Guide to Feeding Your Baby
If you are a parent wishing that your child had come with some sort of owner’s manual, then you are not alone. Here at CSP, Inc., we see a lot of new parents who are thrilled to take on the challenges of parenthood, while still a little intimidated by the responsibilities entailed in such a role. One of the questions we get asked often is what foods a baby needs at what ages.
For your convenience, we have put together an age-by-age guide to feeding your baby, based on the average recommendations of pediatricians.
Birth to 4 Months
The only thing your baby needs in these early months is breast milk or formula. If your child seems more hungry than usual, the only steps you should take are to feed the baby more formula or breast milk. There is no need for any other foods or supplements unless expressly prescribed by your pediatrician to treat certain rare conditions.
4 to 6 Months
Your baby’s diet at this age will still largely consist of breast milk or formula. This is the age, however, when you will start introducing pureed solid foods. The exact age for your baby will depend on her personal readiness. Some of the signs that it is time to start introducing limited solids are as follows:
- Shows interest in your food
- Seems hungry even after 8-10 feedings of milk a day
- Is teething
- Can work the tongue to push food inward without pushing too much out
Here are some of the best foods to start your baby on:
- Sweet potatoes
- Apple sauce
- Mush cereals meant for infants
6 to 8 Months
As your baby gets used to eating solid foods, it will be time to introduce more foods. You should always wait 3 days in between introducing new foods so that if she has an allergic reaction, you will know exactly what food caused the issue. Food should still be pureed at this point for easy swallowing and digesting. You can introduce any fruits or vegetables and can even include pureed protein options like meat, tofu, or eggs.
In addition to these solids, your baby can also start drinking pure fruit juices. Of course, she should still be getting plenty of breast milk or formula in addition to these new foods.
8 to 12 Months
At this point, you can start feeding your baby small portions of whatever you are eating. The rate of this progression will depend on your child and what she is enjoying. There are also some developmental points that should be met before introducing full solids. Make sure she can chew and swallow without choking and always be present when she is eating. The rule of only one new food at a time will still apply at this age as well.