When it comes to baby feeding, many new parents are completely overwhelmed trying to figure out what they should be feeding their little one. This is certainly understandable, especially given the fact that when you look for information on how baby feeding, the information you get can be very conflicting. There are some pediatricians who think that starting solid foods as young as 3 or 4 months is totally appropriate and can help baby sleep through the night; however, other experts believe that delaying solid foods is an effective way to help prevent the development of food allergies. There are certainly good arguments on both sides of this issue. Choosing a baby feeding chart that is right for your child is something you will need to decide based on your own feelings on the matter, as well as with the guidance of your pediatrician.
Standard Baby Feeding Rules?
Every child is unique and there is no one standard rules of baby feeding that should be applied or used universally. The decision regarding when to start baby food is something that you need to weigh carefully. For example, if you have many food allergies in your family, you might decide to delay solids until baby’s intestines have an opportunity to develop further. Once a baby is approximately six or seven months old, their intestines are able to more efficiently secrete IgA. This is a protein immunoglobulin that can help prevent potentially allergenic food molecules from entering the blood, which could trigger the production of antibodies, leading to a food allergy.
Other Baby Feeding Considerations
Other important considerations of baby feeding would be the baby’s ability to sit up and swallow. A young child who cannot sit up is going to have difficulty eating solid food. Additionally, in the early months, infants tend to have a tongue-thrust response to any solids that are put in their mouth. If you have ever fed a young baby and noticed how they immediately push the food out with their tongue, this is their way of preventing chocking. This response will gradually subside as the baby reaches about four months of age.
Baby Feeding Schedule
Any time you are considering a baby food diet for your young child, it is important to speak with your pediatrician to be sure that you are on an appropriate schedule for your child. Even as you begin to introduce solids, your baby will still need to either be breast or bottle fed. For those who choose to use bottles for baby feeding, there are now many excellent choices on the market. In fact, there are entire baby feeding systems available to help make feeding baby as easy as possible. Whether you choose a bottle with a drop in liner or one that has a system designed to grow with your baby, it is important to only use bottles that are BPA free and have been certified safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Baby Feeding Plan
Once you have determined that your baby is ready to begin solid foods, your pediatrician will likely provide you with a detailed baby feeding plan on how to begin the process. It is important to start out slowly, this gives baby’s system an opportunity to adjust to this new diet, but it also provides the best way to monitor for any potential food allergies. Typically, baby’s first food will be a single-grain cereal, such as oatmeal or rice cereal. These cereals are easy for baby to digest and can be mixed with breast milk or formula to the desired consistency. In the beginning, you will want to start with a very thin cereal to help baby adjust to this new way of eating.
Baby Feeding Chart
When following a baby feeding chart, you will likely find a great deal of variance from one chart to another. Some pediatricians and parents think that a baby should start with vegetables, then progress to fruits; however, most experts now agree that it really does not matter what order you introduce these foods. Start with baby food that is pureed so there are no chunks and begin slowly. Use a soft-tipped spoon and let baby enjoy the new experience. Of course, it is not a good idea to wait until baby is extremely hungry and then try to introduce solids. Most parents will offer the breast or bottle, and then when baby is almost done, give them a taste of solid food. This can help keep baby from getting frustrated and will make the process more enjoyable for everyone.
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