In the first months of life, food should be liquid. To cope with the digestion of more dense food, the body needs to do serious work, in particular, to learn to coordinate the efforts of the swallowing muscles.
It should be borne in mind that infants have one peculiarity: any food that is dense in consistency, once on the tongue, will immediately be spat out – this is how the “spoon-pushing” reflex works. So a newborn baby should be fed by the fact that nature intended it, that is, breast milk.
The World Health Organization recommends maintaining breastfeeding at least until such time as the baby is six months old.
Breast milk without exaggeration unique composition. Its main advantage is that it is a “live” product. That is why it differs in composition not only in different mothers, but even in one woman in different mammary glands.
Moreover, breast milk is ideally suited to the needs of a particular baby, so the ratio of components varies not only from feeding to feeding, but also during one feeding.
Since 87% of breast milk consists of water, it fully meets the needs of the baby in it, and it is not necessary to add a water to a baby breastfed specifically. It also contains nutrients – proteins, fats, carbohydrates, which are easily digested and absorbed. One of the carbohydrates – lactose – promotes the absorption of calcium and iron, helps the formation of substances necessary for the development of the central nervous system.
It also helps beneficial microorganisms take their place in the intestines of a child. This significantly reduces the risk of dysbacteriosis, as beneficial microorganisms inhibit the growth of pathogenic microflora.
Breast milk also contains an enzyme for digesting milk sugar – lactase.
As part of the fat is a lot of unsaturated fatty acids. They support the health of the baby not only in childhood, but also in the distant future, because they play an important role in the development of the brain, nervous system and the formation of immunity. Proteins of breast milk fully provide infant with essential amino acids that affect the development of the brain and vision and help to grow.
Minerals and vitamins, which are also in my mother’s milk, are properly absorbed and help bones and muscles to form.
But the main advantage of human milk lies in the biologically active components, which include lysozyme, interferon and other protective substances that will save the child from many infections, as well as enzymes, hormones and so-called growth factors that regulate the development of the crumbs and ensure the proper formation of brain.
Breastfeeding helps to establish a connection between mother and baby. Due to this, children grow up calm, balanced, self-confident and successfully implemented in adulthood.
If you think that there is not enough milk, consult your pediatrician. When a child is gaining weight and developing normally – everything is in order, you worry in vain. If there are deviations, go to mixed feeding: first give the baby a breast, then finish feeding him with the mixture.
Enzymes of breast milk will help the assimilation of “artificial” food.
Video tutorial “Proper attachment of a newborn baby to the breast”:
In the first month of life, try to feed the baby “on demand”, that is, as many times as he asks. True, we must make sure that over time the number of breast attachments gradually decreases.
To do this, you will have to learn to distinguish the “hungry” crying of a baby from its other requirements, otherwise there is a danger of overfeeding the baby.
If, for some serious reason, the mother cannot feed her crumb with breast milk or is not enough and the baby needs an “additive,” the pediatrician will recommend an artificial formula.
These products, although inferior to human milk in their beneficial properties, nevertheless provide the baby with the most essential substances for his normal growth and development.
Only a pediatrician or a nutritionist who specializes in baby food can choose the right mix for a baby. For children with special needs, there are so-called therapeutic mixtures.
They are used for feeding low-weighted or premature babies, babies with milk sugar intolerance – lactose, with problems in the gastrointestinal tract (regurgitation, constipation, colic), allergies or those predisposed to allergies. For underweight and premature babies, there are intended products with the designation “pre”.
For the crumbs with lactose intolerance, low- and lactose-free mixtures are created, and for small allergy sufferers – products based on protein hydrolysates.
If the mother feeds the baby and the mixture prescribed by the doctor, and the breast milk, this type of feeding is called mixed, if the mixture is artificial.
The mixture should be diluted with water intended for feeding young children, preferably right before feeding the child and always in full accordance with the instructions on the package. If you diluted the mixture in advance, it must be kept in the refrigerator, and not more than a day.
The new mixture is introduced into the diet of the crumbs gradually. The first day can be given no more than 10 ml, the second – three times 10 ml, the third volume increases to 60 ml (3 times 20 ml), the fourth one gives 50 ml to each feeding, the fifth volume gives 100 ml and only on day 6, the old mixture is completely replaced by a new one.
Watch carefully for the health of the crumbs. Rejection can cause the product itself, and the rate of its introduction, and its quantity.
If regurgitations begin or become frequent, colic, the skin turns red, constipation or diarrhea begins, do not try to choose a replacement yourself. This should be done by a specialist.
