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About Feeding Your Baby
Feeding the baby is about a lot more than giving him sustenance to grow – and you’ll find that he really does grow and develop so much during the first few years. The first few months are the ‘milk’ months and you will no doubt have a feeding baby schedule put up somewhere – especially if it is your first baby – and you will follow it religiously. This is the time when you will have to decide whether it has to be the breast or the bottle and this again will largely depend on your commitments. Breastfeeding no doubt is best but if you are a working woman, you might need to either have the baby fed with milk that is expressed and bottled or with formula milk.
One thing that is vital is hygiene and this would be in everything not just when it comes to feeding the baby. However, the chances of germs getting in through the milk is higher in the earlier months when the baby does not really move too much so you need to take great care at this time. Your baby’s immunity has not been strengthened yet and so you need to be careful. Bottle feeding babies means extra care with sterilizing those bottles well and throwing out any left over formula. You might want t talk to the pediatrician to see if you need to give the baby any extra vitamins – very often, breastfed babies will be given Vitamin D.
Anywhere between four and six months, your doctor will ask you to introduce solids into your baby’s diet and you need to follow his advice carefully so that your baby can get into diet habits that are healthy and stand him in good stead right through life. This is the time when foods are the building blocks of his health and you need to build a good foundation and give him a life insurance of good health.
This is also the time to make him like his food. The food needs to be presented well, it needs to be made attractive and fun to him and he should never see feeding times as a punishment. Your doctor will no doubt give you a feeding guide for babies and you would do well to follow it or as much as it as you can when you are feeding baby. Babies who are fed well will learn to eat sensibly and you’ll also find that they are happy in other areas of their lives. Making them feel guilty about food or using food to bribe them – especially sweets will make them see food as a means to get what they want. When they see food as something that they need and something they like, to be had at regular intervals and to be had to make them strong and healthy, they will automatically learn to respect food and make good food choices.
Most of all, make mealtimes happy times. Do not feed baby when you are angry and don’t hurry him up. Families that eat together happily stay together so make mealtimes the time when you talk, laugh and exchange pleasantries with everyone. If you are feeding your baby alone, talk to him about anything as long as it’s happy things. Don’t ever criticize at mealtimes – it will harm you as much as your baby. You need to be in a happy frame of mind when you eat and you’ll see how well your food gets absorbed and digested.