Until now, breast milk or infant formula enriched with iron has provided your baby with all the nutrition he needs for growth and development. However, when the 6th month is approaching, your baby's digestive system begins to mature, and now it is ready to digest additional foods.
When Will the Baby Be Ready for Complementary Food?
At six months old, the baby begins to develop new skills to transition to the complementary foods he needs. So how do you know when he's ready to take the first bite? The best way to do this is to follow your baby and watch for the following signs.
- If your baby can sit upright with support,
- If he can hold his head steady,
- If he opens his mouth or leans forward when fed,
- When food is put in his mouth, he can chew and swallow instead of taking it out,
- If he is interested in what you eat.
Even if your baby is ready for solid foods, breast milk or iron-enriched formula will continue to be the cornerstone of his diet. A baby who is already starting solids can only eat a few teaspoons in one sitting.
Complementary foods such as pumpkin puree, rice flour and applesauce not only provide additional nutrition, they also help the baby learn to eat, chew, swallow and get used to new tastes and textures.
Breast Milk Is Still the Best!
- Breast milk is the perfect first food provided by nature and is the best choice when starting to feed the baby. Health experts recommend that the baby should be fed only with breast milk in the first 6 months as much as possible, and additional foods should be given with breast milk as the main nutritional source until one year old.
- Breast milk contains antibodies that protect the baby against disease and infection.
- Breastfed babies have fewer bowel problems.
- Breast milk accelerates the development of the digestive system.
- The aroma of the food that the mother eats is reflected in the milk, and the baby recognizes various tastes.
- There are beneficial fats in breast milk that increase mental development.
- Breast milk also provides protection against the development of food allergies, obesity, diarrhea, ear and respiratory infections.
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