It’s no denying that your child, at all ages, needs the right food at the right time to grow and develop. However, your child’s nutrition is essential during infancy (0 to 1 year) as this is the time when starting good feeding habits will help set a healthy eating pattern for life.
Let’s talk about the importance of infants’ nutrition and the importance of understanding newborns’ eating patterns, and where you can go for comprehensive pediatric care in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida.
Importance of Infants’ Nutrition
Proper nutrition is not only fundamental for a child’s continued health but is also your child’s right under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. According to the World Health Organization, a child that is exposed to inappropriate feeding practices is more likely to suffer from malnutrition, as up to a third of all cases of child malnutrition result from such inappropriate feeding practices. Inappropriate feeding practices can also cause an increase in obesity and poor diet.
Why Understanding Their Feeding Pattern Is Important
Typically, an infant of the age of one month needs 6 to 8 breast or formula feedings a day, while an infant of age 2 months needs 5 to 6 breast or formula feedings a day. If your baby is between the age of 3 to 5 months, they may also need breast or formula feedings 5 to 6 times. The amount of formula per feeding should be 2 to 4 ounces in the first month, 5 to 6 ounces at the age of two months, and 6 to 7 ounces at the age of 3 to 5 months.The approximate time for breastfeeding should be 10 to 15 minutes per breast at each feed.
After the first six months, the baby can eat solid food. Initially, you can give a small amount of new solid food, such as rice cereal. You should wait for 4 to 5 days to introduce new single-ingredient food. You can also ask the pediatrician what solid food you should give your child. At this time, you should pay attention to their feeding pattern and ensure that they have enough food for proper growth.
The feeding pattern of each baby varies. Typically, it is based on your infant’s readiness, developmental age, and feeding skills.Understanding your child’s feeding pattern ensures that your child is getting all the essential nutrients, and vitamins needed for healthy growth and development. It also ensures that your child is well-fed all the time and is not at risk for malnutrition. A healthy feeding pattern for the child means they are getting a diet that can protect them from infections and developing medical problems, such as high cholesterol, asthma, diabetes, obesity, and allergies.
To understand the feeding pattern of your child, you must know when your infant is hungry and need food. Babies give cues, such as crying, smacking lips, moving hands to mouth, or suckling their own hands when they are hungry. So, you should not miss these cues. Signs of missed cues are that baby becomes upset, fussy, or starts crying.
Infant Nutrition Near Me in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida
If you’re struggling with your child’s eating habits and seek help from a reliable pediatrician, visit us at Children’s Medical Center. Our pediatricians willnot only provide comprehensive care to your child at ages up to 18 years but will also guide you on how to develop healthy eating habits during infancy, early childhood, and teen years.
If you would like to make an appointment with us, call today at our location nearest you.