Being a new mother, you will be curious to know what’s best for your baby. Here’s all you need to know about the food and nutrition your baby needs for healthy growth right from the beginning.
As we all know that breast milk is extremely good and beneficial for your intant. There’s no other better option than this as it provides quality nutrition with proteins, fats and carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals all of these just in the right proportions.
However, for some it may be necessary to swap the breast milk with supplement with formula (packaged baby food). Consult your doctor if you think you baby needs formula and always choose a branded one.
The nutrients that are most important for your baby at this stage
Apart from giving him food from time to time you also need to know which ingredients your baby needs to have a healthy growth. Here are they-
● Calcium – ensuring your baby has strong teeth and bones, it also helps with maintaining normal heart beats, blot clotting, produce hormones etc.
● Iron –boosts blood cells by supplying body with oxygen,helps in nerve development, produce hormones,etc.
● Folate – this is essential to help the cells in baby’s body to multiply and to make DNA and RNA.
● Fat – ensures healthy hair and skin. It is also useful in brain development and provides energy and protects against infection.
● Zinc – vital for the normal growth and helps in the development of the reproductive organs and brain and plays a role in the normal functioning of the immune system and many other processes in the body.
● Carbohydrates and proteins – these are necessary to ensure your baby gets the required energy, growth and repairing tissues.
● Vitamins – different types of vitamins like A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K enhance the normal functioning of the brain, immune system, nervous system, and blood clotting.
Usually baby food formulas are enriched with nutrients to ensure the healthy growth. They are also contained with fatty acids like DHA and AHA, prebiotics and probiotics, nucleotides.
It is necessary to encourage healthy feeding habits right from the beginning to continue with healthy growth. Baby feeding habits are divided into three categories based on the types. Infant-led, Parent-led and Combination of both of the above.
In the infant-led schedule the feeding is done according to the infant which may lead to skipping of the number of feeds.
The Parent-led schedule is fixed by the parent according and it has specific time for everything . In the combination of both of these both the infant and the parents schedules are being considered to form a schedule which is according to both of them and is generally widely followed.
However the parents need to determine which of these works best for the baby and plan accordingly.
The choices of food that you have for a baby upto three months is very limited. It should be solely liquid, but if you think you want to go for something solid you should once consul with your doctor before giving that to the infant. Although infants have little tummies, thus they need to be fed frequently so that they could meet their growth and developmental process easily. Since infants survive solely on milk, either breast milk or formula the new mother should also consume a healthy diet full with nutrients as this will directly affect the baby.
Important things to remember
1. Infants do tend to have growth spurts and this could start from two weeks onwards.
2. The most common thing in infants is spit up because the muscular valve connecting the oesophagus and the stomach is immature. This follows the stomach back up.
3. Bowel movements are regular in infants.Expect at least three bowel movements per day, in some babies may be up to four to twelve.
4. Avoid giving your baby solid foods until they are at least six months old or consult your doctor.
Breast milk is nowadays substitute by the infant food industry as closely as possible. The baby food industry, however offers a wide range of products trying to fulfill the changing needs of newborns and young children in their early stages of life. But it is recommended to use substitutes as less as possible during this growing months.