Parenthood is full of surprises, specially for becoming parents for the 1st time. Birth of a baby revolutionize mum’s life. Her relationship with her spouse, the daily routine, the looks, topic of discussion changes, social life is altered and above all expect mistakes that are never anticipated. The following article will unfold how to take care of your baby dietary needs.
Baby Dietary Needs
Once the baby is born, in your hands, there is instant flow of love. I, as a new mum was over the top of the moon and I just couldn’t sleep for days out of excitement. Mother is always protecting and worrying for her kids, thinking her baby to be the most beautiful being in the world. Therefore, it is important to know what your baby dietary needs are.
Feeding During First 4 Months
A mother needs to take a decision about how to feed her baby, whether to go for breast feeding or bottle feeding. The best feeding method, medically proven, is definitely breast feeding.
Benefits of breast feeding for baby
- Its perfect food for baby’s delicate digestive system.
- It’s components are easily digested.
- Breast milk contains antibodies that protect babies from infectious illnesses like diarrhea and respiratory infections.
- Researches suggest that breast milk fed babies are less prone to certain medical problems like allergies, asthma, diabetes and high cholesterol.
- Breastfed babies have decreased chances of becoming overweight or obese.
- Breast feeding reduces the risks of infections and thus improving immunity of the baby.
Benefits of breast feeding for mother
- Breast milk is cheaper than bottle milk.
- Breastfeeding is easier and quicker.
- It doesn’t need any preparation.
- Lactating mothers lose weight quicker because of calories burn.
- It helps shrink the uterus, thus mother comes back in shape
- Studies suggest that mother who breast feed their babies has less chances of suffering from Breast and ovarian cancer.
- Skin to skin contact of the baby and mother enhances the emotional connection.
Because of growth spurt, babies feed more often, which prompts mother’s body for increased milk supply. It takes a couple of days for milk supply and demand to come into balance.
Feeding During 5-7 Months
According to old cliché, weaning should be started when baby is 4 months old. But now a days experts recommend to start weaning at 6 months.
Because of my personal experience with my own kids, I think that weaning should be started at the age of 4 months. As the baby starts understanding at the age of 6, they find drinking milk to be very easy and effortless. Furthermore they do not like new tastes. But again every baby is different and consult with your physician and nutritionist before following any recommendations.
According to my personal experience while taking care of my baby dietary needs , early weaning should be an introduction to new tastes, not to fill up their little tummies. Milk will still continue as their prime food.
- Choose a time of the day when baby is hungry but not starving.
- She shouldn’t be tired or sleepy.
- Baby is sitting upright in a high chair or your lap.
- First food can be mashed and smooth banana or any baby cereal mixed with usual milk for a very fine consistency.
- Place the spoon near her lips and let her try to eat it.
- Don’t force the food in if she doesn’t like the taste.
- The first spoon might be rejected, so wait a couple of minutes and try again.
- Just remember, food at early stage are meant for taste introduction only.
- Go very slow in introducing new foods. Only one new food at a time. Give it for a couple of days before trying something new. This is for identification of the food from which the baby is allergic.
- You can introduce finger foods like apple, cucumber, pear slice etc which the baby will try to suck.
- Keep an eye that she doesn’t take a bite, or a piece from it doesn’t come off which might choke her.
- Introduce a sippy cup to your baby for drinking water.
- From the start of weaning, as it continues, the consistency of the food should be from liquidy till thick to lumpy and then chewy.
Feeding During 8-12 Months
- Let her explore a variety of tastes and texture.
- Be careful not to introduce too many things in one go.
- You can offer foods that require a bit of chewing as well.
- Serve the same food as family is eating (cooked a bit longer, fork mashed etc to avoid choking).
- By the age of 9 months they can use a spoon (use baby spoon available in market).
- Babies can use their fingers to eat food. At this age they can enjoy their meals with rest of the family. Foods given at family meal time make it easier for babies to just start eating naturally.
- At first birthday, babies are ready to start cow’s milk.
- If you are breast feeding, continue it side by side during the day.
- After first birthday, serve the whole milk in a cup.
FOODS TO AVOID DURING FIRST YEAR OF LIFE
Honey: It can be a probable source of Clostridium botulinum spores which can lead to botulism in babies. Adults digestive system can fight it easily.
Fresh milk: Stick to formula milk or breast milk during the first year of life. Fresh milk proteins are very hard to digest and minerals present in it can damage their kidneys. Moreover they can not handle milk and milk products lactose and some babies are born allergic to milk protein.
Nuts: Don’t give nuts as they pose choking hazard. Peanuts can cause serious allergic reactions. Avoid giving foods with nuts in their ingredients.
Nitrates: Some vegetables like lettuce, beets, collard greens, spinach and fennel have high levels of nitrates which can’t be broken down by baby’s stomach acids, hence blocking blood’s ability to transport oxygen, thus causing Blue Baby Syndrome.
Fish: Avoid tuna, mackeral and sword fish etc because of their high Mercury level. You can give them white fish like cod, haddock, flounder or sole, once a week. Becareful to remove all bones before serving.
Berries: Protein in strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are hard to digest by babies. Introduce after first birthday. If you wish to serve them with these berries then offer a little at one time.
Citrus fruits: Grapefruits and oranges are highly acidic and can cause rashes on the body. Again, if you wish to serve them, then offer in little quantities and dilute juice with water.
Salt: Baby’s kidneys cannot cope with large amounts of sodium so don’t sprinkle it on their plate and remove a portion of cooked food for the baby before seasoning the food for the rest of the family.
Egg: Egg white can cause severe allergic reactions. If you are really keen to give baby egg then give only egg yolk.
Chocolate: Caffeine and milk in chocolate is not good for the baby.
Wheat: Alot of people suffer from gluten intolerance. Most of the nutritionists recommend giving wheat products after first birthday. You can look for gluten free options for your baby.
Checking hazard: Avoid foods like popcorn, grapes, raisins, nuts, seeds, sausage, candies etc to avoid checking.
What are your tips for a baby dietary needs? Let us know in the comment section below.
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