Are you new to parenting, and have no idea what, when, and how much to feed your baby? Well, you are in the right place. This piece is about everything you need to know about feeding your baby.
1. When Is Your Baby Ready For Solid Foods?
An important ballpark is to know when your baby is ready to start solid foods — 4 to 6 months. However, age is just one of the criteria to make this judgement.
Your baby’s motor skills can also help you determine when they are ready for solid foods. Make sure that your baby is able to do these things:
- Hold her or his head up.
- Close her or his mouth around a spoon.
- Does not expel non-liquids out of her or his mouth.
2. What’s On The Menu?
Your main options include cereals, pureed vegetables, fruits, and meat. As a rule of thumb, babies before 1 year old should stick to pureed meals. When your baby reaches 1 year old, you can try feeding them finely chopped meals.
Pureed meat is a good way of providing iron to your baby, which is important for brain development. Another option is to feed your baby cereal that is fortified with iron. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends 1mg/kg per day of supplemental iron for babies age 4 months and older who are being partially breastfed and not receiving iron-containing complementary foods.
3. How Much To Feed Your Baby?
When your baby is eating solid foods for the first few weeks, feed your baby only one to two teaspoons at one sitting. Give your baby time to transition from liquid to solid. For example, you can mix cereal with some formula milk. You can then increase her or his intake to one tablespoon for twice a day. And then, slowly increase every two months or so.
However, it is also important to take into account your baby’s instincts. They do have an inborn ability to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. So, you can stop feeding them if they swat at the spoon, turn their heads away, purse their lips tight, spit out the food, or cry. It is really possible to overfeed your baby, so try to find a way to “communicate” with them.