Baby Feeding Schedule: How to feed your baby under a year old?
Baby Feeding Schedule: The First Four Months
Newborn infants have immature digestive systems. Most mothers are advised to feed their newborns only breast milk or formula for the initial four to six months of the baby`s life. Ideally breast milk would be the best option for infants, but formula is an excellent substitute.
Formerly, paediatricians were of the opinion that semi solid food like baby cereal mixed with formula or breast milk, could be fed to babies as early as three weeks into life. This they thought would enable the baby to sleep longer. Latest research however has shown that solid or semi solid can in reality, sometimes cause food allergies. Additionally it may be difficult for the baby`s digestive system to handle solid food. It is recommended that mothers consult their health care professional before feeding baby solid or semi solid food during the first few months of life.
During the first two months, your little one might need a feed every two hours or so. This is often the case with Breastfed babies. Usually by the third month the feeding intervals may be a bit longer and it can be observed that baby wakes up less frequently at night. Nevertheless, it is essential that baby is fed whenever she is hungry.
Baby Feeding Schedule: Four to Six Months
At around the six month mark, you can consider introducing solids into your baby`s diet. Keep in mind that her breast milk or formula should be continued as before, and solids can be given to her once or twice a day
Your baby has to first get accustomed to feeding from a spoon and has to learn to gulp down the semi solid food. After she learns to do this she will quite enjoy her cereal mixed with formula. Gradually you can also introduce other items like oats or boiled rice mixed with breast or formula milk.
Your baby may take a while to adjust to the new diet. She may spit out the food initially. She may also take in a few spoonfuls and might prefer milk instead. It is advisable to make the transition to solid food gradually. Some babies take a few weeks before they get comfortable with solid food.
Baby Feeding Schedule: Six to Eight Months
Between six and eight moths most babies would have adjusted to a semi solid diet consisting of cereal, or boiled rice mixed with formula or breast milk. Mothers can now add variety to the solid diet by introducing fruits and vegetables, (in no particular order). You may also feed her fruit juice at this stage. It is best to avoid citrus juice like fresh orange or grape fruit juice until later, but most fruit juices are safe for babies at this stage,
It is important that you introduce these new foods gradually to your baby. This would enable you to keep a watch on food allergies which the baby may have.
Once your little one is eight months old, she would probably be on a diet consisting of baby cereal, fruits, vegetables, oats, rice, barley and a variety of other foods. Keep feeding her ample breast milk and formula as these are still her primary source of nourishment.
Baby Feeding Schedule: Eight Months to Twelve Months
At this stage you might probably feel that your baby should be eating solids most of the time. This is not necessarily true .Baby will only eat solid foods which she likes and as much as she needs .Rely on signals your baby gives you, give her time to experience and try out new foods.
Do not force-feed your child. Your baby will let you know what she likes and how much she needs. She may try to snatch the spoon away from you if she is very hungry or may purse her lips if she does not want to eat.
By now mothers can start expanding baby`s diet. Baby food-dinners are a great option. A variety of baby food dinners are available in the market.
Typically you can serve your baby cereal pancakes or avocados with egg yolk which contains protein. Fruits like bananas, peaches, apples and pears are good for your baby. You can also dairy items like Yogurt. Although you may want to mush it before feeding her, as hard items may sometimes pose a choking hazard.
By the time baby is a year old, she would be eating all kinds of food. She is now ready to switch to whole milk.
Please remember that though your baby is getting plenty of solids she still needs her breast milk and formula until she is at least a year old.