In the development of the baby involved all the organs and systems of his body. They mature with his brain.
It is difficult to imagine how many muscles and organs are involved only in such a seemingly simple act as sucking. The baby’s lips should grab the nipple, the muscles should hold the lips and cheeks in a certain position, then the tongue should pump out the milk, and in coordination with his movements, it is necessary to open the entrance to the esophagus, simultaneously blocking the entrance to the respiratory tract. The incoming fluid must be sent to the stomach, where the process of digestion begins, and keep it there.
If this does not work or the crumb has swallowed too much air, the baby spits up.
In the stomach, food is digested, including with the help of the beneficial bacteria that live in it, moves through the intestines and is gradually absorbed. If a child develops motor skills in time, the processes of digestion and its advancement through the intestines, up to the departments that form feces, receive an additional impetus and flow faster. Delay in the development of motor skills can lead to disruptions in digestion.
There are colic, bloating, which causes a small bunch of inconvenience, it becomes moody, does not sleep well. Against this background, the work of the nervous system, which regulates the processes of digestion, can be upset.
The digestion process is impossible without microorganisms that help stiffen milk, divide it into small fractions and form feces. The baby gets the “right” bacteria – bifidobacteria and lactobacilli – during childbirth.
If this does not happen, food splitting and its absorption also suffer. The milk is fermented, and a lot of gas is formed, the stomach starts to ache, and the stool deteriorates.
It is not so easy to artificially colonize the intestines with the necessary microorganisms – this requires a certain maturity of the immune system, which must “evict” the uninvited guests.
Because of problems with digestion, another allergy problem may occur. Gases gut their intestines, even more traumatic.
Because of this, its wall performs worse as a filter through which undigested food debris does not have to pass (in infants, this is not fully split protein and milk sugar molecules). Once in the blood, these molecules can cause allergic reactions.
The baby is growing, and at the age of 4-6 months his body begins to prepare for the transition from liquid dairy food to acquaintance with “adult” food. It occurs in stages and includes different types of products, which are called supplements.
Modern nutritionists and pediatricians believe that the timing of the introduction of complementary foods are set individually for each child, taking into account his health condition. Usually, a baby that is breastfed will need lactation no earlier than 4–6 months, and an infant baby will be 4–5.5 months earlier.
Numerous studies have shown that, against the background of early feeding, the child may begin intestinal colic, upset stools, frequent regurgitation and allergic reactions, and according to some sources, the rush can provoke obesity and diabetes in the future. In order for the introduction of complementary foods to go smoothly, the baby’s digestive system must learn to produce hydrochloric acid and enzymes to break down food in the right amount. In addition, since up to a certain age, the permeability of the mucous membrane of the intestine for allergenic molecules is very high, you need to wait for it to go down.
It is necessary to take into account the reflex of pushing out solid particles of products: until it is extinguished, the crumb cannot swallow a dish, the consistency of which is thicker than milk or a diluted mixture. All three conditions usually appear after 4 months.
On the other hand, the needs of the body crumbs in nutrients and energy that are needed for growth and development, it is no longer possible to provide only through milk or a mixture. And, finally, at this age, the little pea can appreciate the diversity of tastes and their combinations.
Breastfed babies and “artificiality” are introduced to new products in different ways.
If the baby eats mother’s milk and he is in good order with health, with the introduction of complementary foods you can wait up to 6 months. True, there is a single exception to this rule: if a child is not gaining weight well, it will be necessary to enrich his diet with new products from 4–5 months. The introduction of complementary foods in this case will bring more benefits than the transition to mixed feeding.
Otherwise, lactation will quickly fade away, and breast milk will completely disappear from the baby’s menu.
But to be late with the introduction of complementary foods is also not worth it. If it is too “overstayed”, then the baby will be harder to learn to chew and swallow.
Not to mention the fact that after half a year the menu of an actively growing man cannot consist of only one milk.
Artificial children are introduced to new tastes earlier – in 4–5 months. At this age, no artificial mixture is no longer able to provide a fast-growing organism with all the substances it needs in the right amount.
In this case, the lower limit can be oriented only if the crumbs do not have allergies and they are not at risk for their development.
Depending on the characteristics of the body of the baby and his health, the time of the introduction of certain groups of products may shift in one direction or another. For example, mashed potatoes appear in the menu of the karapuz before porridge, but if the little one is prone to diarrhea or allergic reactions, it is not gaining weight, experts advise to introduce the porridge to the infant first.
The moment of introduction of new products should be determined by the pediatrician who monitors the development of the baby.
To acquaint your child with new products does not cause big problems, try to follow simple rules.
