Feeding Your Baby

It is advisable for mother to feed babies with breast milk or formula ONLY for the first four months after birth. This could be considered as a ‘must’ becausethe baby gets its nourishment from the mother’s milk.

After the completion of four months, you could initiate giving him some solids. But then, how do you know whether your baby is ready to take solids?

Here are a few hints that could help you overcome this doubt:

  • Is your baby’s tongue-thrust reflex gone or diminished? This reflex, which prevents infants from choking on foreign objects, also causes them to push food out of their mouths.
  • Can your baby support his or her own head? To eat solid food, an infant needs good head and neck control and should be able to sit up.
  • Is your baby interested in food? A baby who is six month old and stares and grabs at your food at dinnertime is clearly ready for some variety in the food department.

Introduce one food at a time, and wait several days before trying something else new. This will allow you to identify you baby’s food allergies. Some foods are generally withheld until later. It is advisable that you avoid feeding some food items such as eggs, cow’s milk, citrus fruits and juices, and honey until after a baby’s first birthday.

Four to Six Months
Between four and six months, breast milk or formula still holds good and should constitute the chief part of the baby’s diet. Along with this semi-liquid iron-fortified rice cereal, other grain cereals like oats or barley could also be fed.

Six to Eight Months
Apart from you breast milk or formula, iron-fortified cereals such as rice, barley or oats could be fed. Pureed or strained fruits such as banana, pears, applesauce, peaches or of vegetables such as avocado, well-cooked carrots, squash, and sweet potato could also be fed to the baby.

Eight to Ten Months
Breast milk or formula still remains a major part of your young one’s diet. Once your young one has taken to solid food, you could now give him small amounts of soft pasteurized cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese (but no cows’ milk until your baby has attained one year in age). You could introduce your baby to some finger foods such as (lightly toasted bagels, cut up; small pieces of ripe banana; well-cooked spiral pasta; teething crackers; low-sugar O-shaped cereal) provided your baby takes to it.

Ten to Twelve Months

Along with your breast milk, now you could feed your young one with small amounts of soft pasteurized cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese (but no cows’ milk until age one) and protein (egg yolk, pureed or finely ground meats and poultry, tofu, well-cooked and mashed beans).

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