Baby feeding: six tips on making it a healthy, happy occasion

baby feeding

If you've got a baby in the house, you certainly know the challenges that baby feeding time can present. Babies quickly develop particular tastes for certain foods, as well as those they dislike and inevitably refuse to eat. Come at them with a spoon of commercially prepared beef and be prepared for the worst – either a deft little hand which sends spoon and beef onto the floor, or a big 'fffflmmmth' as the remark on what managed to enter baby's mouth. However, you're intent on making sure that your baby eats a nutritious, well-balanced meal. Here are a few tips to making baby feeding time a happy time that satisfies your nutritional goals.

1.About an hour before baby feeding time, curtail beverages such as milk and juices. These beverages serve to fill baby up and thus be not quite so amenable to certain items on the menu. You don't have to deprive your baby, just low-play the beverage end of the meal. This also helps keep baby's taste buds in the welcome state.

2.Almost every baby has favorites when it comes to foods. Your baby may love bananas and peaches, but be less than happy about applesauce or blueberries. Remember, your goal is nutrition, so check your labels for nutritional value. All things being more or less equal, let baby eat the favored fruits. Pushing disliked foods on a baby can result in a very picky eater down the road.

3.Lots of babies balk at meats, especially the ones that come in jars. If proffering meat at baby feeding time brings the child to tears or tantrums, there are other ways to get that protein into an acceptable form. For example, you can cook a boneless chicken breast, cut it into several serving portions and freeze. When you're ready to serve, put a portion in a baby food grinder, grinding until smooth. Baby will not recognize this as the same offensive product from a jar. The same technique works for veggies. Fresh is definitely better! After all, which would you rather eat? It's also a good way to reduce the salt your baby consumes. Commercial baby food usually contains added salt. Of course, there's no guarantee baby will like this any better, but it's certainly worth a healthy shot!

4.Much as adults might freshen their palate between courses, with a small sorbet cup, try keeping baby interested by alternating the foods on today's menu every couple of spoonfuls. A spoon of chicken, followed by a bite of applesauce, may suit baby's taste. On the other hand, some babies are natural born 'Dutch eaters'. These kids want to consume every last bite of one food before proceeding to the next. Whatever works!

5.Sometimes, baby feeding requires an 'intermission' to obtain the desired results. If baby starts acting fidgety, rejecting all food offers, it's probably time for a break. Turn on some music, sing a happy tune or play a little game, counting fingers or gently squeezing that cute little cheek. Toys can also provide a diversion, convincing your little tyke that he or she is not being forced to toe the line, spoon after spoon. Get a few giggles going, and offer an empty spoon for baby's choice of the next bite.

6.The much maligned tube is good for something. Cartoons are a good way to divert baby's attention, automatically accepting the spoonful as the cartoon character weaves a spell on baby. Aha! Another bite accomplished.

Using these six tips at baby feeding time will surely result in more food in the tummy and less on the bib, high chair and floor! Aren't babies cute?

1st year baby development - month to month

baby development

The first year of your child’s development is an ever-changing and exciting time for both you and your child. See the differences month to month.

1-2 months baby development :

After nine months in the womb, your baby will be familiarizing himself with his surroundings. The familiar sound of your voice will be comforting to the baby. By the second month, you will see your newborn becoming more aware of his surroundings. At this point, your baby may recognize your voice and turn his head towards you when you speak. He may respond verbally by cooing and even begin to smile.
Your newborn does not yet have full control of his bodily motions. He may jerk his arms and legs spontaneously when startled. By the second month, his movements should be less jerky, smoother, and less involuntary.
Get close and show them bold colors and shapes. Babies are usually nearsighted and are only able to view objects 8 to 14” away. Encourage your child’s visual development by showing him brightly colored objects in different shapes and sizes.

3-4 months baby development :

In the third month, your baby will have more control of his movements. When lying on his stomach and using his elbows, he will be able to raise his chest and slightly lift his head. He learns to use his hands. He will reach for objects, grab his feet, and by the fourth month may be able to hold a small object.
Your baby will become more vocal. He will laugh and squeal when he is happy and cry when he is flustered. By the fourth month, your newborn will try to make different sounds.

5-6 months baby development :

In the fifth month, your child will be physically stronger. He is able to keep his head steady and sit upright if propped with a pillow. By the sixth month he may sit independently. He will also be able to roll over in one direction. He may try to start crawling.
You will notice your baby has become more expressive. He will start to say consonant-vowel combinations. He may raise his arms gesturing to be picked up.
Be careful of your actions, your baby will try to imitate your actions and your facial expressions.
Your child will start to recognize his own name.

7-8 months baby development :

Your baby is very aware of his parent’s unconditional love. He may try to push your limits to see how far he can go.
In the seventh month your child will want to walk. He can stand while holding onto something or someone.

9-10 months baby development :

By now, your child’s leg strength has greatly improved. Your child will spend lots of time practicing to walk. He will be able to stand from a sitting position. He may be able to stand for a short time.
Your baby will grasp simple commands and sayings such as “no” and “good girl”. Your child may also try to say “mommy” or “daddy”. He will try to form words by speaking gibberish. By the tenth month, your child may wave hello or goodbye to visitors.
Your baby can hold his own bottle or cup. You may give your child his own spoon to encourage feeding himself.

11-12 months baby development :

A new beginning, your child will begin to walk on his own.  Your child’s vocal skills are more developed. Baby can say “mommy” or “daddy”. He will be able to say one-syllable words such as “hi”. He will also be trying to converse with you through gibberish.
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