Most pediatricians recommend that you wait until your baby is 12 months old. Smaller babies may have trouble digesting cow’s milk and this can lead to stomach problems.
When can I start giving my baby solids?
Introduce solids to your baby between 4 and 6 months. If you start earlier, she may have trouble digesting and can lead to upset tummy. Also, breast milk or formula should be her primary food when she is 0-4 months old. Once she is ready for solids, start with some rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula. Introduce fruits and vegetables after she gets used to the cereal. Introduce new foods one at a time with 3 days in between to be sure your child has no allergies.
I started work and am pumping breast milk. My milk has started to dry up. How do I know if my baby is getting enough?
You should have a sense of how much milk your baby drinks in a day. If she is fussy or not gaining weight, you know that she is not getting enough milk. If you feel this is happening, supplement with formula. As long as you’re offering some breast milk, she is still getting those much needed antibodies. If your baby is starting to eat solids, this may also be why your milk supply is decreasing. Maybe she doesn’t need that much to begin with.
When do I start finger foods?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you can start finger foods once your baby is sitting up on his own. Be sure the foods you start with are soft and easily chewed. Some good foods to start with are Cheerios, small pieces of toast, teething cookies or crackers, soft and well cooked veggies like green beans, potatoes and carrots, pieces of soft fruit (bananas, peaches), pieces of sliced cheese, cooked pasta, and lunch meat pieces (turkey & ham sliced very thin). Avoid grapes, hot dogs, nuts, honey, and peanut butter until your toddler is older and can chew her food well.
If your baby is not yet interested in finger foods, continue with the baby food or pureed food. She will become interested in self-feeding eventually. Once she develops the Pincer Reflex (grasping small objects with the thumb and forefinger), she should be ready for finger foods.
My toddler is a picky eater. What should I do?
Once your toddler is self-feeding, he will develop a taste for what he likes and dislikes. Chances are he may start disliking some of the things he used to gobble up as a baby. Don’t panic. He will grow out of this phase. Continue to offer your toddler as much of a variety as you can. If he is not getting the proper nutrition eating hot dogs and mac and cheese, ask your doctor about offering him vitamins. Even picky eaters shouldn’t fill up on junk food all the time. Be sure to raise him eating fruits and vegetables from infancy, and he will probably eat more as he grows.
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