Content                                                                                                 Page

Title page                                                                                                              i          

Certification                                                                                                    ii

Dedication                                                                                                         iii

Acknowledgements                                                                   iv

Abstract                                                                                                  v

Table of Contents                                                                                               vi

List of Tables                                                                                                    ix

List of Figures                                                                                                   x


1.1 Background to the Study                                                                         1

1.2 Statement of the Problem       2

1.3Objective of the Study                                                                                          3

1.4 Research Questions                                                                                              4

1.5 Hypotheses                                                                                               4

1.6   Scope of the Study                                                                                             4

1.7   Justification for the Study                                                                                 5

1.8 Operational Definition of Terms                                                   5


2.0   Introduction                                                                                                        6

2.1 Concept Related to Weaning                                                                              6

2.2 Dangers of the weaning period                                                      7

2.2.1 Risks of starting solids early                                                                11

2.2.2 What are the risks for early weaning                                          11

2.2.3 Solid food and iron                                                                         12

2.3. When to start weaning                                                                                      12

2.4 Improvement of weaning practices                                                               13

2.5 Harmful weaning practices                                     16

2.6 Theoretical Framework                                           18


3.0 Introduction                                      23

3.1 Research Design                                                                                       23

3.2 Population                                                                                                   23

3.3 Sample size and sampling Technique                                        23

3.4 Instrumentation                                                                                      25

3.5 Validity and reliability of Instruments                                                   25

3.6 Method of Data Collection                                                                  25

3.7 Method of Data Analysis                                                                         25

3.8Ethical Consideration                                                                          25



4.0 Introduction                                                                                27

4.1 Data analysis and results                                                                       28

4.2 Discussion of Findings                                                           33

Content Page



5.1 Summary                                                                                       36

5.2 Conclusion                                                                                     36

5.3 Recommendations                                                                           37

5.4 Limitation of the Study                                                     37

5.5 Suggestion for Further Studies                                             37

REFERENCES                                                                                38

APPENDICES                                                                                                      41


Table                                                     Page

 1: Mothers Selection from the three Primary Health Centers in Ikenne Local          Government Area      24

 2: Demographic data of participants                                  28

 3: Descriptive statistics on Mothers Knowledge regarding infant weaning                  29

 4: Mothers Knowledge level on infant weaning                      30

5: Descriptive statistics on mothers practices concerning infant weaning                      30

6: Level of mothers practices on infant weaning                            31

7: Inferential statistics on occupation and weaning practices among mothers                31

8: Inferential statistics on educational level and weaning practices among                    32

9: Inferential statistics on ethnicity and infant weaning practices among                     mothers    32

10: Inferential statistics on mothers’ knowledge level and infant weaning       practices among mothers                33


Figure                                                                        Page                              

1: Effect of infections: Practical Mother and Child Health in Developing        Countries          9

2: The food square: Practical Mother and Child Health in Developing                     16

3: Theoretical Framework                                                          20

4: Conceptual Model                                                                           21


Appendix                                                                                              Page

    A: Research questionnaire                                             39                  

    B: Pictures from the field work                                             42



1.1   Background to the Study

Weaning is the introduction of supplementary food to a child’s diet after the first six months of life. Infant weaning with supplementary feeds of breast milk substitutes, early introduction of complementary feeding and incorrect weaning from breast milk are commonly found practices in communities around the world (Inayati, Scherbaum, Purwestri, Hormann, Wirawan, Suryantan, Hartono, Bloem, Pangaribuan, Biesalki, Hoffmann, & Bellows, 2012). The period of weaning could involve a lot of problems and usually information gap exist in relation to how and when weaning takes place. Adequate nutrition during infancy and early childhood is essential for growth and development of children (Ashmika, Deerajen, Prity & Rajesh, 2013). It has been recognized worldwide that breastfeeding is beneficial for both the mother and child as breastmilk is considered the best source of nutrition for an infant (Ku & Chow, 2010). The World Health Organization (WHO) as said by Hanif (2011 recommends that infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months after which complementary foods are introduced along with breastmilk for up to two years of age or beyond. The first two years of life are critical stages for a child’s growth and development. Any damage caused by nutritional deficiencies during this period could lead to impaired cognitive development, compromised educational achievement and low economic productivity (Kimani-Murage, Madise, Fotso, Kyobutungi, Mutau, Gitau & Yatich, 2011).

