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Feeding Your Baby: Tips and Advice for New Parents ”
Along with sleeping, eating is a top activity in a baby’s daily routine. But if you’re a new parent, this simple activity can be the source of many doubts, questions, and concerns. How much and how often should your baby eat? When can you switch to baby formula? When can you introduce your baby to solid food? Since babies are not alike when it comes to eating preferences and needs, the answers to these questions are not always straightforward.
Read on to discover a few essential tips for feeding your baby. Learn all about how you can provide safe and healthy nutrition to your baby by age.
Feeding Schedule by Age
Due to their tiny stomachs, babies can only ingest very small quantities of liquid in their first three months of life. In this period, they need to eat between 7 to 9 times per day. As they grow older and their digestive system develops, they’re able to take in more liquid. As a result, the feeding frequency gradually drops. A three-month-old baby should eat between 6 to 8 times in 24 hours, whereas a six-month-old baby only 5 or 6 times. A one-year-old baby who is accustomed to solid foods still needs nursing at least four times a day.
A key thing to remember is that breastfed babies need to eat more often than babies fed formula. The reason is that formula takes longer to digest than breast milk. In general, babies have different paces so you shouldn’t adhere to a predetermined schedule. Look for clues about your baby’s personal preferences. A good rule of thumb is not letting more than two or three hours pass between feedings in the first four months of your baby’s life.
Breast Milk or Formula
In their first six months of life, babies can get all the nutrients they need from breast milk or formula. Many parents wonder, however, which is best for their baby: breastfeeding or formula feeding. Each type of nutrition has its advantages. Naturally, breast milk is the food that your baby is prepared to eat. It contains all necessary nutrients in the right quantity, and the baby can digest it easily. Unfortunately, not all mothers can breastfeed every time the baby needs it. Others cannot breastfeed at all, in which case formula is life-saving. It’s vital to find a formula that satisfies your baby’s nutritional needs and that’s specially made for your baby’s age. Check this baby formula Australia-based company for premium baby nutrition.
Because breastfed babies eat more often than babies fed formula, you have to stay with your baby 24/7 when you breastfeed. Otherwise, it’s impossible to maintain a healthy feeding schedule. If you cannot breastfeed, formula feeding is the only healthy and safe alternative for your baby to get all the necessary nutrients. Since babies who are fed formula need fewer feedings, they can sleep for several hours without interruption. As a parent, this can be important if you want to maintain a strict sleeping and feeding schedule.
Around six months, a baby’s digestive system becomes mature enough to handle solids. There are usually signs that your baby is ready for a diversified diet. Does your baby have good head control? Does your baby weigh more than 13 pounds? If the answer to these two questions is yes, then your baby can start eating solid food.
Which food to start with? In general, the term solid baby food refers to pureed vegetables and fruits. Consider pureed apples, pears, carrots, avocado, sweet potatoes, or broccoli. Stick with one food for several days. This is important because you need to monitor your baby’s reaction to the food. If the baby develops diarrhea, vomiting, or other signs of an allergic reaction, you can quickly determine what caused it.
The transition from breast milk or formula to solids should be slow, so you can give your baby enough time to get used to different foods. The baby’s stomach adjusts slowly to different nutrients and quantities. Between 8 to 10 months of age, a baby is ready for textured foods such as mashed bananas, yogurt, oats, or scrambled eggs. A one-year-old baby should already be familiar with different types of foods, but breast milk or formula is still vital at this age.
Although many parents worry about how, when, and what they should feed their baby, babies have their ways of expressing whether they’re hungry or full. Pay attention to your baby’s behavior for signs of hunger and adapt your feeding practices and schedule accordingly.
Feeding Your Baby: Tips and Advice for New Parents