Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Keeping Baby Healthy

Babies deserve the best we can give them. As we learn to properly care for our babies both emotionally and physically, they get the healthiest start possible.

During their first twelve months, babies grow at a faster rate than at any other time. They need a high-fat diet with adequate cholesterol and carbohydrates. Breast milk provides this perfect balance, as well as essential amino acids, fluid, vitamins, and minerals. Moms who choose not to breastfeed should use iron-fortified infant formula. Breastmilk or formula is all the nourishment babies need for their first 4 to 6 months.

Begin spoon-feeding baby rice cereal when your baby is sitting up unaided without wobbling his or her head, and when he or she seems interested in food. This will occur at about four to six months of age. Once your baby is up to two or three cereal feedings, begin to introduce one new food a week, starting with mashed vegetables and fruits. Be alert for signs of allergy and report symptoms to your pediatrician right away.

Babies usually are ready for self-feeding by about eight months of age. Babies feel proud when they begin to feed themselves, but be prepared for a mess. Soon your baby will be eating table food with the rest of the family, reminding us how fast that first year goes by.


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