Proper Nutrition foods for your baby in the first 6 months
Babies grow fastest during the first six months. A growth spurt occurs now, and they are also experiencing the world for the first time. This time your baby needs proper nutrition, and you should have a fair idea about the essential things that should be present in her diet.
Baby food at 6 months need proper vitamins to grow and perform the different functions they learn daily.
Vitamin B1, B2, B3 , B6 and B12
Vitamin E and Vitamin K
Breastfed babies are blessed, and in general, they have everything in the form of breast milk that has to grow.
As a general rule, you should follow the below:
– Lowers the intake of tea or coffee
– Consumption of alcohol is prohibited at this time
– Increase the intake of fluid. Have lots of water, juices, smoothies etc.
– Do not have opposite things together like milk and curd or hot tea immediately after cool water etc. They may create an imbalance in your body temperature for some time, which is not very good.
– Eat nutritious homemade food instead of ready to eat or fast food
– If you are a vegetarian, You have to keep special attention to your protein intake. You can have pulses, legumes, cheese, yoghurt, peas and eggs if you feel like it. For non-vegetarians, there are, of course, a lot more options.
At this time, mothers must have proper nutrition as their food produces the vital ingredients in the baby’s milk.
What should mothers have in their food while breastfeeding?
1. Include as many colours of vegetables as possible on the same day
2. Include various edible seeds and nuts in small quantities
3. Keep proper bowel movement with an appropriate diet. Improper bowel is most often the cause of acidity, gas, constipation, heartburn etc. This problem passes to the baby with breastfeeding. You can have overnight soaked cumin seeds on your empty stomach in the morning.
4. Take special care when cleaning your food items. Sometimes, the baby’s stomach can be upset because it does not clean the food items correctly. While we adults can get away with this sometimes because of our stronger immunity, the babies always can’t.
5. Avoid spicy and oily food as this can cause gas and acidity to the baby.
Some essential requirements breastfeeding mothers should take care & make sure that they are not deficient in.
In case you are deficient in some of the nutrients from your food, there are chances that you and your baby will also be low in these essential nutrients.
✓ Vitamin A, D, B1, B2, B6, B12, Chlorine and iodine have to be sufficiently present in your diet, and deficiency makes the baby deficient too.
✓ For certain nutrients like Folate, Iron, copper and Zinc, the baby extracts these substances from your body through breast milk and may make you deficient if you don’t give a constant supply of the same to your body. Milk is produced by extracting these essentials from your body tissue. So it is essential to refill them somehow constantly.
✓ It is challenging to design your diet by measuring all ingredients. So my advice is to have all food categories alternatively in the week. See to it that you have.
✓ Vegetables of all colours that you can avail of
✓ Nuts and seeds that are edible
✓ meat and organ meat like liver if you are a non-vegetarian
✓ milk or milk products
✓ Cereals of different kinds
✓ pulses of different varieties
✓ Fruits (It is a good idea to make a smoothie with different types of fruits u have with you on a given day)
If you are a vegetarian, you may consult a dietician or follow tradition. Traditional food is always the best, in my opinion, for any situation given the fact that they are time tested and primarily based on dietary needs for a particular condition, season or availability of ingredients.
It is also good to talk to your doctor about your diet and tell her if you do not eat a particular food category. You might be given supplements to make for any deficiency that may occur, considering your food intake
Though breast milk is universal and naturally the best source of nutrition for a baby, we cannot deny that formulae are also an inevitable nutrition source to many babies across the globe.
Baby food or formulae are fortified with all the essential nutrients, and they provide primarily all nutritional values required by your baby that is known by science.
Baby food at 6 months & Baby formula milk preparation
This is an essential aspect if you are feeding formula to your baby.
You are not supposed to keep the extra formula for more than fifteen minutes. Sometimes bacteria multiply in the milk and can cause illness for the baby.
Would you please keep the formula refrigerated immediately after preparation if you need to make the formula in advance?
Do not microwave the formula to heat it. It may burn the baby’s mouth to create uneven heating or create hot spots. It is also not the healthiest option as research has proved that heating plastic items might leak harmful chemicals in the food. You surely do not want this for your baby.
The best way to heat your baby’s formula is to get a bottle heater. If you do not want to buy one, you can immerse the bottle in hot water and heat the milk. But this might take a while and is not the best option when the baby is crying for food.
Baby formula milk and bottle sterilization
Bottle sterilization is another essential in parents who formula feed babies. Often this is a tedious and repetitive activity for parents.
Bottle sterilizer can be a lifesaver for this time. You can buy one and use it for all your kids. Ensure it is the best quality in the market to ensure it lasts.
But just in case you are not buying a sterilizer, you may also choose to wash your baby bottles and then use boiling water to keep germs off. However, this is time-consuming, mainly because you have to do this multiple times a day, and you need precision for this as well every time.
Baby and Burp after the feed
Your baby has a very narrow food pipe. To avoid reflux, vomit or choking, burp your baby once between feed and once at the end. For some babies, it takes almost 10 minutes to burp.
Keep your baby vertically on your shoulder and massage her back top-down till she burps. This is the most common and convenient method. However, you can position the baby otherwise, depending on your comfort while burping.
Baby formula milk and constipation
Baby formula is thicker than breast milk, and at birth, the baby’s system is not prepared for anything other than nature’s food, mother’s milk. This is the reason there might be minor hiccups to get the formulae adjusted in formula-fed babies. In some cases, the baby might develop constipation initially.
But whether the baby is constipated or not is also tricky to determine. Babies less than six months who are only on milk can skip passing motions as they are only on a liquid diet. Especially newborns might poop once in a few days or several times a day, depending on their system. Both the cases are natural.
Consult the paediatrician if you feel the baby is getting constipated with formula, and she will advise. This is a common question all paediatricians come across.
You may follow some exercises to get the baby’s bowel moving. This works wonders at times. I can personally say that. Try to be regular with the exercises if you feel your baby is constipated with formula.
Combination feed for babies - breastfeed and baby formula.
Some mothers have to use combination feed, i.e. great feeding and some formula. This can be a good option in today’s times where mothers often have to look after the entire family and have a full-time job. Some scenarios where you might find this a good chance are:
– When you have twins
– When you don’t produce enough to fill the baby adequately
– When you have a full-time job and keep busy handling many things during the day. You might, in such cases, consider breastfeeding during the night and formula feeding during the day when you go to work or keep busy.
– When you have a sore nipple.
– When the baby is unable to latch correctly, you are not sure if she has enough.
– When baby demands feed too frequently. This is also a sign that she is not complete with breastfeeding only. This may happen with the baby’s growth spur sometimes though generally, the quality of the milk also changes over time which makes the baby complete. Not everyone’s situation is the same at all times.