Feeding My Baby From Birth Till Now
Feeding a baby is one of the top concerns of new parents. Parents are always doubtful if the baby is getting enough nutrition in spite of their constant efforts to try different foods. Let me discuss with you my feeding routine for my baby from his birth until toddler stage so that it would be easy for new mothers to make better choices.
T S Upasana
First Six Months
Being a new born, the doctor strictly advised only breastfeeding and powdered milk only in case of adversities. The doctor gave a strict No to water until six months which took me by surprise! The first milk, called colostrum is very important to the baby and every mother should not miss giving it to baby. This milk secretes immediately after giving birth and the nurses in the hospital helped me feed colostrum to my baby. They taught me different techniques to hold the baby while feeding and also, one important tip that helped a lot is to touch the baby’s ears and rub gently when the baby falls asleep while feeding. Doing so, the baby starts sucking even while closing its eyes. Another tip, to make the baby burp put him gently on your shoulders and rub his back. These two tips were very useful during my stay at hospital and I continued them at home too.
There are times when the baby would cry for every 1 hour after feeding which indicated low milk supply. I used to eat garlic rice, garlic milk, fish puttu etc., to increase my milk supply and also bought a manual breast pump which was highly useful. I used to pump milk and store when the baby is asleep and feed him once he wake up with the help of injection or paladai (a traditional feeding device in India). Sometimes when I fell sick, I was not supposed to take medicines due to feeding. I followed only home remedies to heal myself and made sure not to take any other drugs during the feeding stage. In worst cases, I had to give my baby some powdered milk apart from breastfeeding and it helped me in times during insufficient supply, during travelling etc.,. However, I followed this strictly for first 6 months and did not give any other food except milk.
Six to Twelve Months
I started giving supplementary foods along with milk right from Sixth month. We started slowly by giving boiled and mashed apple, soup from boiled veggies like beans and carrots. The baby readily took those in the beginning as it was a different taste which encouraged me to try more new things. I bought a mesh feeder in which I sliced bananas and gave, the baby readily sucked the feeder and extracted all the flesh and juice it and even asked for more! I became thrilled and tried several foods. But I never gave everything at the same time; I tried introducing each new food with a gap of 1 or 2 weeks in between. I wanted to know, if the food is digested properly and his body accepted. So I observed him for a week after introducing new food, and then moved to next. I gave him apple, bananas and orange in the sixth month. Soups, Dhal water, baby supplementary food available in market were also given. For mesh feeding I used bananas, boiled carrots and orange. I never added salt or sugar separately in baby’s diet until he turned one year. I kept breastfeeding him apart from the supplementary which was his primary source of energy always and he took supplementary foods only during day time and during travel times.
He started loving fruits more than vegetables and I made a habit of giving him a fruit every day till now. After 8th month, I tried several other fruits like papaya, grapes, guava, pomegranate, pineapple etc. and he seemed to like all of them. For carbohydrates, I started give steamed foods like Idly, Dhal mixed with mashed rice and health mix but my son avoided health mix. For sweetening I used organic palm sugar or honey for idly and avoided store bought white sugar completely. We tried Ragi milk and other health mix recipes which sadly did not work out. He started to avoid those foods and I stopped giving them too. During 9th month I introduced boiled egg which he did not like very much and he liked it when the eggs were scrambled so I give him scrambled eggs periodically. I never followed a special diet for the baby and I chose healthy food for him from the normal food style we usually follow at home like extracting water from boiled veggies every day, feeding him fruit either boiled or mashed, giving him enough milk either breastfeed or bottle feed etc., I was worried if he would get bottle confusion but I was lucky, the baby accepted both. By the end of 12 months, He had a taste of most of the common foods we ate at home and I observed that he loved fruits more than anything else.
Twelve to Eighteen Months
After his first birthday, I slowly reduced breastfeeding day by day and started giving more solid foods. I breastfed him only during night time before sleeping and stopped it completely after one or two months. I was worried if stopping would be a problem but again I was lucky, he did not throw any tantrums and took feed from bottles and forgot breastfeeding soon. The key was to keep him full and active all time with lots of distractions like playtime, beach visits, travelling, being with grandparents, taking him to park everyday etc. which made him busy all day so that he got tired and hungry easily. He eats without fuss when hungry and sleeps soon after that so I made sure, he gets engaged in several activities. Once he got his molar and little canine teeth, I started giving him finger foods like boiled carrot, fried potato, bread and teething biscuits, paneer, scrambled eggs, boiled chicken and sometimes I used to give him rice pappad along with mashed rice too. Many times my kid would create a fuss for eating and all I would do is, be calm, allow him to get hungry so that he will come and ask food by himself and feed him after that. This may sometimes extend for hours and hours but I make sure that he has at least milk, fruits and water when he avoids taking rice.
Eighteen to Twenty Four Months
He is officially a toddler now and keeps me busy on my toes all the time. I have made a routine for him which includes fruits and milk for breakfast followed by a morning nap. For lunch, he eats dhal with ghee, rasam or curd rice along with veggies which are secretly mashed along with the rice and I supplement with rice papads for crispy feel and to make the food more interesting. The veggies he usually takes are potatoes, beans, carrots, spinach, pumpkin and other common vegetables cooked at home. He takes chicken, eggs, fish and paneer too periodically. He drinks his milk in the evening along with biscuits or puffed rice balls. We give him some homemade snacks like murukku, ompodi, peanut burfi etc., and for dinner it would be either rice or chapathi or Adai (made with all types of cereals). He eats what is cooked in home along with extra fruits and milk.
Many parents buy a lot of different foods in the name of nutrition but it would be wise to look into what we usually cook at home, check for balanced nutrition and feed the right food for the baby. Once the baby has developed all his teeth and not found allergic to any food, he or she can eat regularly as adults. Remember not to feed when the baby tries to vomit or spit out the food. It’s better to stop that time instead of waiting to feed the whole bowl. Babies know their intake limit and if the food intake is refused or reduced constantly for more than two days, it is better to consult the doctor. Sometimes kids don’t take food properly during medications or other sickness, at those times it’s important to keep the baby hydrated by giving milk or water and give whatever they like to eat like biscuits or milk rusks etc., they will eventually get back their appetite and patience is the key here. As a mom, It is important to be patient and not to force a child eat when he is not ready. We can make them ready by draining out their energy by engaging them in lots of play activities. Good luck and happy feeding Mommies!
About T S Upasana
I am Upasana, mother of a wonderful toddler. I chose to stay at home over a career in science to witness each and every stage of my son's first trivial three years. I wanted to capture and cherish all the beautiful moments by being with him when he reaches his little milestones with no regrets in life later. I am in constant search for ideas, tips and strategies to manage and tackle everyday issues faced as a mom as motherhood is real hard work and would love to share all my findings with fellow moms to make their life easier.
This is personal experience and point of view of Mrs T Upasana as a mother. Happy Motherhood does not take responsibility for the contents and those not necessarily represent point of view of Happy Motherhood