Pediatric Consultants Keeping your little one happy and healthy is your first priority. As you go through the experience of parenthood, you will look for ways to improve your child’s development and growth. Here are a few infant and child healthcare tips to aid with your child’s development. Help to get your baby to latch Breastfeeding is new to you and your baby, so it’s not surprising that you may face latch-on issues while breastfeeding your newborn. For difficult and persistent latch problems, pediatric consultants suggest using temporary nipple shields to help with this process. You may have to use the shields for an entire month before your baby latches onto your nipple without them. Made of thin, soft silicone that doesn’t interfere with nipple stimulation, the nipple shield is worn during breastfeeding. Holes at the tip allow milk to flow to the baby. Breast milk is good for your baby The benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond basic nutrition. Apart from breast milk containing all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in the first six months of life, breast milk has substances that protect your baby from illness. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as the mother and baby desire. The World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond. Solid foods if introduced must complement the mother’s milk In the first six months after birth, breast milk can support the baby’s optimal growth and development. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that water, juice, and other foods are generally unnecessary in this period. Although babies enjoy discovering new tastes and textures, solid foods should not replace breastfeeding, but complement breast milk as the infant’s main source of nutrients throughout the first year. As the child enters his first year, introduction of various solid foods will increase but breast milk remains an ideal staple of your child’s diet. Nutrition for 9 to 12 month old babies
Just like adults, infants need nutritious meals throughout the day to stay happy and healthy. As you introduce her to the world of food and nutrition, come up with fun, simple meals three times a day. A wholesome meal for your infant Though their serving sizes are small (for a 6-month-old, a tablespoon or two can be a serving; for a 1-year-old it can be 1/4 cup), your child should get five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Fruits and vegetables are vital for nutrition so serve food with lots of different colors, including green (peas, green beans, spinach, asparagus, zucchini), orange (sweet potatoes, cantaloupe), yellow (squash, bananas), and red (cooked tomatoes, red peppers). Feed them breads and grains. Babies readily eat cereal, cooked noodles, soft breads and rice. It’s easy to insure they’re getting enough dairy, since babies at this age are still drinking 16 to 24 ounces of breast milk or formula a day. Don’t forget to serve extra protein in the form of chicken, fish, beans, or eggs. Carefully follow the vaccine routine Vaccines are very safe, with only minimal side effects such as pain or swelling at the injection site. The United States’ long-standing vaccine safety system ensures that vaccines are as safe as possible. Currently, the United States has the safest vaccine supply in its history. Millions of children safely receive vaccines each year. Though babies get temporary immunity (protection) from their mothers during the last few weeks of pregnancy from diseases the mom is resistant to, breastfeeding may also protect your baby temporarily from minor infections, like colds. These antibodies do not last long, however, they leave your baby vulnerable to disease. You need to visit a pediatric care center with your baby for regular vaccinations. It is true that breastfeeding usually results in better immunity than vaccination, but the risks are much greater. Finding the perfect balance between nutrition, breastfeeding and vaccinations, with time, love and attention, will greatly enhance your child’s early experience.