Pregnancy and Babycare: Baby Feeding Chart

Pregnancy and Babycare: Baby Feeding Chart

Breast feeding ensures the best possible health as well as developmental and psychosocial outcomes for the baby. Breast fed babies are protected from various illnesses, including influenza, pneumonia, ear infections, bronchitis, botulism and measles. Babies are unpredictable and there is no one common time pattern that you can follow for feeding all babies. Although you are advised to breastfeed your baby at regular intervals, however, how much and how often will you breastfeed depends upon your baby’s requirement. Many new parents feel anxiety and are often worried about the feeding pattern for their new born. An accurate baby feeding chart can be really helpful for you to feed your baby. A feeding chart is meant to aide you in deciding, how much and what is to be fed to your baby from birth to twelve months.

During the stage of infancy, a baby’s stomach requires very little food since it is roughly the size of a grape. Breast milk or mother’s milk is the best recommended food from birth to four months. Solid food is absolutely restricted during this period as your baby’s digestive tract is still in its developmental stage. You are advised to breastfeed your baby at frequent intervals since breast milk gets digested easily and quickly, so your baby is likely to get hungry faster. It is recommended that you breastfeed your 1 month old baby 7 to 9 times a day. Starting from the 3rd or 4th month, the baby would need to be breastfed less frequently and may eat every 3 to 4 hours.

In the stage from four to six months, the baby can be introduced to iron fortified and semi-liquid foods. Apart from breast milk, the baby’s diet can now also comprise cereals like barley or oats and rice cereals. During this stage, your baby will show significant changes in growth and development and its appetite will also get better. You are advised to start giving rice cereal to your baby once a day and once he/she grows used to it, you can increase the frequency of the cereal in the diet.

During the six to eight months stage, along with breast milk, the baby’s diet can also include solid foods such as vegetables and other food supplements such as fruits. Few such foods which the child can be introduced to are potatoes, carrots, peaches, apples, bananas, pears etc. However, make sure that the solid foods you feed your child are pureed or mashed. During this stage, you can increase the quantity of cereals to 4 to 8 tablespoons and also increase the frequency. Start with 1 tsp of solid food once a day and gradually make it ½ cup twice or thrice a day.

During eight to ten months, your baby can be introduced to milk products like cottage cheese, yogurt, soft cheese; protein foods like egg, boneless fish, pureed meats; lentils, black beans and split peas. Along with these food items, you can continue to breast feed your child. You are advised to start with small quantities of these food items and as your child grows used to it and is able to digest these, you can slightly increase their quantity in the baby’s diet chart.

Your baby is now big. It is about to turn one! In the ten to twelve months period, your child will be able to swallow food easily since its teeth have begun to appear. This is the best time to introduce him/her to soft cooked vegetables and mixed foods such as cheese and macaroni. You are advised to start with bite-sized soft cooked carrots and peas and by the twelfth month increase the quantity to one-fourth to half cup.

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