The first dietary choice you make for your child is feeding your newborn baby. Proper and healthy feeding of your baby during the first year of his life will have a huge impact on his development. More development happens in the first year than at any other stage in your child’s life. For the first few months, all that is required is breast milk or formula. As your child develops, beginning a variety of healthy foods at the right time is essential for proper growth and development. And beginning good eating habits at this early stage can help to establish healthy eating routines for life.
These tips on breastfeeding and bottle feeding will help you know what’s best for you and your baby.
Feeding guide for the first 4 months
Don’t offer solid food unless the health care professional of your child recommends you to do so. Solid food should not be started for infants younger than 4 months of age for the following reasons:
- Breast milk or formula gives your baby all the nutrients required to grow.
- Your child is not physically developed enough to eat a spoonful of solid food.
- Feeding your baby with solid food too early will lead to over-feeding and being overweight.
- As a general rule, solid food doesn’t help babies sleep through the night.
Breastfeeding the newborn baby has many benefits. Perhaps most importantly, breast milk is the perfect food for a baby’s digestive system. It has the nutrients that a newborn requires, and all its components — lactose, protein (whey and casein) and fat — are quickly digested. This by far is the most important baby feeding tip.
Limitations of breastfeeding
Since breast milk is quickly digested, breastfed children prefer to feed more often than children who are fed the formula. This ensures that mom will be on call as much as every two or three hours in the first few weeks. This could be tiring, but it’s not long before babies eat less often and sleep longer at night. There are many organic formulas like breast milk that are recommended once the baby is around 6 months and this can come as a welcome relief to the mother.
Avoiding Unfamiliar Food
There are so many frustrations that come with feeding a little child who can’t talk beyond sobs and cries. But with patience and encouragement, you will learn how to give your baby the food they need in ways they really appreciate. It’s normal and natural for babies to shy away from unfamiliar food. With so few food interactions, it makes a wide range of foods hard coax at first.
Babies learn by watching, and by watching their parents and siblings eat and enjoy a wide range of foods, your baby is more likely to give them a try. This transition in baby feeding is critical because research shows that the exposure of infants to a variety of tastes and textures sets them up for improved health in the future.
Different Positions of Breastfeeding
Trial and error with a few breastfeeding positions is the key before finding a preference that works best for you and your baby. A significant factor or tip of breastfeeding for a mother is that she should always feel relaxed. In general, the child should be placed in such a way that they face the body of the mother and their head, shoulders and hips are aligned. Some of the most widely used positions include the cradle position, cross cradle position, clutch position and the side-lying position.
Out of all the others, cradle position is the most common breastfeeding position.
The mother’s arm holds the baby at the breast. The child’s head is cradled near the elbow, and the child’s arm lies on the back and neck. The mother and the infant should be chest to chest.
Does your baby need a vitamin D supplement?
Although breast milk is the best source of nutrients for infants, it likely won’t provide enough vitamin D. Your child needs vitamin D to consume calcium and phosphorus. Too little vitamin D can lead to rickets, softening and weakening of bones. Since sun exposure — an essential source of vitamin D — is not recommended for children, supplements are the best way to avoid vitamin D deficiency.
It is strongly recommended that you consult your doctor before giving your baby liquid vitamin D. Make sure that you do not surpass the prescribed number. Always read the instructions carefully that come with the supplement and use only the dropper given.
Remember careful observation and watching early signs of any discomfort to the baby is enough to ease the most important and taxing job of feeding your baby. Switching over to organic baby formula will eventually happen but the initial stages take the center stage here.There are a lot offormulas like breast milk that can provide the same level of nutrition to your baby without compromising on the taste. So, make sure you do your research before going ahead and making a decision.