Baby Feeding Schedule
Your baby feeding schedule will depend on your decision to breast or bottle feed.
The baby in the photos is a special baby in my life who's Mommy has taken my advice on feeding. Reihlee is an energetic, healthy little girl who is benefiting from a healthy baby feeding schedule.
Feeding babies is so commercial and unfortunately, in my opinion as a nutrition educator, there are no excellent formula choices.
We all know breast feeding is natures perfect formula but if for some reason you cannot nurse, take great care in choosing your processed commercial formula.
Another option is making your own formula, which if I could not nurse would choose today. The Weston A Price Foundation will explain this process to you as well, provide plenty of success stories for your formula baby feeding schedule.
While raising my babies, I was so young and remember being very anxious about putting them on a schedule and introducing that rice cereal so they might sleep through the night. If they slept, so would I. I now realize how selfish that was. This is my baby, he or she does not have a regular schedule as much as we would like to think. As should we, babies eat when hungry not on our baby feeding schedule.
Breast feeding babies solely until the age of nine months to one year is acceptable and highly recommended. The United States is the only country where it is unusual to breast feed up to 3 years of age. With the threat of influenza, colds and disease, your baby's immune system would be elevated by nursing as long as you can.
Let's begin with the cereal concept. Many Dr's are now warning against the introduction of grains at such early ages. Baby's small intestine mostly produces one enzyme for carbohydrates which is lactase, for the digestion of lactose. Many recommend waiting until after 36 months. With the Auto-Immunity problems out there, we can see why. Insulin dependent Type 1 diabetes for example implicates gluten as a cause.
Baby's earliest solid foods should be animal foods as his digestive system, although immature, is better equipped to supply enzymes for digestion of fats and proteins rather than carbohydrates. At 4 months of age most particularly if formula fed, baby can begin with egg yolk. Begin with a very small amount and work up to one whole yolk. The white can be difficult for baby to digest so it is best to wait until one year of age.
At the age of about ten months, meats, fruits and vegetables may be introduced, one at a time so that any adverse reactions may be observed. Carbohydrate foods, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, etc., should be mashed with butter. (Don't overdo on the orange vegetables as baby's immature liver may have difficulty converting carotenoids to vitamin A. If your baby's skin develops a yellowish color, a sign that he/she is not making the conversion, discontinue orange vegetables for a time.
Food to Avoid
Up to 6 months: Certain foods, such as spinach, celery, lettuce, radishes, beets, turnips and collard greens, may contain excessive nitrate, which can be converted into nitrite (an undesirable substance) in the stomach. Leafy green vegetables are best avoided until 1 year. When cooking vegetables that may contain these substances, do not use the water they were cooked in to purée.
Up to 9 months: Citrus and tomato, which are common allergens.
Up to 1 year: Because infants do not produce strong enough stomach acid to deactivate potential spores, infants should refrain from eating honey. As mentioned above, Egg whites should also be avoided up to one year due to their high allergenic potential.
Self feeding without a utensil is also recommended. This is a great option because baby will stop eating when full and self eating is such an adventure for baby and parent. (Yes, I'm being funny....I know the mess you will have to clean up.....grab a mat and place it under the high chair for ease of clean up. Self feeding reduces force feeding.
A Vitamix Blender is a great purchase to make your own baby foods, avoiding the highly processed foods of unknown source in the super market. This allows you to choose beef, fish, fowl and eggs of the highest and freshest quality. As long as you adhere to the guidelines above, blend what everyone is eating! Have you ever tasted the baby food yourself? Should you choose to use commercial baby foods, always choose organic sources.
As a sugar addicted society, it is wise to introduce other fruits later rather than sooner. With your baby feeding schedule, take special note of this advice. My niece practiced this baby feeding schedule as well, a neighbor of mine and they were successful in the introduction of vegetables with their children. Let's face it, we all love the sugar but it takes more than it gives and if we train miniature taste buds with preference of sugar, we will have a difficult time convincing them vegetables are tasty.
Fruit juices should be avoided. Many use them for constipation (apple juice) but my best advice for constipation is the addition of probiotics and coconut oil. Studies have linked failure to thrive in children with diets high in apple juice.
High fructose corn syrup foods are especially dangerous for growing children and should never be introduced in your baby feeding schedule. I know I don't need to remind you but processed junk foods will only degrade your baby's little body.
I recommend adding coconut oil to baby's diet as soon as you can if formula feeding. Coconut oil, with Lauric Acid, a medium chain fatty acid is found in breast milk. It even makes a lovely diaper rash remedy.
Above all, do not deprive your baby's baby feeding schedule of animal fats—he/she needs them for optimum physical growth and mental development. Mother's milk contains over 50% of its calories as fat, much of it saturated fat, and children need these kinds of fats throughout their growing years.
It is recommended that all babies be administered Cod Liver Oil. Children age 3 months to 12 years: A dose of cod liver oil that provides about 5000 IU vitamin A and 500 IU vitamin D, daily, obtained from about 1 teaspoon of regular cod liver oil or 1/2 teaspoon of high-vitamin cod liver oil. Use an eye dropper or syringe for the little ones. Ask your parent or grandparent if they remember cod liver oil! Unfortunately, this very popular practice in the 30's, 40's and 50's has been discontinued but the momentum is picking up again with the realization of the great benefits of the DHA/EPA fatty acids as well, Vitamins A & D, our most important immune building fat soluble vitamins.
In European countries, it is customary to have a shot of cod liver oil waiting at a childs desk.
I wish you much success with your baby feeding schedule. It is not easy but by following the above guidelines, your child can be as happy, healthy and intelligent as Miss Reihlee.
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