Can a five month old eat baby food
Feeding Your 4- to 7-Month-Old (for Parents)
Most babies this age are ready to try solid foods. Experts recommend starting solid foods when a baby is about 6 months old, depending on the baby's readiness and nutritional needs.
Be sure to check with your doctor before giving any solid foods.
Is My Baby Ready to Eat Solid Foods?
How can you tell if your baby is ready for solids? Here are a few hints:
- Does your baby swallow food or push it out of their mouth? Babies have a natural tongue-thrust reflex that pushes food back out. Wait until this reflex disappears (typically when babies are 4–6 months old).
- Can your baby support their own head? To eat solid food, an infant needs good head and neck control and should be able to sit up.
- Is your baby interested in food? Babies who stare, reach and grab, and open their mouths for food are ready to try solid foods.
If your doctor gives the go-ahead but your baby seems frustrated or uninterested in solid foods, try waiting a few days before trying again. Breast milk and formula will still meet nutritional needs as your baby learns to eat solid foods. But after 6 months, babies need the added nutrition — like iron and zinc — that solid foods provide.
Do not add cereal or other food to your baby's bottle because it can lead to too much weight gain.
Watch for signs that your child is hungry or full. Respond to these cues and let your child stop when full. A child who is full may suck with less enthusiasm, stop, or turn away from the breast or the bottle. With solid foods, they may turn away, refuse to open their mouth, or spit the food out.
How Should I Start Feeding My Baby Solid Foods?
When your baby is ready and the doctor says it’s OK to try solid foods, pick a time of day when your baby is not tired or cranky. You want your baby to be a little hungry, but not so hungry that they’re upset. So you might want to give your baby a little breast milk or formula first.
Have your baby sit supported in your lap or in a high chair with a safety strap.
Most babies' first food is iron-fortified infant single-grain cereal mixed with breast milk or formula. Place the spoon near your baby's lips, and let the baby smell and taste it. Don't be surprised if this first spoonful is rejected. Wait a minute and try again. Most food offered to your baby at this age will end up on the baby's chin, bib, or high-chair tray. Again, this is just an introduction.
When your little one gets the hang of eating cereal off a spoon, it may be time to try single-ingredient puréed meat, vegetables, or fruit. The order in which you give them doesn't matter, but go slow. Offer foods that are high in iron and zinc — such as meat, poultry, eggs, and beans — especially if your baby is breastfeeding. Try one food at a time and wait several days before trying something else new. This will let you identify any foods that your baby may be allergic to.
Which Foods Should I Avoid?
Foods that are more likely to cause allergies can be among the foods you introduce to your baby. These include peanuts, eggs, cow’s milk, seafood, nuts, wheat, and soy. Waiting to start these foods does not prevent food allergies. Talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about food allergies, especially if any close family members have allergies, food allergies, or allergy-related conditions, like eczema or asthma.
Infants with severe eczema or egg allergies are more likely to have allergies to peanuts. Talk to your doctor about how and when to introduce these foods to your child.
Possible signs of food allergy or allergic reactions include:
- bloating or an increase in gassiness
Get medical care right away if your baby has a more severe allergic reaction, like hives, drooling, wheezing, or trouble breathing.
If your child has any type of reaction to a food, don't offer that food again until you talk with your doctor.
Babies shouldn't have:
- foods with added sugars and no-calorie sweeteners
- high-sodium foods
- honey, until after the first birthday. It can cause botulism in babies.
- unpasteurized juice, milk, yogurt, or cheese
- regular cow's milk or soy beverages before 12 months instead of breast milk or formula. It’s OK to offer pasteurized yogurt and cheese.
- foods that may cause choking, such as hot dogs, raw carrots, grapes, popcorn, and nuts
Tips for Feeding Your Baby Solid Foods
With the hectic pace of family life, most parents try commercially prepared baby foods at first. They come in small, convenient containers, and manufacturers must meet strict safety and nutrition guidelines.
