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Weaning Your Baby
Hopefully you have been breastfeeding your baby and have a formed a beautiful relationship. Nursing is not just about food; it is about bonding and building emotionally healthy children. For those who were not able to nurse hopefully you have still bonded with your baby. Now is the time to start weaning your baby from nursing or the bottle onto real food. See my blog Starter Foods on where to start in introducing foods to babies.
Foods up to this point are more for interest then sustenance, though we still want them to be nutritious. Optimally, babies won’t be completely weaned until after a year of breastfeeding or much longer. When you are ready to start weaning start by giving your baby food first and then topping it off with breast milk then start skipping nursing altogether more and more often.
To start with, give your baby fresh juice between nursing times. Pure fresh carrot juice is a great place to start. Next, add to your carrot juice a little celery or cabbage juice. These are great for the baby’s digestion. Continue to add foods one at a time and watch for reactions. Next add in homemade meat stock. Meat stock will provide the minerals that your baby needs when it is no longer nursing. Get directions on how to make meat stock here.
Dr. Natasha McBride recommends introducing foods in the following sequence to promote gut health.
1. Meat stock (includes fish, chicken, and beef).
2. Fresh vegetable juice- start with carrot.
3. Probiotic foods added to the stock such as sauerkraut and fermented vegetables
4. Homemade kefir or homemade yogurt. Easy kefir instructions (note Body Ecology) If you don’t have time to make it you can get it at the health food store.
5. Vegetable soup or puree made in the meat stock from non starch vegetables. Starting adding vegetables possible in this order carrots, squashes (summerand winter), cauliflower, onions, broccoli, garlic. Cook the vegetables until very soft and then cool and puree them. Add in some good fat either coconut oil, cold-pressed olive oil, 5 drops of cod liver oil, a teaspoon of butter or ghee. Rotate the fats you give your baby.
6. Boiled meats, from making your meat stock, simmered a long time in water and pureed to begin with, added to the vegetable puree. Chicken is a great starter meat, and include the organ meat. Don’t forget fish; even if this is not your favorite it is so good for us!
7. Raw organic eggs. I know there is concern in our world about raw eggs, so if you are not comfortable with this skip it, but raw eggs are an amazing source of nutrients and when sourced well are perfectly safe.
8. Gently scrambled eggs with good fat and add in raw or lightly steamed vegetable.
9. Between meals for snacks give fruit. It is best not to mix fruits with meats. Make sure fruits are fresh, not from a can. Dried fruit can be a great option for babies to chew on while teething. You can dry fruit yourself or if you buy it make sure to get unsulfured dried fruit, either from the health food store or Thrive has lots of options for good deals on dried fruit. This is an introductory chew toy. You want the pieces to be large enough so that you baby does not coke on them.
10. Avoid or only give small amounts of acid fruits because they can cause dipper rash or hives
11. Next introduce some dairy like cottage cheese.
12. Finally introduce grains. It is best if they are gluten free and soaked first or sprouted.
By this point your baby may be completely weaned or only nursing at night or for comfort. Enjoy these times of nursing knowing the they serve an important purpose. If during the weaning process your baby gets sick increase your nursing and go back to only simple foods like meat stock or vegetable soup puree. This process of introducing foods will insure a healthy gut and strong immune system. It is based on the Gut and Psychology program that is used to reverse pervasive developmental issues in children, including digestive disorders such as asthma, allergies, skin problems and auto immune disorders.
If you need more guidance I am a Licensed Midwife and Certified GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Consultant and love helping families to heal their guts and heal health issues. Please schedule an appointment with me.
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