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by on June 26, 2022
Most babies are not ready for solid foods, including infant cereals, until they are about 6 months old, though some babies could be ready a month or two earlier. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advocates waiting until your baby is at least four months old to introduce solid food. Even better, says the organization, is to wait until your baby is six months old. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months after birth. But by ages 4 months to 6 months, most babies are ready to begin eating solid foods as a complement to breast-feeding or formula-feeding. At 4 months your baby's digestive system isn't mature yet, this is why early introduction to solids is often associated with issues such as, constipation, gas, upset tummy etc. Around 6 months, the gut begins to close (aka matures) and allows for more optimal digestion and absorption of nutrients. At 6 months, your baby will still be getting most of their nutrition from breast milk or formula. Start to introduce solid foods around 6 months of age (not before 4 months). Your baby will take only small amounts of solid foods at first. Start feeding your baby solids once a day, building to 2 or 3 times a day. That's why cereals fortified with iron are an ideal early food. Combine one teaspoon of single-grain cereal with four to five teaspoons of breast milk or formula. At first, most of the cereal will end up on your baby's chin. Aim to feed your little one about 1-2 tablespoons of food twice a day. Solid food shouldn't take the place of milk as the main source of nutrients. Indeed, babies should still drink about 4-6 ounces per feeding when they're 4 months old. If your baby is under 6 months old, they only need to drink breastmilk or infant formula. It's because babies' bodies aren't suited for water until several months after birth. Tiny tummies and developing kidneys put them at risk for both nutrient loss and water intoxication. From 6 months of age, you can give your baby small amounts of water, if needed, in addition to their breastmilk or formula feeds. Bananas may be introduced to your baby as early as 4 months old. Please remember that the recommended age to begin introducing solid foods is between 4-6 months old, with 6 months being the idea age. Most babies can start eating yogurt as soon as they start eating solids around 4 to 6 months. Yogurt is an excellent choice for one of your baby's first foods because it contains calcium, protein, and vitamins. 1 to 4 tablespoons of cereal once or twice a day. 1 to 4 tablespoons each of a fruit and vegetable once or twice a day. Can I give my baby solids at night? No. Your baby's ability to sleep through the night depends more on what age he is, and what sleep habits he's become used to, than what he eats during the day. Your baby doesn't need solids to help him sleep. It is generally acknowledged that formula-fed infants gain more weight than breastfed infants and breastfeeding is an important protector against overweight and obesity. As your baby starts eating solid foods, he or she will drink less. Slowly increase the amount of solid food you offer and decrease the amount of breast milk or formula. Your baby needs the extra nutrients he's getting from a variety of foods, so it's best not to let him fill up with milk first. For infants, not being breastfed is associated with an increased incidence of infectious morbidity, including otitis media, gastroenteritis, and pneumonia, as well as elevated risks of childhood obesity, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, leukemia, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Physicians' groups settled on the 6-month cut-off after earlier research determined that children who get solid food at too early might be at a greater risk for developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, eczema and celiac disease. While it is certainly possible to overfeed a baby, most infant nutrition experts agree that it is fairly uncommon. As we noted earlier, babies are innately capable of self-regulating their intake; they eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full.
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