Babies have specific nutritional needs to get them growing on a strong and healthy path. Newborns have different requirements than toddlers, older babies, and children that follow alongside their developmental paths. If you’re pregnant or you’re expecting a new baby, ask your doctor for complete information about nutrition and which foods are appropriate for which ages, and schedule regular medical visits for yourself and your small one.
Note: this article is an introductory guideline. Always consult your medical practitioner about proper timelines, introducing solid foods, and other rules to follow.
A newborn’s needs are best met with breastmilk because it naturally contains everything they need, like lactose, protein, and fat. It has vitamins, minerals, and helps with immune function. The World Health Organization (WHO), and official governmental bodies, recommend breastfeeding wherever possible because it’s the highest defense against babies developing an illness, an infection, or chronic conditions.It may even help prevent allergies and ease digestion. However, formula is also agreed to be an appropriate substitute if the mother’s health or other circumstances prevent new parents from providing breast milk.
Other benefits of breastfeeding include fewer hospitalizations (compared to formula-fed infants), increased antibodies, the free cost of naturally-produced milk from the mother, and an increased bond that occurs from the skin-to-skin contact between mother and child.When formula feeding, it’s best to replicate the same positioning, contact, and closeness of breastfeeding to benefit from these special intimate moments.
A show for mom and baby, like The Baby Show trade event, is an excellent place to find breastfeeding and nursery accessories and comfort aids, books and DVDs, and a whole selection of unique and quality products for newborns and mothers, alike. Workshops and seminars are available at which to learn and ask questions, and it’s a fantastic meeting place for parents and families to shop, learn, and talk about nutrition and advice together. Breastfeeding might not come extremely easily to mother or baby, so sharing tips and having the opportunity to discover you’re not alone is valuable.
It’s appropriate to introduce solid foods around six months. Your doctor will be able to advise on the right timing for your infant’s health and situation. By slowly introducing one type of new food at a time, it will be easier to ascertain the source of potential allergies or upset stomachs. Remove the specific problem food if this is the case and try something new. Modern research suggests it’s good to introduce common allergy-sensitive foods to your baby, like peanuts, to help prevent them from developing an allergic reaction. Because peanuts are a choking hazard, peanut butter is the preferred solution. The idea is to build up a tolerance to these foods rather than avoiding them. Breastfeeding and/or formula should continue alongside soft, healthy, solid foods that contain a lot of iron. Slowly increase the intake of solids over time. Ask your doctor about the appropriate time to transition from soft solids to harder solids to prevent choking.
Try offering your baby pieces from yours or your family’s meal to see what they like and allow them to eventually feed themselves. Always watch your baby eat to make sure they’re not putting too much food in their mouth. They should be sitting upright and never lying down while eating.Give them smaller pieces that they can easily eat with their hands to help them manipulate and develop better motor skills. Small, hard pieces are not advisable until they are older.Once they’re on the go, don’t allow them to eat while crawling, walking, or running, as this is also a choking danger.
Remember to ask your doctor about specific rules to follow for your infant and their special needs.