Are you worried about what and how much to feed your baby? This article presents a feeding chart by age which includes signs of progress too. It will help you design a healthy diet for your baby up to one year.
As you know, breast feeding is best for the newborn babies. Many new moms, by choice or out of necessity, choose a baby formula instead of breast feeding, or in addition to breast feeding. Up to nearly 4 months, breastfeeding is the best option to make your baby strong and healthy. The first milk your breasts produce is known as colostrum, and it is full of antibodies and immunoglobulins, which not only help protect newborns as they come into our world of bacteria and viruses, but also has a laxative effect that helps them expel the tarry first stools called meconium. Colostrum can be named as “first vaccination” of the baby.
Feeding up to Four Months
Up to 4 or 5 months, you should not introduce solid food in your baby’s diet. If after breast feeding, your baby seems relaxed and satisfied, and if your baby continues to gain weight, then it is clear that the baby is getting adequate nourishment through breastfeeding.
Following can be a rough guideline to judge whether your baby is getting enough nourishment: In the first month, your baby should gain 5 to 10 ounces a week, in months 2 and 3, she should gain 5 to 8 ounces a week, in months 3 to 6, she should gain between 2.5 and 4.5 ounces a week, and from 6 to 12 months, she should put on 1 to 3 ounces a week.
Keep it in mind that babies eat when they’re hungry, and naturally stop when they’re full. Different babies will have different appetites. The nutritional needs of your baby may vary from day to day. Hungry babies usually smack their lips or suck, root (turn their heads toward your hand when you stroke their cheeks), and put their hands into their mouth.
|Signs of Progress
|What to Feed
|How Much to Feed
|4 to 6 Months
|6 to 8 Months
|8 to 10 Months
|10 to 12 Months
The chart is just an example. It is perfectly alright if your child eats more or less than the amounts shown in the chart. It is not at all necessary that you introduce new food to your baby in a particular order. It is possible that your baby won’t show all the signs of progress expected – don’t worry, it is perfectly normal. The signs of progress, mentioned above, are just clues to watch for. Don’t panic, if your baby does not eat the cereal on the first try, offer it again in a few days. Remember, you should introduce new foods, one at a time, after consulting the doctor. There should be at least three days gap in between, to make sure your baby is not allergic, and is able to digest the food easily.
Do you know that finger foods are fun for babies? It can be an important early step towards independence. Finger food can be considered as means to develop baby’s fine motor skills and coordination. It may get messy but let the baby enjoy this learning experience. So don’t be too quick with the washcloth! You too should enjoy baby feeding!
Disclaimer: This AptParenting article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.