According to Russian pediatricians, you need to start introducing complementary foods when the child is six months old. In addition, he must psychologically and physiologically mature for a new meal. So take a closer look at the child, and our 8 signs of a child’s readiness for feeding will help you with this.
Age from 4 months
Although the average age of a child to start complementary feeding is six months, some children require extra food earlier. In this regard, pediatricians have established a lower limit: if necessary, they are allowed to introduce complementary foods to babies from 4 months, but not earlier. If the baby is premature, gestational age is taken into account (it is counted from the date when the baby was supposed to be born under normal conditions).
To get acquainted with new food, the little one needs to double the weight that he had at birth. So, if he was born weighing 3 kg, then at the beginning of complementary foods should weigh 6 kg.
The exception is 2 groups of babies: premature infants should increase birth weight by 2.5 times, and a pediatrician who recommends rickets, malnutrition, stubbornly spitting up can recommend the introduction of complementary foods earlier, regardless of weight.
Interest in food
For the toddler to eat well, he must want it. In the first months of life, babies are not interested in any food other than milk from their mother’s breasts or a mixture from a bottle. Therefore, food interest is one of the main signs that complementary foods can already be introduced. At this time, the baby begins to beg, reach for food on your plate, grab the handle of your cup or spoon. The baby also looks at her mother with hungry eyes, opens her mouth wide when she opens her while eating, and simulates swallowing.
All this means that psychologically the child is already ready to start eating new food, and then it’s only physiology that matters.
Obviously, the little one should eat while sitting, so as not to accidentally choke. An exception is patients with rickets and premature babies, which pediatricians sometimes prescribe for complementary foods before they occupy an upright position. The rest of the kids can not only sit on the chairs, but also bend to the spoon, and also turn away when there is no longer want.
Another condition for the beginning of complementary foods is the established work of digestion. This is determined by the chair of the child. It is important that it is regular, yellowish in color and has a porridge-like consistency. The crumbs should not have intestinal colic and constipation.
Immature intestines can not cope with a variety of foods. Typically, many enzymes (digestive enzymes) appear in the intestines by the age of 5 months, and in some only by 7 months. With the introduction of new food, problems with stools may appear earlier.
If it is already possible to introduce new food in time, but the baby has constipation, it is better to stop complementary foods for 3-7 days so that the baby regains balance in the digestive tract and stool normalizes. By the way, the frequency of bowel movements for each child is different, and it varies from 2-3 times a day to 1 time in 1-2 days.
Carry out a simple test: give the baby a drink of water from a spoon (lure is also given from it so that the food is processed with saliva) and see if he swallows it or sprinkles it on his chin. If a child already swallows well and does not push out a spoon with his tongue, this is one of the signs of his willingness to try new food.
For some children, it is clear that they need extra food. This is evidenced by the fact that the baby at one feeding sucks all the milk from both mother’s breasts, but does not gorge. If the child is on artificial feeding, he can drink up to 1 liter of the mixture per day, while remaining hungry. Nutrition is also necessary if the interval between meals is reduced.
Absolute health and comfort
It is highly undesirable to start complementary foods when the baby is sick – for example, a cold or colic. Pediatricians prohibit feeding crumbs with new food before or immediately after vaccination. Feeding can only begin 4-5 days after vaccination. It is not recommended to do this in the heat, when your adult appetite is not very good either. It’s better not to rush and wait – a better time will come.