0-1 YEAR OLD If your mother-in-law is in­ter­fer­ing with how you wean Baby, try th­ese strate­gies to win her over.

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.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - Contents -

THE PROB­LEM 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. THE PROB­LEM

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 moth­erin-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. THE PROB­LEM

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 moth­erin-law that you are keep­ing a close watch on his progress. THE PROB­LEM

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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