Nutrition for your little one: 3-6 months
All mothers are concerned about what to feed their child across age groups but it particularly gets more confusing to decide and plan for your baby once they begin to wean off the breast. For starters, exclusively breastfeed your baby till at least 6 months. Breastfeeding through tiring at times can seem easy for some since no planning is required in terms of what to prepare for your baby on any given day.
If your baby is on a combination of breastfeed and formula, you may consider introducing other foods as early as 5 months. Do make sure that by now your baby is able to sit upright with support so he can swallow. You will notice that by this stage he or she is showing a growing interest in what you are eating. This is your signal that your baby is ready.
For starters go slow, as slow as you possibly can in introducing new foods in your baby’s diet. Start with seasonal fruit purees made at home. Ensure that the puree is smooth and easy to swallow. Your baby at this stage is still not ready to chew. You can also mix breast milk in these fruit purees. This will make the consistency of the puree light and not as thick making it easier for your baby to swallow. Start with just one kind of fruit at a time. Stay with the same for three days. Follow this principle as you introduce new ingredients to your babies diet. This will help your baby work his/ her digestive system and it will also be easy for you to understand whether your baby is allergic to any food items.
Sometimes we tend to get excited and want to introduce new foods in their diet, please practice refrain. Start with one spoon and slowly increase on a daily basis till you reach feeding your baby a small bowl of the fruit puree. Once you’ve followed the principle of feeding your baby one kind of fruit for three days and managed to feed him/her all different seasonal fruit purees, you can begin to mix it up. Maybe one fruit puree in the morning and a different one in the evening. Continue breastfeeding or formula feeding at all other times. Your baby is not ready to be exclusively on solids and will not be until they are almost 1 year old. You must also introduce water at this stage. You introduce the sippy cup or let him/ her have water via a small spoon.
By the time your baby is his/ her sixth month, he/ she will now be ready for you to introduce other foods. Start with vegetables and grains. Lentils and dals are still hard for the baby to digest. They are also extremely gassy. You may want to wait until he/she is at least 7 months before you introduce lentil stews and kichdi like items in their diet. In my next article I will walk you through simple guidelines to follow while preparing food for your precious one in their six to eighth month. Till then, stay tuned. Enjoy this period of bonding with your baby and get as much rest as possible.
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