Use this guide to find out what and how much to feed your baby at every stage of development from birth to 12 months.
Zero to six months
The best food for baby in this time frame is breast milk or commercial formula as it will meet all the nutritional needs. Breastfed babies will feel hungry after every two to three hours from being fed as breast milk is digested easily whereas formula fed babies do not feel hungry soon. You would need to frequently feed your baby if he/she is not putting on any weight within the first weeks from birth.
After six months
After six months you can start giving your child semi-solid foods along with breastfeeding him.
Time the introduction of solid foods
Timing the introduction of solid foods can vary from baby to baby. You will know your baby is ready for semi-solids if he/she starts feeling hungry between feedings and is able to swallow and digest properly. Introducing new foods should not replace the practice of breastfeeding. Semi-solid foods should be in the form of mashed or pureed food. Single ingredient cereals for babies can be given too. Feeding your baby will be a messy affair where food will end mostly on the baby rather than being eaten.
Go with the flow of the baby
Use a bib, while you feed and consider a small narrow spoon to feed the baby. Learn to go with the flow of the baby, initially he/she will only take a few spoonfuls to eat or might even refuse to eat. Do not pressurize the baby to eat instead try after a few days. By the age of six months, your baby should be eating three meals along with milk feeds. You can start introducing fruits and vegetables to your baby's feeding schedule.
Six to nine months
At around seven to eight months of the baby you can change the texture of the food that you are giving him/her.
Change the texture of baby food
Lumpy and chunkier foods rather than pureed form of food can be given to encourage ‘tackling’ the food. Around the eight or ninth month, give your child finger foods to encourage feeding himself/herself but be present to supervise such feeding sessions as to prevent choking. After your baby completes nine months, you may introduce poultry or meat which is in form of little chunks.
Nine months to a year
Continue to feed your baby three meals in a day. You can also introduce cow’s milk to your baby when he/she is a year old. Make all healthy food options available to your baby and encourage him/her to eat on his own while you can supervise. Solid foods can make your baby thirsty; consider having a sipper after he/she is a year old.
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