It’s stressful enough weaning your baby without your mother-in-law interfering too. DR RICHARD C. WOOLFSON shows you how to create a win-wean situation.
She criticises your entire approach to weaning.
HOW TO RESPOND No matter what aspect she complains about, stay calm. Tell yourself that she has your baby’s best interests at heart.
Resist any temptation to argue with her, and instead listen to her comments respectfully. However, always remember that you are the parent, and that you are the one who makes the decisions (along with your spouse) about how to raise your child.
If you don’t want to take her advice or suggestions, be prepared to say: “I understand what you are saying, and it has given me lots to think about. But I have decided to do this my way.”
Aim to be respectfully assertive, without being aggressive.
She insists you do not give your baby enough fresh food.
HOW TO RESPOND Your baby needs a balanced diet that includes fresh food. But you have to proceed carefully because there is a possibility your little one may be allergic to certain food items, such as cows’ milk, eggs, wheat, gluten, nuts, peanuts, peanut products, seeds, fish and shellfish.
That’s why these need to be introduced one at a time, in small amounts (and not before the age of six months.) So, explain to your mother-in- law that you are following good parenting practice, that you are weaning slowly and carefully to ensure your baby has no allergies, and that you will gradually broaden the range of foods over the next few months.
She is concerned that he isn’t getting enough to eat.
HOW TO RESPOND While your baby gets used to solids foods, he only needs a few mouthfuls each feed. Early weaning is more about getting him used to new tastes than it is about the actual amount he eats, because he still gets most of his nutrition from milk.
You can begin to increase the quantity of solids week by week. As long your child seems healthy and has regular wet and soiled diapers, there is no need to worry. If you’re concerned though, ask your family doctor to monitor his growth and weight gain to make sure he continues to thrive. Reassure your mother-in- law that you are keeping a close watch on his progress.
Your mother-in-law wants you to feed him only porridge and other Asian food.
HOW TO RESPOND Health professionals typically recommend iron-fortified plain rice cereal (mixed with breast milk or formula milk) as the first weaning food. But after that initial weaning stage, however, there is a huge range of foods you can give.
Some parents continue weaning with traditional Asian foods while others opt for a broader range. The choice is yours.
Given your mother-in-law’s preference for Asian foods, though, it might be helpful for you to include them in your baby’s diet to some extent – and make sure she knows you do this. That way, you’ll both be happy with weaning.
Listen to her comments respectfully, but remember that you are the one who makes the decisions (along with your spouse) about how to raise your child.
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