Newborn Needs – 5 Ways You Can Tell If Your Baby’s Nutritional Needs Are Being Met
For many newbie mums, adding food to your baby’s usual diet of breast milk or infant formula can seem like a daunting step. When feeding your baby milk, it’s easy to tell if their nutritional needs are being met. Serving food, on the other hand, comes with a unique set of challenges.
Sometimes you won’t know how much to give or which foods are right to increase nutritional value. So how can you be sure that you’re giving your baby the right amount of nutrients? Here are five helpful pointers to get you started.
Keep Your Baby Hydrated
As obvious as this may seem, new parents often neglect this step. Make sure that the number of breast or infant formula feeds does not drastically decrease as your baby gets accustomed to eating food.
You can pour water into a sippy cup to prevent the baby from getting dehydrated. Make sure the water is not too cold or hot but just right, and avoid processed juice drinks.
Check the Diaper
One of the most important things you can do as a new mum is to check your baby’s diaper. Newborn babies need to have six to eight wet nappies per day. Babies who eat also need to be regular and poop often.
A baby who urinates and poops often is usually healthy as this is a sign that they’re digesting food efficiently. Also, keep track of the type of poop that your baby passes. The color of the poop is typically an excellent indicator of whether your baby’s nutritional needs are being met.
Add Fatty Foods Into Baby’s Diet
You must remember that introducing food does not mean getting rid of breast milk or infant formula feeds. Milk is still the best source of fat and cholesterol for babies. But, as your little one starts eating solid food, it is inevitable that they will require less milk.
This is why you need to include food products in your baby’s diet that contain good fats such as fatty fruits, nuts, and yogurt. Always try to cook your baby’s food in olive oil to increase the level of good cholesterol in their diet.
Monitor Baby’s Weight
Any nurse will tell you that the best way to monitor your baby’s health is by checking their weight regularly. If you see a decrease in your baby’s weight after you have started solids, take this as your cue to add more food. Consistent weight gain is always a good sign as it shows that your baby is developing as expected.
Feed Your Baby the Rainbow
Babies who are new to solids must receive foods that are rich in all the healthy vitamins (A, B, C & E) and minerals (iron, zinc, folic acid). Start by slowly introducing nutritional foods in pureed form. Carrots, spinach, avocados, bananas, beans, and cereals are all good options.
All babies tend to enjoy bread, and since grains are an ideal source of iron, you should consider feeding them whole-grain slices of bread. You should also include foods that are rich in calcium, such as green leafy vegetables.
It’s important to start slowly when introducing your baby to solid food. Sometimes you may have to add some tempting flavors to your veggies to coax your child into eating them. Most importantly, take your GP’s advice as to what you should do in order to keep your baby healthy and happy.