Weaning and infant feeding at various stages of development

Weaning is the process whereby feeding baby from the breast or a bottle is replaced by the use of unmodified cow's milk and other suitable foods. This means introducing the baby gradually to foods other than milk.

The following are important facts about infant feeding at different stages of development:
1. For up to the first four months, breast feed the child because breast milk and milk nourishment are adequate sources of nourishment for a baby.

2. After four months and for the rest of the first year of life weaning foods are required. These include gruel prepared from cereals such as corn or millet. Weaning foods can also be prepared from meat or chicken broth, fruit, vegetables and other staple food by cooking, pulping and sieving to produce a smooth paste or purée.

3. By the age of twelve months the infant should be introduced to wider range of suitable foods. They should be well cooked and mashed. The child should be able to use spoon.

4. By the age of two years, the child should be able to eat with other family members. He should however have the best part of the family food.

Care of feeding bottle
1. Provide a special suitable container or unit for storage of the feeding bottles, etc. plastic container is the best.
2. Wash the feeding bottle immediately after each meal as follows:
- unscrew the teat of he feeding bottle.
- rinse bottle, teat, screw ring and the cap with clean water.
- wash the rinsed articles with soapy water and bottle brush and rinse.
- pour enough clean water into the unit. Add 1 teaspoonful of Milton for every litre of water. Common salt can be used in place of Milton.
- completely immerse the bottle, teat, cap and screw ring into the sterilising solution.
- at feed time remove the items and simply drain. Do not rinse.
- change the solution every morning.

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