One of the more complex questions that you will ask yourself during your baby’s first year is: What do I feed her? And when do I feed it? Your baby starts out with the simple requirement of either breast milk or formula. But what happens after the milk?
This post will help you learn what types of foods to introduce into your baby’s diet at a certain stage of her development. The information here should only be a guideline. Your doctor may provide you with other advise and your baby may have ideas of her own.
For the first four to six months of your baby’s first year all she will need is breast milk or formula. During this time she should start to be introduced to solids when she is ready. It is important to know that not all babies will be ready for solids at the same time.
So how do you know when she’s ready? There are a few simple guidelines that you can follow that will give you the information that you need to start your baby on solid food. You should check with your doctor as well for his/her professional advice. Here are the guidelines for clues as to whether your baby is ready for solids or not:
- Your baby has doubled her birth weight.
- Your baby shows an interest in the foods that you are eating and may try to grab the food from you.
- Your baby consumes 32 oz or more each day of breast milk or formula.
- Your baby often puts things into her mouth.
- Your baby can sit up with some support and can turn her head when she is full.
If your baby can do all of the above she is probably ready to be introduced to solid foods. Another indicating factor is that your baby always seems to be hungry. You do not want to introduce solids too early into your baby’s diet. If solids are introduced too early there is an increased risk that she will develop a food allergy.
Another reason for waiting for four to six months before introducing solids is because your baby needs to be able to properly chew and swallow before she can start eating food safely. Your baby’s digestive system has to mature a bit so that she can handle the new foods in her diet.
The first six months. During the first six months of your baby’s life breast milk or formula will be all that she needs for nourishment. If you are breastfeeding you will be using cues from your baby as to when she is full or hungry.
If you are using formula you will likely have been following the guidelines for how much formula to feed your baby, as well as taking cues from your baby as to when she is full and when she is hungry. The following chart is a guideline for formula feeding:
GUIDE FOR FORMULA FEEDING (AGE 0 to 5 MONTHS)
|Age||Amount per feeding||Number of feedings per 24 hours|
|1 month||2 to 4 ounces||6 to 8 times|
|2 months||5 to 6 ounces||5 to 6 times|
|3 to 5 months||6 to 7 ounces||5 to 6 times|