If you are set to welcome your first child into the world, you might be unsure about your baby’s feeding stages. It is, however, essential to tweak and change their diet throughout the first year of life, which will ensure they enjoy a healthy growth and you meet their nutritional needs.
To alter their diet at the right time, find out how to feed your baby in their first year.
The First 6 Months: Breastfeeding
As the saying goes, breast is best for your baby, as a newborn will take the nutrients he or she needs from their mother’s milk. If you have chosen to breastfeed, you will need to do so for at least the first six months of your son or daughter’s life.
There are various items you’ll need to buy if you plan to breastfeed, which you could find at a chemist, such as:
A breast pump
Many mothers often choose to breastfeed as it’s easier on a baby’s digestive system, so it can decrease their likelihood of diarrhea or constipation. A mother’s milk will also feature antibodies that can support your child’s immune system and ward away illness. However, if you do choose to breastfeed, you will need to provide your baby with a daily vitamin D supplement, which they can take as drops.
The First Six Months: Formula Feeding
If you have chosen not to breastfeed, you can stock up on infant formula, which they can enjoy for the first 12 months of their life. The formula you choose should be made from cow milk and must contain iron.
If you are planning on formula feeding, you will need:
At least six bottles
At least six teats
A bottle and teat brush
While some parents chose to make their own formulas, they can contain germs and may lack essential nutrients for a newborn, which can negatively affect your baby’s immune system. If in doubt, talk to your doctor about the best formula product for your son or daughter.
At 6 Months: Solid Foods
Once your baby reaches six months old, they will more than likely be ready to consume solid foods. If you have chosen to breastfeed, you can continue to do so until your child reaches toddler age, but your son or daughter will still require solid foods.
You will know your little one is ready for food when they:
Can sit up unsupported
Have control of their neck muscles
Display an interest in people’s food
Can open their mouth when they see food
Can hold food in their mouth
It is, however, important to note that all babies are different. While some might be ready to consume food prior to six months, others might not be ready for solids until a few weeks after. However, the longer you wait, the more likely they will develop an iron deficiency. So, keep trying until they open wide to try different foods.