Each new dish is introduced in small portions, starting with half, or even a quarter of a teaspoon. Before one of the morning feedings, let the baby try a new product.
Gradually increasing the portion, during the week replace the “newcomer” with the entire volume of one feeding.
It is necessary to start feeding with one-component dishes, that is, those that contain only one fruit, vegetable or cereal. To combine tastes, say, to add carrots to an apple, and to buckwheat barley, it is possible only after the child has fully mastered each of the components.
In order for the baby to have a good taste of the novelty, it will have to be offered up to 10–15 times. If the toddler rejects the dish on the move, take a break for 3-4 days, then offer the same product again.
Watch the baby’s reaction carefully. If a problem arises, such as a rash on the skin, constipation, or loose stools, exclude the “culprit” from the menu and be sure to consult your doctor.
If the crumb is sick or he is to be vaccinated, with the introduction of a new component in the diet will have to wait.
Usually, one-component fruit juices and mashed potatoes are the first to be introduced into the supplements. However, it should be noted that there are many fruit acids and fructose in juices. The first irritate and stimulate contractions of the intestinal walls, so babies may experience diarrhea or colic.
Fructose is very easily absorbed, because of this, the blood sugar level rises quickly and there is a risk that the metabolism can be disturbed. Great and the likelihood of allergies. But by 4–5 months, the digestive organs mature physiologically, and the drink already helps the toddler digest food.
If the child is allergic, juice can be offered to him only after consulting with a pediatrician.
At about the same time, the little pea made first attempts to crawl around. This is a signal that the baby’s body is ready to accept puree food. The transition to mashed potatoes will encourage the crumb to energetically work with the tongue, stir the food in the mouth and soften it with saliva.
So a week after exploring the juices (and if the baby has problems, then after 2) you can offer the crumbs to try fruit puree. If the child does not make friends with drinks because of a disorder in stools or colic, forget about them for a while and go to mashed potatoes.
A canned food can be of three grades of grinding: the first — a gruel, or a homogenized, that is, a strongly ground product — is intended for babies younger than 5 months old; the second, mashed potatoes, is suitable for 6–9 months; the third is pieces for 9–12 months.
As a rule, the first serious dish that replaces one milk feeding, and, consequently, the first food becomes vegetable puree, and for babies lagging in weight and with gastrointestinal problems, porridge.
It’s better to start with vegetables and little fatties. First, it is recommended to present zucchini, cauliflower and potatoes for tasting crumbs, as undesirable reactions to them are rare.
If everything went well, after a month, that is, at the age of 6–7 months, the menu can be varied with carrots, pumpkin, cabbage. To prepare the crumbs for the perception of more solid food, to the usual mashed potatoes, you can add small pieces of tender vegetables – zucchini, potatoes, cauliflower.
At the same time often offer him products that he can hold in the pen.
As for cereals, it is best suited for infants instant (soluble) that do not require cooking. First get acquainted with gluten-free porridges, which include cereals that do not contain protein gluten. This reduces the risk of developing gluten intolerance (celiac disease) if the child has a genetic predisposition to it.
It is better if milk-free buckwheat becomes the first porridge in the baby’s menu.
Entering porridge in the child’s menu, try to avoid the most common mistakes. Feed the baby porridge need with a spoon, not a bottle.
So he will learn to chew, coordinating the work of the tongue and gums. In addition, it will help speed up teething and the maturation of speech skills. It is advisable to alternate between different types of cereals.
It is also important to comply with the measure indicated on the package.
From 7 – 8 months the child’s attitude to food is formed. He can become a gourmet who appreciates a variety of tastes and derives pleasure from the process of absorbing food, or an ascetic whom food will mean only the energy necessary for development.
At the developmental stage, all the babies already receive complementary foods. The body crumbs ready assimilation of a variety of products and their combinations.
The basis of the menu is still breast milk or formula (“second stage”). In addition to vegetable and fruit puree, babies can be introduced to dairy products. The first of them appears on the table a special children’s cottage cheese.
It is rich in protein and minerals and has a different fat content – from 4.5% to 10%. The lower the fat content, the higher the level of protein and calcium.
This should be considered in order not to overload the child’s diet with protein. Cottage cheese can be added to fruit puree.
In 8 months, you can add kefir or yoghurt in mashed potatoes, which will make the dish more nutritious. In addition, the yogurt cultures and bifidobacteria contained in them improve the absorption of protein and carbohydrates, have a good effect on the intestinal microflora, but, alas, create an additional burden on the kidneys.
Therefore, it is not recommended to give them earlier than 8 months.
