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New parents always worry if their child is receiving the right amount of nutrition for his/her age. When a child crosses the age of 6 months and starts eating solids, it is important to see that the baby eats the right kind of foods in an adequate quantity.
There are a lot of things that you need to pay a close attention to when you feed your child. It is advised that the child be fed only breast milk or formula feed till he is of six months of age. The baby must not be fed cow's milk until he is one year old, as it is not easily digestible.
Allergies are something that often run in the family but your child may have an allergy that you may not be aware of. So, always introduce one new food at a time. You should wait for at least 3 to 4 days before you can try something else.
Make sure that you use clean hands while preparing food for your child. Use clean and sterilized bottles, spoons and bowls when feeding your baby.
We bring to you a rough feeding chronology that will tell you when to expect and bring about the changes in your baby's eating habits. Read on to know more.
Birth To 6 Months Of Age: Babies are to be fed only breast milk during this time period. If you are not able to breastfeed, the baby must only be given formula feed. There are some rare cases where the baby develops faster than his peers and may need solids earlier. Your doctor will tell you if that is the case with your baby.
Babies of this age have a natural urge to thrust out any solids that enter their mouth. They are also born with the ability to latch and suckle. They also have the gag reflex.
Six Months: At six months, most babies are ready to consume solid foods. Some babies might reach this milestone earlier or later. There are some signs that you can look out for to tell if your baby is ready to eat solids or not.
Your baby can sit up without support.
Your baby opens his/her mouth when a spoon approaches his/her mouth.
Your baby can close his/her mouth around the spoon and swallow the food using his/her tongue.
He/she makes chewing motions with his/her jaws when he/she sees you eat.
He/she picks up things using all his/her fingers and can take it to his/her mouth.
Seven Months: Most babies will be comfortable eating solids by seven months. They can easily be fed by a spoon by now. They will be able to pick up food items using the fore finger and the thumb. This kind of grasp is called a pincer grasp. Your baby will also be able to start drinking from a cup or a glass. It might be messy and your baby will need a lot of practice to perfect the act.
Eight To Ten Months: Your baby will be more adept in drinking liquids from a glass by now. Your baby will learn to curve his/her lips on the glass's rim to avoid spillage of the liquids. He/she will also be able to chew better but may not be able to close his/her mouth completely. Your baby will use diagonal motions of his/her jaws to chew the food better. He/she will become more used to eating solids and will start taking in lesser amounts of the liquid.
Ten Months To 1 Year: By the end of the year, your baby would have learnt to feed himself/herself, though he/she might still be messy. Your baby will have learnt to hold a bottle, cup or a spoon too. He/she will easily use his/her lips to take food from a spoon and chew the food before swallowing it. Your baby might still not close his/her mouth while eating.