Feeding your baby can sometimes come very naturally or it can be very stressful. As new moms we constantly worry and question ourselves! Is my baby eating enough, am I feeding him the right foods, why is she spitting up, etc. It can definitely be overwhelming, but mom, just know that you got this! Trust your gut and make sure your own nutrition is top of the line! Remember that if you are able to nurse, breast milk is best for baby, and for as long as possible. If your baby is bottle-fed, make sure to choose a top quality formula and if you’re feeling adventurous know that there exist many recipes to make your own formula. If you are nursing and your baby has reflux, vomits, is constipated or has diarrhea, due to his immature digestive tract, he is probably having a hard time with some of the foods you are eating, so clean up your diet and as much as possible eliminate the main culprits; dairy, gluten, corn and soy. I’m not mentioning eggs here because they are a powerhouse of nutrition so before eliminating eggs, try the others first. Know that your diet has a significant influence on the quality as well as fat content of your milk. Don’t be afraid to eat quality fats; avocados, virgin coconut oil, ghee/butter if well tolerated, grass-fed meats and pasture-raised poultry. The best breast milk is very high in saturated fats so it is more than ok to consume large amounts of animal fats such as egg yolks, beef tallow, cod liver oil and oily fish while you nurse. It is a fact that saturated fats in the mother’s milk stimulate the baby’s immune system.
WHEN TO START?
First foods are best introduced between 4 to 6 months of age depending on the baby’s size and maturity. Feeding too early can create your baby to develop food intolerances and sensitivities, due to their immature digestive tract. At 6 months of age, food needs to be introduced as this is when iron stores begin to deplete. A recent fad has come up where babies are fed solids only at the age of 1 which has resulted in anemic babies and is therefore not recommended.
Dr. Cowen, Thomas & Fallon Morell, Sally. The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care. Washington DC, New Trends Publishing, 2013.