Baby Feeding | Fit Pregnancy

Baby Feeding

Sorting Out Solids

When our daughter started solids four years ago, my husband and I had the do's and don'ts memorized: wait until she's 6 months old, introduce cereal first and absolutely no eggs. Lucky for you, parents today can reject many of the strict rules we sweated just a few years back. Take a look:

Old Rule: Give nothing but breast milk for 6 months.

Get Your Child To Eat Veggies

Your toddler clamps his mouth shut, turns his head away and screams--loudly--as if you're inflicting the worst kind of torture on his fragile soul. The offense? Vegetables.

Introduce a Bottle

 Introduce-a-Bottle

When your baby is nursing well (usually by 2 to 3 weeks old), give her a bottle at one feeding—or, better yet, ask your partner to do it in the wee hours so you can get some sleep, Karp says. Don’t wait longer than 4 weeks, or she’ll be more likely to refuse it. Also try not to give more than one bottle per day; switching back and forth too much may cause nipple confusion. If you hope to breastfeed for months to come—and experts recommend continuing through the first year—beware of topping off your nursing sessions with a bottle.

Spicy foods

Spicy-foods

Many a mom has heard that beans, broccoli, chili peppers, garlic and onions should be avoided like the plague while breastfeeding. But if you devoured these foods during pregnancy, they probably won’t bother your baby now, says Ruth Lawrence, M.D., a professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in New York and chairwoman of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Breastfeeding.

Get Your Kitchen Baby-Ready

Interested in whipping up a batch of fresh fare for your nascent eater? The right tools will make the job simple and rewarding, so invest now in equipment that will last a lifetime. Eileen Behan, R.D., author of The Baby Food Bible (Ballantine Books), offers her kitchen gear hotlist:

Baby Bites

Your baby’s first tastes of solid foods are thoroughly entertaining to watch, as new flavors and textures provoke faces that are equally adorable and hilarious. What’s not so amusing is that, in some instances, there are invisible contaminants, fillers and other unhealthy ingredients lurking in his food.

First Foods

Why Breast is Best

It’s as simple as this: The best way to feed your baby is to breastfeed. The benefits are numerous, chief among them being that breastfed babies are healthier—in infancy and later in life—than their formula-fed counterparts.

Feeding Guidelines for Infants

Wouldn’t it be great if babies came with feeding instructions? Well, to some extent they do.

Studies have shown that infants are born with a preference for sweet tastes, followed soon after by a preference for salt. And when it comes to knowing how much to eat, babies are born with that ability, too. It’s called self-regulation, meaning babies have internal cues that tell them when they’re hungry and when they’re full.

Babies & Food Allergies

Five to 8 percent of children under age 3 have food allergies, according to experts’ estimates. (Some prefer the term food sensitivity or intolerance, reserving the word allergy for the most severe reaction—anaphylaxis—a life-threatening emergency.) Although you may not be able to entirely prevent your baby from developing a food sensitivity, there are steps you can take to try to keep this from happening.

Introducing Solids

Introducing-Solids

Start solids at no earlier than 6 months old. Giving your baby breast milk exclusively is not just adequate for six to nine months--it's optimal. Formula is a second-best option, but either way, no solid foods need to be added during the first six months. (Pediatricians used to recommend starting solids at age 4 months, but we now know that introducing them this early may increase a child's tendencies toward allergies and obesity.) Fruits and vegetables are easier to digest than cereal and thus make excellent first foods. Cook a sweet potato, mash it and feed it to your baby.

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