During the first year of your baby’s life, he or she will triple their birth weight. The following baby nutrition guidelines will inspire you in order to support your baby with all the necessary elements to fuel their amazing physical and mental development. Learn about your baby’s essential nutritional needs during each stage of their life as the following:
Birth to 4 Months
At this early stage of your baby’s life, he or she will mainly depend on your breast milk or formula to be the main resource of nutrition up until 12 months of age.
At this age, a mother’s milk is always the best option for your little baby in addition to infant formula for better nutrition. Some babies need to be fed every two hours, day and night, while others will go for a longer without eating. In general, it’s best to feed your baby ‘on demand,’ for the first few weeks. Depending on the attentive feeding will teach your little one to trust you and gains a healthy foundation for growth with a supportive environment. Make sure to consult your pediatrician with all of the questions on the frequency of breast, bottle, or combination feeding.
On a usual day, a 4-month old baby may consume an average of 16 to 32 fluid ounces of breast milk or infant formula. Don’t worry much about what nutrients your baby needs because feeding with breast milk or infant formula works perfectly for this stage.
4 to 6 Months
By 6 months, it’s the time when your baby wants to try almost everything so first of all, remember to watch them carefully. Your baby now has a delightfully improved ability to communicate. In fact, communication is essential especially when you start introducing solid foods for the first time. Your baby can show his or her hunger by opening their mouth and leaning towards the spoon.
7 to 9 Months
Introducing solid foods starts early at 6 months old, you’ll notice a progress at 7 to 9 months. In addition, your baby will start chewing with an up and down movement of the jaw, replacing the sucking motion. This process is directly combined with the ability to grasp and put food into their mouth. Amazingly, you will notice your baby’s ability to grasp and use their hand. Just to make this a little bit easier, carefully choose the shape of the finger foods you offer. By the end of this stage, your baby’s grasp will become stronger with the ability to better manipulate smaller foods like green peas.
9 to 12 Months
By now, your baby has mastered grasping. Your baby can easily hold and manipulate the bottle; keep in mind that your baby imitates people around them and at this stage, your baby will prefer chewing instead of sucking. Now they can feed themselves while you enjoy this wonderful scene! Formula and breast milk will still provide the most nutrition for your baby, but solid food becomes more appealing as your baby transitions to eat foods as a part of the family around the dinner table. At this stage, your baby will need to eat more protein-rich foods like moist cooked lean meats and chopped egg.
By the end of the first year, your baby should be able to eat most adult foods. Make sure to keep an eye out for foods that might present a choking like peanuts, popcorn, whole grapes. It’s also important to avoid spicy foods at this stage.