Baby Health Guide by
Posted January 16, 2015 by Jaclyn Hill | Follow Jaclyn Hill on Google+
Filed Under Baby And Child Development
Baby Health Guide by

One of the most important things in a baby's first year is understanding and attending to their nutritional needs. This helps to support brain development, growth, and overall health. There are different needs for infants at different ages, and understanding them is key to a healthy baby. Below is a guide to help you care for your baby during the first year of their life.

0-4 Months

As a parent, it is really important to learn and understand the cues your baby is giving when it is hungry. If your baby cries, turns its head and opens its mouth, or moves its lips and sucks on its hands, then it is most likely looking to be fed. The health of your child in the beginning months is very important, and feeding your baby whenever they appear to be hungry is just as important. Remember that breast milk is the most natural and healthiest form of food for your baby. Formula is an alternative that can be considered if breastfeeding is not possible. It is important to feed your baby on demand. As your baby progresses from birth to four months of age, there are a few things that may change and should be taken into consideration. Babies will be able to eat more as they get older. You will notice an increase in the intake of breast milk or formula.

4-6 Months

It is important at this stage of your baby's development to recognize what type of food they should be eating. At the beginning of this stage, breast milk or formula will be the main staple of their diet. There are some signs to look for to know if your child is ready for some infant cereal. Another thing to consider when switching to some pureed food or infant cereal is that the child may have allergies to certain foods. If your family has a history of being allergic to certain foods, you should consider waiting until six months of age to introduce regular foods. Around the six-month mark, your baby will typically eat three times a day and will consume anywhere from two to four ounces of strained food. It is important to use a baby spoon when feeding your child because an adult spoon will be too big and the hard material is not good for babies.

6-8 Months

It is important at this stage of your baby's development to pay attention to what they are telling you. Although you child cannot speak, they will certainly give you signs indicating how much they do or don't want to eat. Your baby will be eating breast milk or formula along with some solid foods. Do not be concerned if your child is not eating solid foods at this time. Every baby is different and will grow at a different pace. Be patient with the feeding of your baby. Feel free to always offer solid foods, but do not get discouraged if your baby refuses. Your baby may be sitting up, watching you with their eyes, and maybe even feeding themselves! These are exciting times and something you should be looking forward to.

An important thing to note is that your baby should eat with the family and at the same time. Nutrition is extremely important to every human but most important for the development of your child. Make sure you are feeding your child food with a lot of nutrition.

8-12 Months

At this stage in the game, your child might want to feed themselves. If your child is able to do so, you should encourage this. Your baby will have a more diverse menu now that they are nearing the one-year mark. One of the big improvements that your child will have is in their eye-hand coordination. Your child might be able to drink from an open-mouthed cup. There are some foods that your baby should definitely avoid, such as chips, seeds, raisins, raw vegetables, hot dogs, raisins, cheese cubes, marshmallow, and peanut butter. These foods can be potential choking hazards.

Your baby can eat meat at this stage of their development. If you chose to feed them meat, you must be sure to puree and strain it. As a precaution, you must make sure that it is cooked thoroughly.