Feeding Babies isn’t easy to understand. New parents are often worried about the feeding habits of the babies. They are not so sure about what to feed and when to feed. So today we will provide you with the complete eating schedule of the baby’s nutrition in a nutshell.
Feeding until the baby turns 6 months old
Breastfeeding or the formula offers all the nutrition which a baby needs until the first 6 months of her life. Breastfeeding will be the best option. It’s the breast milk which provides all the necessary nutrients to the baby until she is six months old. So make all the efforts to try to breastfeed your baby if in case you are facing any problems then contact your health advisor for more information and support.
However, in some cases where the mothers are unable to feed the baby, issues like mastitis, then in that case feeding the baby with formula from the bottle will be the right choice. Do not give the baby a cow’s milk, goat’s milk or soy milk as they are not suitable for babies under 12 months old. These products do not have the necessary nutrients which your baby needs to grow such as iron.
Getting back to work should not be the reason to stop breastfeeding. There are lots of ways to provide your milk to the baby even when you are not around. You can express the milk out and refrigerate it or freeze it. If nothing comes as the barrier and you still continue to breastfeed the baby then slowly introduce your baby to a bottle or a cup.
For more information on breastfeeding, bottle-feeding and nutrition (yours and your baby’s) check out our other articles on the same site.
When your baby is around 6 months old then you can start introducing solids to her. It’s wise to start one food at a time so that you can identify if your baby has any food allergy or intolerance. Start with a little bit of milky cereal, you can add breast milk or formula to the cereal and feed the baby.
Let’s take a tour of the food guide which can be introduced according to the months.
Six months: At this age your baby is all set to try different tastes and flavors. Introduce baby cereals mixed with breast milk or formula to start with. You can also buy some baby food from the stores but make sure that they follow all the federal standards. You can also cook food at home like pureed fruits such as apples, pears or vegetables like potato, pumpkin or carrot.
Seven months: You can try introducing some lumpier food and broaden the variety offered.
Eight months: This is the right time to introduce a bit more of coarsely mashed food, like minced meat, chicken and rice. You can also introduce soft fruits, soft-cooked veggies and toast, and not to forget grated cheese (pasteurized) and yoghurt.
12 months: At this age, your baby is ready to eat a little of what the rest of the family is eating. But make sure that you cut the pieces into small and then give it to the baby to avoid choking.
The above listed tips are just a guide for you to set a time frame. This does not mean that you force your baby to eat the food. Every baby is different from the other and has her own acceptance levels. If a food gets knocked down try it again next week. Baby’s can be offered new food any time before you actually want to try it. Avoid fussing around or worrying about your baby not eating solid food. There is no point in forcing the baby to eat anything. Be patient and offer the baby with an interval of every week so that she gets used to it.
Food Schedule after 6 months
Once the baby is 6 months old and got used to solid food then you can prepare a schedule chart for your reference and keep it. Your schedule will look somewhat like this
- Early morning – Breastfeed or bottle
- Mid morning – Breakfast and breastfeed or bottle
- Early afternoon – Lunch and breastfeed or bottle
- Early evening – Dinner and breastfeed or bottle
- Late evening – Breastfeed or bottle (if needed)
You can identify that there are 4-5 milk feeds per day. But as your baby grows the solid food intake will increase and the baby herself will reduce the milk intake.
There are babies who are too fussy to eat any food. As a parent it’s your responsibility to provide good and nutritious food to the baby. If your baby does not like any type of food then try to provide a variety to her. You provide the food and let your baby decide how much to eat, do not fight over the food with the babies as this might create problems at the later stage.
Foods to avoid
Salt, sugar or caffeine: Babies stomach is too tender to handle any foods which are high in salt or sugar, or foods with caffeine which are found in cola drinks and chocolates.
Soft drinks and Juices: It’s better for babies to get their nutrition straight from fruit. If baby is thirsty, plain tap water is best. Water is rich with fluorides which helps in build the enamel on her developing teeth.
Dairy Products: Honey and unpasteurized dairy products may contain harmful bacteria which are unsuitable for the babies under 1 year old.
Cow’s milk, goat’s milk and soy milk are not suitable for children under 12 months. Instead babies can get the nutrition from breastmilk or formula.
Biscuits and sweets: If you can keep your child away from the temptations of biscuits and lollies then you might win the mealtime battle. Try to avoid this at least until the baby is 2 years old.