How to Introduce New Foods to Your Baby
One of the great challenges of new motherhood is how to feed your baby. At the beginning of your child's life, you must decide whether to breastfeed, bottle-feed, or use a combination of the two methods. However, once your newborn baby matures, you face another challenge: How can you introduce new foods into your little one's diet? As you might expect, there are a number of factors that go into such an undertaking.
Timing is critical in just about everything, but particularly when it comes to introducing solids into your baby's diet. Theoretically, you can begin solid feedings any time between four and six months, although some pediatricians recommend that you wait even longer. A baby's digestive system simply cannot digest solids until he or she approaches the half-birthday mark. If you wait until your baby is ready, you will lessen the risk of an allergic reaction. You'll also shorten the transition period between spoon- and self-feeding.
There are certain things you should look for when determining whether your baby is ready for solids. For instance, he or she will need good head control. In addition, your baby must sit up well and must not use the tongue to push food out of the mouth. Your baby must be making chewing motions and demonstrate a growing appetite.
A Test Run
Consider doing a test run with your baby. For instance, start with a little bit of dry rice cereal mixed with formula or breast milk. The portion should be small enough to fit on the tip of a spoon. Begin with a once-a-day feeding, and then build onto that. Before you add any other solid foods, your baby should be able to consume about a half-cup of cereal each day.
When is Baby Full?
There are certain tricks you can use to determine when baby is full. For instance, if your baby leans back in his or her high chair, turns his or her head away from the food, and begins playing with the spoon, he or she may not want anything more to eat.
The most important factor here is that you be patient and observe your baby's actions. You will know when the time is right to introduce new foods.
Article by: Michelle O'Connor, Maternity Dresses
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