The first six months
During this time, your baby needs only breast milk or infant formula. Breast milk contains a unique combination of amino acids, fatty acids, lactose, minerals, enzymes and vitamins that make it the perfect baby food. Breast milk provides complete nutrition for your baby and support for brain development, digestion, healthy growth, and a strong immune system.
Breastfeeding should ideally continue for at least 6 months, If you are unable to breast feed your baby, there are many formulas on the market that provide great nutrition to your growing baby.
Newborns should be nursed or fed formula 8-12 times every 24 hours. If breastfeeding, each session should last about 15 minutes on each breast. If your baby shows signs of hunger more frequently, you will need to adjust to his/her needs. Hunger signs are typically mouthing or being more alert and active.
If you unable to breast feed, there are excellent formulas on the market that provide great nutritional support for your baby. One of the best is Earth’s Best Organic Infant Formula with Iron.
Breast milk or formula are ideal food for the first 6 months of life. There is generally no need to give your breastfed baby water, juice or other foods in the first 6 months. However, somewhere between 4-6 months, you will start noticing signs your baby is ready to start trying solid food.
If baby shows the following signs, it is time to introduce solid food
- Shows interest in food others are eating
- Seems hungry after regular feedings of milk or formula
- Losing tendency to push food out of mouth
- Can hold his/her own head up
- Has doubled birth weight
When you first introduce solid food, your baby might seem frustrated or uninterested. Have patience, wait a few days or even weeks before trying again.
How to introduce solid food
When the pediatrician has given you the green light and you feel your baby is ready, set aside a day and time when you and your baby are not rushed. It is highly recommended that you let your baby breastfeed or bottle feed a little so that he or she is not starving and annoyed during the experience. You want your baby to be a little hungry to encourage this big step.
Either position your baby in your lap or in an upright infant seat with a safety strap.
If your baby is weaned before 12 months of age, give an iron-fortified formula. The formula should be iron-fortified to prevent anemia (low blood count). Don’t start cow’s milk until your child is one year old. Cow’s milk does not have the vitamins babies need. Below are additional articles related to feeding your baby:
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