Feeding

  • Introduce solids anytime between 4 and 6 months. Usually your baby will tell you he is ready by watching you eat with intense interest and by being somewhat less satisfied after a breast or bottle feeding.
  • Start slowly – at first this is a new experience. Your baby will need time to learn. When the baby starts to spit or push the spoon away – stop, don’t push it. There will be plenty of interest later.
  • Initially feed your baby one solid meal per day. Space it in between breast or bottle feedings so that you are not giving milk right after or right before; that way the baby is not full, nor are you “rewarding” him or her for stopping by giving milk at the end of the meal.
  • Start with rice cereal mixed with formula, breastmilk, or water. You can introduce a new food every 4-5 days, never more that one at a time so that if one causes a problem you’ll know which it was. Once the baby has tried several different cereals, move on to white fruits (apples, bananas, pears) and after that yellow vegetables (squash, sweet potatoes, carrots). Beyond that the “sky’s the limit” although it is a good idea to read ingredient labels and avoid things which contain long lists of ingredients or lots of chemical additives.
  • When the baby readily takes about 2 oz. at a meal, he is ready for a second daily meal. When he takes 4 oz. (1 standard baby food jar) at each meal, introduce a third. It doesn’t matter which meal you start with, but feedings should be at consistent times every day.
  • Foods to avoid in the first year: Citrus fruits/juices, eggs, fish, nuts, wheat. This is particularly important in families with allergic histories, much less so in non-allergic families. Wheat can be hard to avoid – it “hides” in “mixed” cereal, baby cookies and toasts, and many other baked goods. Eggs are also commonly “hidden” ingredients you must be on the lookout for.
  • Continue using breastmilk or an iron-fortified formula as the main drink throughout this age group. Both have many distinct advantages over regular cow’s milk that your baby still deserves the benefit of. Also, avoid juice. Even “natural” juice is little more than sugar and water, your baby needs it about as much as you need beer.
  • It’s a good idea to inspect bottles of baby food before you buy them. Avoid ones that look “beat up”, have peeling labels, dented caps, etc. Indeed, you may want to avoid stores that stock bottles in that condition on their shelves at all.
  • Babies under one year of age should not consume honey
  • Breast & Bottle-fed babies should be taking a liquid multi-vitamin (Poly-vi-sol with Iron).

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