Background: Adequate weaning confers both short and long-term benefits on a child’s health and well-being. Weaning practice is determined by a mother’s knowledge amongst other factors.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional questionnaire-based study carried out from 1st of June - 31st of May 2021. Assessments were graded as good, fair and poor knowledge or practice. Data was analysed using SPSS version 23. Fishers’ Exact test was used to test for statistical significance, with P value set at <0.05.
Results: Most mothers were aged 30-35years 67(38.7%), married 171(98.8%), resided in the urban area 146(84.4%), were traders/businesswomen 73(42.2%), had tertiary education 136(78.6%) and had a parity of 2, 61(35.3%). Majority 110(63.6%) had heard of the word ‘weaning’ but only 72(43.9%) could correctly define it. Majority 145(83.8%) had good knowledge while 5(2.9%) had poor knowledge. Majority 106(61.3%) had good practice while 2(1.1%) had poor practice. Majority 121(69.9%) of mothers who weaned their babies before 6 months did so because they felt the breast milk was not enough 21(42.6%). Others felt they were stressed 7(14.9%) and because of resumption at work 7(14.9%). Most mothers who stopped breastfeeding before 2 years of age did so mainly because the babies stopped on their own 21(25.6%), ate more of complimentary foods 20(24.4%) and because of work pressure 9(11.1%). There was significant association between the mother’s occupation (P value=0.003), and level of education (P value < 0.001) with the level of weaning knowledge. There was a significant association between the level of practice of weaning and male sex (P value=0.016).
Conclusion: There was good knowledge and good practice of weaning among mothers attending the paediatric outpatient clinic. There is however still room for improvement of weaning practices by mothers by further education on weaning as well as provision of support by community support groups.