Is your baby already nine months old? How quickly time flies! It feels like it was just yesterday you were struggling with all the challenges of new motherhood, staying up all night, feeding constantly till you felt that that is the only purpose of your existence and dealing with your constantly developing baby!
It has been quite a ride, hasn’t it? So what’s in wait for you now?
Your nine months old baby may not be able to eat everything you can eat, but this doesn’t mean he or she can’t join you for a family meal. You just have to keep an eye on the special needs of the child. The American Association of Pediatrics states that the mother should breastfeed the baby for at least one year. Don’t stop breastfeeding suddenly; it can be harmful for the baby and it can lead to infection in the breast as well. There is no specific age to start weaning so you can start including solid foods when you feel the baby is ready for it.
9 Month Baby Food: What to Expect?
Your nine month old has a temperament, attitude, likes and dislikes of her own. She is no longer that cuddly baby who would be content to just lie, gazing at you and your antics at entertaining her. She is now exploring, experiencing and learning new things every day.
The things you can expect by the ninth month are-
- Sitting up without support
- Probably creeping and/or crawling
- Recognizing and remembering Mom and Dad
- Having a special inclination to particular toy, blanket, spoon, plate, song etc.
- Some babies learn to pull themselves up with support (very few in fact)
Besides these, each individual baby reaches her own milestones, making it a complete delight to watch their every waking moment and even while they areasleep!
[ Read: 10 Months Baby Food ]
Weaning your Nine-Month Old Baby:
When your baby stops nursing from the breast and starts to eat solid food, it is termed as weaning. Friends, relatives and neighbours give various suggestions on weaning but remember that is no right or wrong way to do weaning. You can start weaning your baby when you think it is right, you can also consult the pediatrician.
When the baby starts losing interest in weaning and is distracted or fussy while being nursed you know the time is right to introduce other foods. Generally weaning starts within 6-12 months. When the baby shows the signs of weaning it is called baby led weaning.
If the mother is joining a job post pregnancy then she will have to start weaning. Your child might not be ready for weaning at that point of time so you have to be patient. You can still nurse your child and at the same time introduce solid foods. Mother led weaning can take a lot of time and it also depends on the child’s age and how he is responding to change.
So how do you start weaning? The first thing you should remember is not to stop breastfeeding suddenly because this can be traumatic for your baby. You can follow these simple steps to start weaning:
a. Skip a Feed:
Offer a bottle of milk instead of breastfeeding. You can give pumped breast milk or whole cow’s milk powder (don’t give this before your child turns one years).Reducing breastfeeding over a period of time allows the baby to adjust to the change. The milk supply of your breasts gradually goes down without causing mastitis.
b. Limit Nursing Time:
If you usually nurse your baby for ten minutes then reduce the time to five minutes. Depending on the child’s age give him or her light snack post nursing. You can give unsweetened applesauce or infant milk formula. Babies are not ready for solid food before six months, so after six months solid food is complementary to breast milk till the child turns one year old. It is tough to reduce the time for bedtime nursing because it is last meal of the day for the child.
c. Postpone and Distract:
Try to postpone feedings if you are nursing your baby couple of times a day. This method works if your child understands reason. If your child demands nursing, reassure him that you will and distract him with another activity. So you give the evening feed during bed time.
Breastfed infants need more nutrients than breast milk can provide. The baby needs vitamin D and iron. So along with breast milk you have to provide iron fortified cereals till the child turns one year old. Once your baby enters toddlerhood then he will need a wide variety of foods to provide essential nutrients that will help your baby to grow.
If you have started weaning and the child is not responding then it is not the right time. If you have joined work the child is adjusting to the new routine set by you. If the child is unwell then he demands nursing because he finds breast milk comforting and it is a great source of nutrients as well.