is one of the most difficult terms to define. In the
context of children, it may mean freedom from any
sickness or disease, while to some it may mean harmonious
functioning of all body systems. The first year of
life is crucial in laying the foundation for good
to a UNICEF report, of all the deaths of children
under 5 years in India, a large number are of children
who die in their first month of life.
recent concepts on infant and young child feeding
practices advocate that breast feeding should be started
immediately after birth, preferably within 1 hour,
and continued till six months to two years or beyond
with appropriate and adequate weaning diet after six
months. Weaning is the best way to feed babies over
six months old and growing children.
weaning should be timely, meaning that all infants
should start receiving foods in addition to breast
milk after six months; it should be adequate, meaning
that the nutritional value of weaning foods should
be parallel, at least to that of breast milk; food
should be prepared and given in a safe manner so that
the risk of contamination with pathogens in minimal
and the foods
author is Lecturer, Ved Nursing College, Baroli, Panipat,
of appropriate texture and given in sufficient quantity.
The adequacy of weaning food not only depends on the
availability of a variety of food in the household,
but also on the feeding practices of caregivers. The
mothers can prepare a variety of food with different
combination of ingredients like rice, maize, grams,
groundnut, wheat etc. as it takes 10-15 days for a
child to get used to the food; any addition should
be tried only after such a gap.
patterns vary widely from one culture to another.
Different methods used to wean affect the amount of
food that child ingests and pathogen to which it is
exposed. Lack of basic knowledge regarding nutritional
needs of infants and child rearing is a universal
problem in India and there is much evidence today
to suggest that infant mortality rate can be brought
down by making all mothers aware of the nutritional
needs of infants and child rearing.
study sought to determine the weaning practices among
the mothers of infants in selected hospitals in Mangalore;
identify the reasons related to early and late weaning
practices among mothers; and find the association
between the weaning practices and demographic variables.
Hypothesis : There will be significant association
between the weaning practices and demographic variables
at 0.05 level of significance.
Conceptual framework for this study is based on Backer
MH’s Health Belief Model (1975). This model addresses
the relationship between a person’s belief and behaviours.
It provides a way of understanding and predicting
how clients will behave in relation to their health
and how they will comply with health care therapies.
Proponents of the health belief model commented that
mothers will take action to avoid disease condition
and these actions will be modified by :
of personal susceptibility to disease condition,
severity of disease,
benefits of preventive health actions and behaviours,
barrier to take action to prevent disease and its
: A descriptive survey approach, which is
explorative in nature was adopted for the study. The
setting of the study was paediatric OPDs of AJ Hospital
and Research Centre and OPDs of Vishal Children’s
& Maternity Hospital, Mangalore. By using purposive
sampling technique, samples of 104 mothers of infants
in the age group of six to 12 months were selected,
when they visited the OPDs of the two hospitals for
on objectives and conceptual framework, semistructured
namely ‘Weaning Practices Assessment Tool’ was developed.
The validity and reliability was found by using the
split-half method. Spearman Brown prophecy formula
was used for correction and the correlation co-efficient.
The tool was administered to the mothers after obtaining
their informed consent; the responses were collected
and analysis by using descriptive and inferential
of the Study
The highest percentage (75.96%) of mothers were in
the age group of 21-30 years, majority (71.16%) of
mothers had primary school education, and the majority
(60.58%) of mothers belonged to Hindu religion.
the children, 62.50 percent were male; majority (51.92%)
children were from the age-group of 6-8 months. The
highest (57.70%) number of children were the only
child in the family.
Highest percentage (72.12%) of the mothers had the
knowledge that weaning should be started before six
(56.73%) of mothers started weaning with liquid diet
which was fruit juice among 33.65 percent of mothers
whereas 43.27 percent of mothers started with ragi
practices was found good as 100 percent mothers were
following hygienic practices as washing hands with
soap and water before feeding, using cleaned and boiled
utensils exclusively meant for the child.
weaning was introduced, 77.89 percent of mothers reported
refused to eat.
the total samples of mothers, 75 mothers reported
that they started weaning early to the child whereas
6 mothers reported late weaning. Over two-third (64%)
of mothers reported that due to inadequate breast
milk, they started weaning early, whereas out of 6
mothers, about a third (33.33%) reported that due
to refusal to eat by the child, they started weaning
square test was computed to determine the association.
The educational status of the mothers occupation of
mothers, number of children and birth order of child
in the family had an association with weaning practices
at 0.05 level of significance.
was found to be effective as the data required was
concerned with practices and knowledge regarding weaning;
a face to face interview was the most suited for the
hypothesis (H1) was accepted, as educational status
of the mothers, occupation of mothers, number of children
and birth order to the child in the family had an
association with weaning practices.
of infants were following different weaning practices.
Majority of mothers started weaning the child before
six months with fruit juice. Good hygienic practices
were followed by the mothers during weaning.
Findings of the study imply that since weaning is
a vital concern, mothers should be educated, and the
nurse educator should educate
peripheral level health workers regarding weaning.
The nurse administrator should take the major role
in nutritional policy making role and should modify
the programme which suits the needs of the mothers.
A similar study may be replicated on a large sample
covering an entire village and a large segment of
urban community. An evaluative study may be conducted
to investigate the effect of the nutritional education
programme on knowledge, weaning beliefs and practices
of ruban and rural mothers.
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Schwartz (2001). Wong’s essential of pediatric nursing,
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2. Subbiah N (2003). Knowledge, attitude,
practices and problems of postnatal mothers regarding
feeding. The Nursing Journal of India, 8
3. WHO care giver feeding behaviour;
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in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria. Indian Journal of Public
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and weaning practices in village of Haryana. Indian
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of weaning practices. The Ethiopian Journal of Health
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