaning is a delicate stage, and not only from a nutritional perspective. It represents the first step in the process of "detachment" from the mother, as well as a phase during which baby is exposed to new olfactory and taste experiences, which help to promote the development of autonomy. To help your little one on this journey, there are a number of precautions to be taken: introduce new foods gradually, without ever forcing baby to eat. Then, establish a routine that helps your little one approach food positively, for example by creating a special  feeding corner and providing colourful and easy-to-use utensils.

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