Normally the best age to wean an infant is six months when the child is ready for solids. However, a lot of pediatric nutrition experts recommend continuing breast feed and avoiding weaning till one year.
Sometimes, even before you plan to wean your baby, she might start showing a clear disinterest in the breast milk. This may be a temporary phase and often termed as Baby Led Weaning or BLW. Self weaning or baby led weaning may differ from planned weaning in a number of ways. Babies, who self wean themselves, generally show an early developmental signs and interest in solids.
4 Signs of Baby Led Weaning
Here are a few interesting signs of baby led weaning.
Disinterest towards Breast Feeding
The first sign of a baby getting ready for solids is a clear disinterest she shows in breast feeding. A baby on the path of self weaning would be extremely cranky when taken to nurse. She will be easily distracted and makes no attempt to latch on to the breast for the feed. A disinterested baby would play around for a while and would leave the breast hungry and cranky. This is the first step towards self weaning or initiating a solid diet.
Post Feed Crankiness
A less interested nurser would be extremely irritable after each feed. Babies who are no longer interested in the breast milk will leave the nursing halfway and would behave in a cranky manner. They would nurse for less than required time and cry endlessly for more. Quite often this leads to weight loss or a slow weight gain in babies. This is a phase that usually occurs between 3 and 5 months and might continue for weeks or months.
Baby Shows Interest in your Food
A baby jumping on to your food plate is a clear sign that she needs a little extra apart from your milk. Eager and self weaned babies show a clear inclination towards whenever you eat or drink something.
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They love to watch you delightfully and imitate your action of chewing or taking the food in mouth. If offered they would love to grab a bite of food off your hand! This is the first sign your infant displays when he or she is ready for the solids.
Refusing Milk after Illness
Many times a baby may self wean herself suddenly after a brief illness or a drastic change in her routine. After recovering from a cold or a short termed illness, babies often reject breast milk altogether and make a big fuss when offered the same. Some babies continue this trend for weeks whereas some of them succumb to the temptation and resume breastfeeding again. Babies discontinuing feeding are often offered formula or a cereal to curb the hunger.
Benefits of Self Weaning
A baby weaning herself may be a little pinching for the mother on emotional grounds. But for most of the parents it is really a blessing in disguise. Early weaners are extremely good eaters and create less fuss when offered solids. They are more than anxious to experiment with various foods and develop a taste for solids faster than their peers who are still far from the weaning process.