How to Feed Your Baby? A Step By Step Guide

Proper nutrition and diet are extremely vital for your baby's health. As your baby starts to grow, his dietary needs will also take a shift along with other essentials. It's significant for a parent to know how to feed the baby at every age. The tricks and techniques transform as your baby grows and it can become a little frustrating if you don't know the right thing to do.

Most babies don't eat as much as they are required to and this becomes a Mount Everest of concerns, especially for new parents. To resolve your problems, we are here with this step-by-step guide to feed your baby of every age.

0-4 Months

When your baby is a newborn, you should nurse your baby whenever your baby wants. Usually when your baby cries or gets irritable. Nursing your baby every two to two-and-a-half-hour is more than enough for a newborn baby. If you are still unsure about whether your baby is getting enough food or not, then you should know that six wet diapers a day is a green light that your baby is being fed properly. If you choose to bottle feed your baby then one thing that you should keep in mind is to never use the bottle as the prop. Instead, hold your baby while you are feeding him. You do not need to force your baby to finish the bottle. Make sure that you never put your baby to bed with the bottle, it can cause choking hazards or baby bottle tooth decay.

Apart from all this, there are some precautionary measures that you must take while feeding your infant. Never heat milk in a microwave. It may heat unevenly and can burn your baby’s mouth. Don't give honey to babies who are younger than 1 year. Honey can cause a serious disease called botulism in newborn babies.

4-6 Months

You can now give your baby both breast milk and baby formula. Again, never use the baby bottle or the feeder as the prop. Hold your baby and then feed him. Using the bottle as the prop can cause baby tooth decay or an overbite of the upper teeth.

You can start giving your baby cereal when he shows the following signs that he is ready

· When your baby starts sitting up with support, it's usually a pretty good sign that your baby is ready to eat some semi-solid food

· If your baby lunges at other food and open his mouth when food is offered, you can start giving iron-fortified cereal to him

· Make sure that your baby can push the semi-solid food from the front of the tongue to the back of his throat

Usually, iron-fortified cereal is the best option for your baby. You can start feeding cereal to your baby with the help of a spoon. Do not give cereal in a baby bottle or a feeder.

6-8 Months

Once your baby crosses eight-month, you can start feeding your baby in a cup. However, do not expect it to be a smooth sail. Be prepared for some spills as babies usually do not get used to open rimmed cups until 9 to 18 months.

At this stage, you can start adding veggies to your baby's diet plan. You can initiate by adding strained vegetables first and then cooked and mashed veggies. You can also add chopped-up fruits to your baby's diet later on. However, you should keep in head to add only one new fruit or vegetable each week. To keep your baby hydrated, you can try giving two ounces of water in a cup about one to two times a day.

Again, you should always introduce your baby to one food at a time to check if your baby has any kind of allergies. You can check for allergies by keeping your eye out of symptoms such as sneezing, irritated eyes, red patches on the skin, or vomiting.

8-12 Months

At this age, you can start introducing your kid to the meat along with veggies and fruits. Make sure that you are introducing one kind of meat in a week to detect any allergies. Protein is a great source of nutrition for kids of this age. You can feed your baby egg yolks but make sure that they are cooked. However,  you may want to wait till your baby's first birthday to give him egg white as some kids are sensitive to egg white. You can give small bite-sized portions of veggies and fruit. It's better if you peel some of the fruit skin like apples and pears.

One great tip for feeding toddlers is to be patient. There is no need to hurry or rush the process. Remember, all babies make a mess while eating. Don't worry about it and let your baby explore and eat on his own at this age. Always test warmed food before giving it to your baby. You should continue to give your baby water in a cup so that he can learn to drink from an open rimmed cup. At this age, you can encourage your baby to self-feed. Don't worry if he is trying to use spoons to feed himself. Make sure that you have a safe baby spoon that he can practice with. Steel spoons should not be given to your baby. He can throw it at someone or himself.

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