Ask Amma

How to feed baby

In How on 14 June 2011 at 3:26 pm

We know what to feed our baby but how do we know how to do it — when, how much, how often?

– dad of a 9-month old in Delhi

One important thing children start to learn after 6 months of age is how to gradually complement mama-milk with the wide world of food. Not all babies are ready at 6 months either. Just as a child comes to the breast and directs his own feeding, so can he be trusted with solid foods. Simply serve the food and let baby eat on his own. He will decide whether, when and how much. If you think that he wants or needs help feeding himself, let him take the lead by either pulling your hand / spoon towards his mouth, or looking eagerly, or otherwise expressing interest, not merely responding to your suggestion. At the first sign that he wants to stop, stop. Avoid a dynamic where you are "coaxing" or overly "encouraging" baby to eat. Best of all, serve baby right along with the rest of the family and eat together without any fuss over what or how much baby is eating. Let him get familiar with his body’s signals and understand his own hunger and fullness. Eating to please others will not be healthy in the short or long run.

Note: If you suspect a developmental delay or a medical condition warranting intervention, then you should have it evaluated. If not, relax and be prepared to be amazed by the journey of life and learning.

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