WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – When should my baby eat cereal? When should I start feeding my baby solid foods? My baby just ate a whole container of peas, is that bad?
If you asked yourself, or your Internet browser, those questions you are not alone.
Nutrition and food effect the way baby grows, so obviously they’re important.
The 7News Moms in Motion experts at WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital say you want to start from the beginning. So, let’s start with the battle that’s divided moms for years: breast feeding vs. bottle feeding.
It doesn’t matter if you breast feed or bottle feed as long as you feed.Serena Travis, RN, WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital
Travis recommends that Moms at least try breastfeeding because as challenging as it is, she said it’s also rewarding. However, she also knows that sometimes your body doesn’t always cooperate.
It’s a mom’s personal preference. It’s up to the Mom and the baby and whatever works for them is best.Serena Travis, RN, WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital
Something else you should know as you feed baby its first few days, your baby will drop some weight after it’s born. Just keep following-up for weight checks with your pediatrician and feeding every few hours.
For formula fed babies, it’s at least every three hours as a newborn. If you’re breast feeding, six to eight feedings a day for around 20 minutes at a time.
Moms, if you’re having difficulties breast feeding and want to stick it out, talk to your doctor. They may recommend a lactation consultant.
If your baby is eating formula, keep an eye out for baby spitting up a lot, having excess gas or getting rashes. Those could be signs they need a new type of formula, so if you see that call the pediatrician.
Once baby reaches four-months-old, and NOT before, and has good head control it’s time to think about starting some cereal.
You can either add formula or breastmilk to the cereal so the taste the baby will get used to it and then gradually you can add baby food to it.Serena Travis, RN, WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital
When the little one is around seven-months-old to one year, they should be eating three meals the size of their fist.
Pureed foods usually come gradually after starting the infant cereal. Start with veggies first, because fruits automatically become the favorite.
Did you know this Moms?
You don’t wanna feed out of the container .You want to put it in the bowl. If you take it out of the jar saliva will make it bad.Serena Travis, RN, WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital
As you introduce those pureed foods, what about allergens like peanut butter or strawberries?
Studies show that if you start introducing allergy foods sooner rather than later then they tend to not have an allergy if they are prone to have allergies, but you want to stay away from honey. You don’t want to give honey.Serena Travis, RN, WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital
Between nine-months and one year, when the little one has teeth, can sit on their own and is starting to become mobile, then it’s time for soft solids.
To keep an eye out for allergic reactions, only introduce a new food every four to five days. Allergic reactions can include hives, wheezing or shortness of breath.
They wanna be able to hold it in their hands. Babies grab with their palms and they like to be able to do the texture and that kind of stuff.Serena Travis, RN, WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital
Baby doesn’t need a balanced meal like you do. It’s more about trying new things and learning motor skills. They get the main nutrients from formula or breast milk.
My rule of thumb is food before one is just for fun.Serena Travis, RN, WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital
Travis also said it’s important not to give baby any cow’s milk or dairy until they are a year old.