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When to start Solid foods for baby and Baby Feeding Schedule
Baby snacks - puffs and rusks:
Starting solid foods for babies
Starting your baby on solid foods is the beginning of lifelong eating habits that contribute to your baby's overall health. Here are general guidelines that can help you start your baby out on the right track to a healthy life. Starting baby solid foods and feeding schedule too early can cause your baby to develop food allergies.
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Feeding your baby
When to start baby on solid foods
Your baby's intestinal tract is not as fully developed during the first few months and introducing solids at this time can be too much to handle. Waiting until six months to introduce solid foods into your baby's diet will help minimise the risk of her developing adverse reactions to foods and allergies. This is particularly important if you have a family history of allergies, as the incidence of adverse food reactions, allergies and celiac disease does decrease if you delay weaning until this time.
Another reason for holding off on solids is your baby's inability to swallow solids correctly before 4 to 6 months of age and this can potentially cause choking. And contrary to the popular myth, starting solid foods and feeding schedule early will not help your child to sleep through the night. If you feel your baby needs to start solid foods before five months, do discuss it with your health care provider first. This is particularly important if your baby was born prematurely. Doctors state that starting solid foods for baby and feeding schedule should not be introduced before the end of your baby's fourth month. If you do decide to wean your baby onto solids before five months, there are a number of foods that need to be avoided. Make sure you pay attention to the ingredients, try to avoid anything containing gluten, eggs, cheese, dairy products, fish and shellfish as they could provoke an allergic reaction.
Baby feeding schedule and feeding chart is also discussed in detail below and in a picture form. Please refer to the baby feeding chart picture below for a quick recap.
Here are some signs to tell when to start baby solid foods
- He or she is at least 4 or 6 months old.
- Doubles birth weight and weighs at least 13-15 pounds.
- Seems hungry after 8 to 10 breastfeedings a day or drinks 32 ounces of formula a day.
- He or she can sit with support, allowing her to lean forward when she wants another spoonful and backward to refuse.
- He or she is drinking at least 32-40 ounces of formula per 24-hours and still wants more.
- He or she is breast feeding at least 8-10 times per 24-hours (after the first few weeks), empties both breasts at each feeding, and still wants more.
- The time between feedings becomes shorter and shorter over a period of several days Baby can bring object in their hand directly to their mouth.
- Shows interest in others eating around them.
- Baby becomes fussy in the middle of the night, whereas before the baby slept with no problem. Or sleep periods becoming shorter and shorter instead of longer.
This will help determine when to introduce solid foods to your baby and also the baby feeding schedule.
Baby Feeding Schedule
Baby solid foods for 4-5 months baby:
At this age, breast milk or formula is the only food that your baby needs and he should be taking 4-6 feedings each day (24-32 ounces), but you can start to familiarize your baby with the feel of a spoon and introduce solid foods.
When to start baby on rice cereal?
Rice cereal is the first baby solid food you should give your baby and you can mix with it breast milk, formula or water. Always start with iron fortified rice cereal or oatmeal. Feed your baby solid foods from an infant spoon, not a bottle. Start with a thin mixture and gradually make thicker as the baby learns to handle solid foods. Build up the amount, as the appetite demands, usually 3-4 tablespoons of dry cereal. This can be given in one or two meals. Do not give mixed cereal until you are sure the baby can tolerate rice, oatmeal and barley alone. If your baby pushes the spoon out with their tongue, try to be patient. You can wait a day or two and then try again. There is not rush to get them to eat solid foods.
Feeding schedule for 6-7 months baby
When to start baby on vegetables?
While continuing to give 4-5 feedings of breast milk or formula (24-32 ounces) and 4 or more tablespoons of cereal each day, you can also start yellow or orange vegetables first. Carrots, squash and sweet potato are good choices to start. You can give the step 1 baby solid foods, or you can puree your own vegetables at home. You can also try mild tasting vegetable such as green beans and peas and gradually increase to 4-5 tablespoons one or two times each day. After 3-4 days, introduce another vegetable, and then try a green. If the baby does not like green veggies, mix in a yellow one. Always start with just a few teaspoons and work up to more at your baby's own pace.
When to start baby on fruits?
Start fruits about a month after starting vegetables and again, gradually increase to 4-5 tablespoons one or two times each day. Always start with applesauce, pears or bananas. You can try one fruit for 3-4 days. Then introduce another fruit if your baby has no reactions. Remember to buy fruits without tapioca or starches added. Once your baby gets used to different textures you may mash up a banana or other soft fruit on your own.
You can also begin to offer 2-4 ounces of 100% fruit juices. Start by mixing one part juice with two parts of water and offer it in a bottle.
Feeding schedule and sample meal plan for 6-7 months baby
Breakfast: 4-6 tablespoons baby cereal, 6-8 oz breast milk feeding or formula
Mid-morning: 2-4 oz breast milk feeding or formula
Lunch: 2-4 tablespoons cooked strained vegetables (carrots, squash, green beans), 6-8 oz breast milk feeding or formula
Mid-afternoon: 4-6 oz breast milk feeding or formula
Evening snack: 2-4 tablespoons cooked fruits (applesauce, pears or bananas)
Dinner: 2-4 tablespoons cooked strained vegetables or rice cereal, 6-8 oz breast milk feeding or formula.
Baby Feeding Chart
Solid foods for 8-9 months baby
While continuing to give 3-4 feedings of breast milk or formula (24-32 ounces) and 4 or more tablespoons of cereal, vegetables and fruit one or two times each day, you can now start to give more protein containing solid foods. These include well cooked, strained meats (chicken), mild cheese and egg yolks (no egg whites as there is a high chance of allergic reactions in infants less than 12 months old baby). You can also give cheese, yogurt, cooked mashed beans and lentils.
You can also begin to offer 3-4 ounces of formula or 100% fruit juice in a cup at this time.
Solid foods for 10-12 months baby:
Your baby's diet will begin to resemble that of the rest of the families, with 3 meals and 2 snacks each day and will include 3-4 feedings of breast milk or formula, iron fortified cereal (1/4 - 1/2 cup at breakfast), vegetables and fruits (1/2 cup/jar at lunch and dinner), protein foods (2-4 tablespoons each day), 100% fruit juice (2-6 ounces in a cup each day), and some finger foods.
It is important to offer a variety of foods to encourage good eating habits later.
When to start baby on table foods:
You can also start to offer soft baby table foods and finger foods at this age. You can give table foods like dry cheerios, soft table vegetables, some fresh fruit, cottage cheese, pasta, graham or saltine crackers, but do not give these foods if the child is going to be unattended in case of choking.
How do you know if your baby is food sensitive?
Severe diarrhea or vomiting, a rash, or wheezing may be symptoms of sensitivity to a specific food. On the other hand, they may just be coincidence. If you think your baby reacts to a food, stop feeding that food. Try it again in a few weeks. Always call your health care provider for any information.