A big concern for me was when I should start the process of weaning. My concerns about the effect it will have on my child emotionally and developmentally played heavily into the concerns about weaning too soon. This caused me to be concerned that I would not wean my baby fast enough to provide the right developmental health my baby needs.
My original decision was to start weaning at six months, but I have been reading a lot of research which suggests that a period closer to one year is better for the development of the baby. I decided to follow the advice of my doctor and to start the process of weaning while introducing foods to my baby at six months. This happens to be the same advice given through medical boards as well as from my doctor, so I knew I could trust the information.
The one thing I knew was that I had to make sure that everything else in our world was constant while I was starting the process of weaning. I made sure to keep to all schedules and I even made sure that my husband was returning home at the same time every day. I wanted to make sure that any reactions to the food were a reaction to the food and not a reaction to the environment.
To start, I made sure to stock up on rice food. This was simply mixed with some of my breast milk so that I knew it would taste better to my son. I was scared at first that he would not receive it well, but he received it easily and actually wanted more of it. I gave him only a few spoons the first time. I started with only one feeding of rice a day while the rest of the food came from my milk.
Eventually, he started to eat more meals a day and it seemed that he was looking forward to the food more than the breast milk at this point. I followed the advice of my doctor by advancing slowly into other kinds of foods other than rice. The next on the list was to move into oatmeal. I found that every time I started a new type of food, there was a period of reaction to the new flavor and then judgment to decide whether he liked it. It seemed like no matter what it is, he eventually enjoyed eating it.
The weaning process is a long one as it is supposed to go over the course of six months. I was able to complete the period easily so that on his first birthday, my son was completely on foods and moving into trying out some solid foods. The process was fairly painless because I eased into it. There was very little fussiness on his part. I knew that I would miss that bonding time between the two of us, but the prolonged weaning period really helped to alleviate that and I am doing great as well.