Newborn Care - As a new mother, understanding how to correctly feed your baby can be difficult. Here are some wonderful guidelines to feed your baby and guide you in your new-found parenthood.
Guidelines while feeding your baby
- During the first six months of the baby’s life, a diet of only breastfeed milk and commercial formula is sufficient. Starting solids early can cause food allergies apart from risks of choking and indigestion as the baby’s digestive system is not fully developed to tackle solid objects so early.
- If you do not understand how much feedings or food does your baby need, the simplest thing is to read the signals a baby gives you. If the baby is not ready to eat the food, you can understand his signal of turning his face away from food.
- When you are introducing solid foods to your baby, do it one at a time. A new food should be introduced and continued for a week before you introduce another food. This will help you keep tab on any food allergies that your baby might have. Do not mix various fruits or vegetables unless you are sure your baby is not allergic to any of them. Choose foods which have maximum nutrition, easily digestible and least likely to trigger food allergy.
- Delay introducing eggs to your baby until he/she is a year old to prevent any allergy. Allergic reactions can be in the form of rashes, diarrhea and vomiting.
- Babies generally prefer sweet tasting food to bland ones, so alternate baby food with sweet fruits as well as bland vegetables to avoid fussy behaviour later.
- Always feed your baby in a sitting position as lying down while eating can cause choking and reflux.
- Avoid salty, sugary or spicy food. Seasoning baby food is a bad idea.
- Supervise your baby’s feeding time to prevent choking hazards. Nicely pureed food should be given till six months of age while small chunks of food can be given after seven to eight months.
- Introduce variety of flavours to your baby to make him/her more receptive to different tastes not only will it make him/her a non-fussy eater but will also provide more nutrition.
- Never force feed your baby, read the natural signals your baby sends and know when to stop.
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