Good help mom will be “food diary.” Record in it the dates of introduction of new products and note the size of the portion, the reaction of the child, allergic manifestations.
This will help to know the tastes of the child, his preferences and favorite dishes, and therefore, think through the children’s menu, taking into account his preferences.
At about the same age (8 months), a second supplement is introduced to the baby – meat puree and egg yolk. They have a lot of protein – the main building material for the cells of a growing organism.
You need to start with turkey, beef, rabbit, a little later you can try chicken and pork. At 8–9 months, mashed potatoes with offal appear in the menu of the crumbs, most often with liver.
If the baby is allergic, the first meat dish will be pork, turkey, horse meat or venison. A little later, you can “enrich” the menu with ready-made products, which, in addition to meat, include other ingredients – vegetables or cereals, vegetable and butter.
If you cook for the toddler yourself, in 8–9 months, offer him meatballs, and a year – steam meatballs.
Baby mashed potatoes for adults seem to taste fresh, because there is no salt in them. But this spice is contraindicated for babies.
Egg yolk, which begins at about the same time as with meat, often causes allergies in children. So let’s take it with utmost care.
For the first time, offer literally an octopus of egg yolk, gradually within a month, go to half and stop there. For convenience, the yolk is added to other dishes, for example, in vegetable puree.
Energy – to the masses
Bread is a rich source of carbohydrates, and therefore energy, the need for which in a baby increases by leaps and bounds. It also contains vegetable protein, B vitamins, which are necessary for normal functioning of the nervous system, phosphorus and calcium, which are part of the bones, and zinc, which helps to activate the brain.
If familiarity with cereals went well, the bread can be offered with a calm soul. In addition, at this age, the crumbs of gums are very itchy, and the crust of bread or crackers will come in handy.
Offering bread is worth it so that the child learns to bite off small pieces and chew solid food.
You need to start with wheat bread from wholemeal flour: it is better and easier to digest, and in it more vitamins of group B. Meat-bread of freshly baked bread will be poorly absorbed, which can provoke colic and bloating, so let’s take yesterday’s or slightly stale piece (it can be dried the oven).
At 7 months, you can give crumbs baby cookies. The first portion – 3-5 g per day, in the year-10-15 g. Cookies teaches crumbs to eat solid food.
When choosing a treat, carefully read the label: nuts, candied fruits and spices are strong allergens.
At 8 – 9 months, as the chewing apparatus develops, the mash gradually turns into very finely chopped pieces. In addition, the grown-up baby is already making the first attempts to manipulate adults.
You bring a spoon to his mouth, and he squeezes his lips tightly and begins to turn his head frantically. Perhaps, the baby does this trick only with mom, and when dad feeds him, such a trick does not work.
Watch the baby and draw the appropriate conclusions. If this is true, then seek the help of other family members.
The second option – the child refuses to eat from your hands, if you are excited or experiencing stress. Your feelings are always conveyed to him, so that until you calm down, let the toddler feed someone from close relatives.
In the menu of the toddler appears a fish that supplies the kids with very high quality protein. It is easier to digest than meat protein.
But it is quite a strong allergen. If the child is prone to allergies, familiarity set aside until 3 years.
As part of marine fish varieties, there are omega-3 class polyunsaturated fatty acids that help the brain, eyesight, immune system, and circulatory systems to develop. Some of these acids we will not find anywhere else. In addition, fish contain vitamins A, D, E, group B, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iodine and fluorine.
Some species, such as halibut, grouper and sardine, are also rich in iron.
It is best to choose baby mashed potatoes, which, in addition to fish, includes vegetables and cereals. If you want to cook the fish for the baby yourself, boil it, rub through a sieve or chop it in a blender, and then mix it with vegetables. Such a dish is easier to digest, and the crumb will get used to a new product more easily.
At first, buy low-fat species – hake, cod, haddock, flounder, perch, carp, silver carp.
At 8 months, the baby eats 5 times a day. For the first morning feeding, he is still offered breast milk or a mixture, for a second breakfast – porridge, cottage cheese, fruit puree or juice, for “lunch” – vegetable and meat puree, yolk, crackers, fruit juice, for “afternoon tea” – yogurt , biscuits and fruit puree and for “dinner” – kefir.
The kid can already hold a cup with two hands and take small sips. Do not miss this moment and offer a crumb to try your favorite drinks not from a bottle anymore, but from an “adult” container.
At 11 months, when the baby takes the first steps, give him a spoon in the pen. At this stage, the baby will be able to lower it into food, it will learn to scoop it with food in just a couple of months.