Poor breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices, together with high rates of morbidity from infectious diseases are the prime proximate causes of malnutrition in the first two years of life. Breastfeeding confers both short-term and long-term benefits to a child. It reduces infections and mortality among infants, improves mental and motor development, and protects against obesity and metabolic diseases later in life (WHO, 2010). According to Kimani-Murage et al., (2011), the WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months, beginning from the first hour of life, to meet the infant’s nutritional requirements and achieve optimal growth, development and health. The mother is advised to continue breastfeeding up to two years of age or more and begin nutritionally adequate, safe, and appropriately-fed complementary foods at the age of six months in order to meet the evolving needs of the growing infant. Since weaning is a process by which food other than breast milk is introduced gradually into baby’s diet, first to complement the breast milk and then to wean totally off breast milk involve selecting light nutritious food for easy absorption. Then later replace light nutritious food with thicker feed using hygiene practices when preparing them but majority of nutrition problems in rural areas are due to faulty weaning food (Shadia & Bedor, 2013).

Predictors of breastfeeding and weaning practices vary between and within countries. Factors that influence the weaning process include infant feeding problems such as refusal to eat, colic, diarrhoea and vomiting (Ashmika et al., 2013). These factors represent challenges for mothers and in turn may either directly or indirectly influence the feeding pattern. In view of the identified factors, which are early introduction of complementary feeding and incorrect weaning from breast milk, the researcher would carry out a study on infant weaning knowledge and practices among mothers in ikenne local government area, Ogun State

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Weaning has been one of the most wrongly practiced processes in the developmental stages of the children. It  was observed that mothers give their infant other food apart from breast milk right from birth while some delayed supplementary diet till above Nine months with either cases having negative effect on the infant. WHO (Hanif, 2011) recommends a gradual weaning period from 6 months to 2 years, this allows for the child to still receive the benefits from breastfeeding, while also consuming the necessary nutrients from the complementary foods. But almost half of the mothers (52%) abruptly weaned their children while only 11.6% gradually weaned their children as complementary food is being addedto the children diet (Somiya, 2014). The time of weaning is one of the most critical aspects of child’s life. It is the transition period at which the child whose main food used to be milk changes over to adult food. Usually if this period of change in diet is well-planned and progresses smoothly, there will be no setbacks, but in a large number of children, malnutrition usuallytakes place during this period. Ten million children under the age of 5 years old die each year (Somiya, 2014). More than half of the deaths occur because of poor weaning that leads to malnutrition. If adequate health systems were in place nearly two-third of the deaths could be prevented. The most vulnerable period for developing under-nutrition remains the transition from breastfeeding to family foods. Malnourished children often suffer the loss of precious mental capacities. They fall ill more often. If they survive, they may grow up with lasting mental or physical disabilities (Dinesh & Sushilkumar, 2011).

Poor quality of weaning foods and improper weaning practices predispose infants to malnutrition, growth retardation, infection, diseases and high mortality (Somiya, 2014). Food is expected to be prepared adequately containing the required nutrients as well as appropriate with a suitable texture and temperature. Without the knowledge of proper weaning practices as well as a perception of the child’s hunger needs, malnutrition and illness may ensue. Thus, the weaning period is therefore a vulnerable time when the child should be attentively cared for and observed so as to maintain health (Somiya, 2014). Therefore, information gotten on weaning will improve mother’s practice of weaning since the mother is the most important person in a baby’s life for both its physical as well as its psychosocial care and growth. The mother-infant relationship is the most vital formative relationship for the child. There arises a need to prevent wrong assumption of mothers on weaning process and timing, there is need for sound education, effective information and sufficient knowledge of weaning to be instilled in mothers. Nurses can be agent of carrying out the educational needs for weaning infants in proper way. Therefore, the need for a study on infant weaning knowledge and practices among mothers in Ikenne Local Government Area, Ogun State.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to explore infant weaning knowledge and practices among mothers in Ikenne local government area, Ogun State. The specific objectives are to: