Feeding Your One-Year-Old
- A great way to tell if your baby is aware of the new foods in front of him is to put a finger-size piece of pasta (easy to pick up) next to a cookie. If your baby grabs the cookie first, you'll know he is totally aware of your menu selections. If this happens, you have to remember to keep all cookies, juices, and other sweets and delights out of his view until you get him hooked on veggies, fruits, meats, and other healthy alternatives.
- By this time, baby is on the move. Set rules and make sure to teach your little one to eat only at the table in the high chair. This is one of those things that, if taught early, gets easier and easier. Otherwise, baby rules the house, and when that happens, it gets harder and harder...for you.
- If your baby likes blueberries, don't be surprised to find his diaper has turned blue. Red dyes and red juices, which are discouraged because they can rile up your baby, have a similar effect. This can be a scary discovery, but don't worry—whatever goes in is going to come out.
- If you are having trouble introducing foods, take your baby to a food court, in a mall, perhaps. Put her into a high chair in a spot where she can view all of the other babies eating foods they like. Give it a few minutes for your baby to absorb what's going on and start to introduce the same foods the other babies are eating. You'll probably see an entirely different side of your baby.
- If you are serving chicken for dinner, don't serve baby pizza or something else special unless you plan to serve baby a special dinner every night. Once baby is eating table foods, always try serving baby what you are eating first.
- Don't let your baby get in the habit of throwing his food. If he doesn't eat and he throws the food, he's not hungry and just playing, or he doesn't like what you're serving. Either way, make sure you say, "No! No!" and then try feeding him the same food again a little later. You can only tell that babies don't really like a certain food when you are absolutely sure they are hungry.
- If your baby refuses to drink anything except juice, try giving her a serving of formula or expressed breast milk in a colorful "sippy cup" with a lid. If she's still on to you, you'll know how smart she really is.
- They say they don't know the exact reasons for ADD and hyperactivity in babies, but they do know that sugar and additives are common denominators in babies and toddlers with these issues.
- Once your baby tastes a lollipop or ice pop, she'll never see another one without wanting it...immediately!
- When weaning from bottles, pack away all but two sets of bottles, nipples, and accessories so you don't grab them for convenience. Remember, you are also weaning yourself from your own habit.
- More great news! Baby will eventually wean himself from bottles and the breast even if you did nothing at all. It may take longer, but with this approach, there's minimal trauma for mom, breasts, and baby. This may be the right plan for you.
- Depending on baby's age, you may end up having to wean from breast milk to formula. Baby needs breast milk or formula for at least the first year.
- When weaning, carry more snacks and fewer bottles in your diaper bag and leave the house more often for short periods of time. Head to places like the park so if baby gets cranky or cries, it won't matter as much as it would if you were in a mall with a thousand people watching you and the baby. Those situations are usually when the parent relapses and hands over the bottle just to calm baby down.
- Be sure to tell everyone around you what your baby is learning so you'll all be on the same team. For example, tell your caregiver and family that you are dropping the bottle and sticking with a sippy cup. This way, the consistency will make your life so much easier!
- Weaning doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing process. You can start, continue if it's working, slow down, stop, do it just at night, do it just during the day, etc. If all else fails, you can stop and start again in a few days or weeks if baby or you just can't take it.
- Don't intentionally start weaning if baby is sick. It will just make her more miserable and stressed. On the other hand, if she naturally loses interest because she's sick, that's another thing, so consider those times opportunities and use them to your advantage!
- Having others feed your baby while you're weaning helps, too. Baby is used to his pattern and daily routine, so break it!
More on: Feeding and Nutrition
Copyright © 2006 by Jeanne Murphy. Excerpted from And Baby Turns One with permission of its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc.
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