Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
Home > Babies and Toddlers > Babies > Feeding Your Baby > Breastfeeding > From Birth to Four Months: Dietary Milestones
|

From Birth to Four Months: Dietary Milestones

You've delivered your bundle of joy. Now what? Well, newborns generally sleep a lot. When he's not snoozing, your baby is usually eating, getting his diaper or outfit changed, or being cuddled by Mom, Dad, and other family members, or friends.

Babies crave physical contact. Touching your newborn a lot is especially crucial during the first six months of life. That's when babies form emotional bonds with parents and other loving adult caregivers such as grandparents and babysitters. A child's future emotional development depends on the security of these early bonds.

Infants must learn to trust that their basic needs will be met again and again. Take eating as an example. Babies feel hunger pangs and begin to fuss and perhaps cry, a very distressing situation for them. Along comes an adult to relieve baby's discomfort, either by offering the breast or a bottle. The baby is relieved and in the bargain, he gets the chance to cuddle with another warm body, to listen to a soothing voice, and to study your face, as babies love to do. Breastfed babies get the added bonus of skin-to-skin contact.

As the hunger/feeding scenario is repeated anywhere from eight to twelve times a day, newborns begin to get the idea that Mom, Dad, or another person will provide what they need to make them feel content. This helps them to know that everything is OK in their world. Experts say that repeatedly satisfying an infant's physical and emotional needs creates feelings of security on a baby's part. Those feelings of trust provide the basis for the self-confidence that guides your child in trying out new things as he matures.

Four months marks a developmental milestone that influences how you feed your baby. It's the very first time that it's acceptable to serve infants solid food. Up until four months, the only nourishment newborns need is breast milk or commercial infant formula. Feeding baby solid foods before she's ready will not help her sleep better, contrary to what others might tell you. In fact, introducing solids early on can increase the risk of food allergies.

|

Copyright © 2002 by Elizabeth M. Ward. Excerpted from Healthy Foods, Healthy Kids with permission of its publisher, Adams Media Corporation.

To order this book visit Amazon.com.


September 1, 2014



Don't forget to hydrate! Forego sugary juices and sodas and pack a bottle of water in your child's lunch. If your child likes a little more flavor, spice it up with lemon, lime, cucumbers, or fresh fruit.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

14 Back-to-School Fashion Trends for 2014
Send your kids back to school looking sharp! Check out 2014's hottest back-to-school fashion trends, from clothes to shoes and accessories.

Put a Stop to Bedtime Struggles
Steer clear of tears at bedtime with these helpful bedtime tips and this printable bedtime routine checklist for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!