Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Avoid The Baby Feeding Hassle

When you look at your baby, you think it must be an easy life. Your baby has someone to carry her, feed her, change her diaper, and run when she cries. Yet she resists you at every turn.

The opposite side of your baby having everything taken care of for him is that he has no control. Many babies, especially the ones born independent, this lack of control can be frustrating. It leads baby to control what he can, and eating is one of those areas. There are ways, however, that you can help ensure that you and your baby do not hassle over eating.

First, do not worry about how much your baby is eating. Yes, of course you should make sure baby is getting enough in the first few weeks. Once you start moving to solids, your little one will let you know if she isn't getting enough to eat. Stressing about the right ratio of milk to baby food will only make you and your baby worried about it. Your little one knows when he is hungry, so don't panic if you think he should be eating more unless there are medical or weight problems involved.

Be sure that you don't overfeed as a result of baby's crying. Many parents unintentionally give their children too much to eat because they assume that crying between feedings means that baby is not getting enough. Check other possible reasons: a dirty diaper, discomfort, and coldness, for example, for you feed.

Watch your hygiene. While you will be so tired that you will feel like you could sleep standing up during the first few weeks of babyhood, know that your baby has a weak system that cannot handle bacteria and other problems. Be sure to keep your baby's feeding supplies cleaned and sanitized.

Give your baby some time. Many parents get frustrated when they find that their babies are not interested in solid foods. These parents may give up, thinking that baby wants to wait. Do not let your baby discourage you, however. Remember that he has only eaten milk thus far, and moving to solids, even pureed baby foods, is an odd sensation for your baby. Try each new food five to six times before you give up on it. It is not necessary to give baby a whole jar in the beginning. Try a quarter jar or just a spoonful until both of you get the hang of it. Just remember that you must dip the food out before baby eat it because you cannot use the spoon in the jar and then re-use the jar later.

Be happy for your baby. Show excitement when your baby has her first bite of each new food. Talk up the experience to your little one. Using encouragement and smiling when your baby eats will help your little one to see that eating is a good experience. Let her know that you are excited about her progress. Being happy and encouraging instead of trying to force your baby to eat will make the experience a wonderful memory.

By Julia Mercer

No comments: