One of the most amazing parts of having a baby is watching him change and grow during the first year. And while you want to give him the world, there are a few things you should hold off on—at least until his first birthday. Read on to discover newborn feeding and nutrition basics.
No cow's milk for the first year.
No type of cow's milk has the right nutrient levels for newborns. Mainly, it's too low in iron and vitamin C, and too high in protein, sodium, potassium and chloride for your baby's developing kidneys. Also, fat-free and low-fat milk don't have the fat babies need for their rapid weight gain.
No solids before four to six months.
So says the American Academy of Pediatrics. Until around four to six months, most babies automatically push anything solid (other than a nipple) out of their mouths. They can't yet move food to the back of their mouths and swallow it.
No falling asleep with a bottle.
This increases his chances of tooth decay and ear infections. Try an hour before bedtime instead.
No propping up bottles.
Feeding time is prime bonding time—for both of you.
No microwaving bottles.
The uneven heating could seriously burn your little one.
No honey in the first year.
Nothing baked with honey either. Honey can cause botulism, a serious type of food poisoning.
The tannins in tea inhibit your baby's ability to absorb iron, which can put him at risk for anemia. And the caffeine in tea interferes with calcium absorption, which is critical to bone building.
No mixing cereal into bottles.
Putting solids into a bottle upsets your baby's nutritional and caloric balance. Start feeding cereal by spoon at around 4-6 months.
Processed meats and even some drinking water contain nitrates, which may pose a potential hazard to baby health. Avoid:
- Nitrate-contaminated drinking water, such as some well water
- Hot dogs
No added sugar or salt.
The less salt and sugar you add to his diet, the more he'll learn to enjoy the natural flavor of foods.