If you prepare your own baby foods at home, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Follow the rules for food safety, including washing your hands well and often.
- To preserve the nutrients in your baby's food, cook it in ways that keep the most vitamins and minerals. Try steaming or baking fruits and vegetables instead of boiling, which washes away the nutrients.
- Freeze portions that you aren't going to use right away.
- Whether you buy the baby food or make it yourself, texture and consistency are important. At first, babies should have finely puréed single-ingredient foods. (Just applesauce, for example, not apples and pears mixed together.)
- After your baby is eating individual foods, it's OK to offer a puréed mix of two foods. As babies get older, they will learn to eat a greater variety of tastes and textures.
- If you use prepared baby food in jars, spoon some of the food into a bowl to feed your baby. Do not feed your baby right from the jar — bacteria from the baby's mouth can contaminate the remaining food. If you refrigerate opened jars of baby food, it's best to throw away anything not eaten within a day or two.
- Around 6 months of age is a good time for your baby to try a cup. You might need to try a few cups to find one that works for your child. Use water at first to avoid messy clean-ups. Do not give juice to infants younger than 12 months.
Over the next few months, introduce a variety of foods from all the food groups. If your baby doesn't seem to like something, don’t give up. It can take 8 to 10 tries or more before babies learn to like new foods.
Sleep and Your 4- to 7-Month-Old (for Parents)
By this age, your baby should be well on the way toward having a regular sleep pattern. Some infants, particularly those who are breastfed, may still wake at night. But most no longer need a middle-of-the-night feeding.
How Long Will My Baby Sleep?
Most babies this age should sleep 12–16 hours a day, which includes a longer stretch at night and at least two naps during the day, says the National Sleep Foundation. The average amount of daytime sleep is now about 3–4 hours.
By 6 months, most babies are sleeping at night for 9 hours or longer, with brief awakenings.
How Should Babies Sleep?
The American of Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends room-sharing without bed-sharing until the first birthday or for at least 6 months, when the risk of SIDs (sudden infant death syndrome) is highest.
Room-sharing is when you place your baby's crib, portable crib, play yard, or bassinet in your own bedroom instead of in a separate nursery. This keeps your baby nearby and helps with feeding, comforting, and monitoring your baby at night.
While room-sharing is safe, putting your baby to sleep in bed with you is not. Bed-sharing increases the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related deaths.
Follow these recommendations for a safe sleep environment for your little one:
- Always place your baby on their back to sleep, not on the stomach or side. The rate of SIDS has gone way down since the AAP began recommending this in 1992. When babies consistently roll over from front to back and back to front, it's fine for them to remain in the sleep position they choose.
- Use a firm, flat sleep surface. Cover the mattress with a sheet that fits snugly.
- Do not put anything else in the crib or bassinet. Keep plush toys, pillows, blankets, unfitted sheets, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, and bumper pads out of your baby's sleep area.
- To avoid overheating, dress your baby for the room temperature and don't overbundle. Don't cover your baby's head while they're sleeping. Watch for signs of overheating, such as sweating or feeling hot to the touch.
- Keep your baby away from smokers. Secondhand smoke increases the risk of SIDS.
- Offer a pacifier to your baby at sleep time, but don’t force it. If the pacifier falls out during sleep, you don’t have to replace it. If you're breastfeeding, wait until breastfeeding is firmly established.
- Watch out for other hazards, such as items with cords, ties, or ribbons that can wrap around a baby's neck, and objects with any kind of sharp edge or corner. Look around for things that your baby can touch from a seated or standing position in the crib. Hanging mobiles, wall hangings, pictures, draperies, and window blind cords could be harmful if they are within a baby's reach.
- Don’t let your baby fall asleep on a product that isn’t specifically designed for sleeping babies, such as a sitting device (like a car seat), a feeding pillow (like the Boppy pillow), or an infant lounger (like the Dock-a-Tot, Podster, and Bummzie).
- Don’t use products or devices that claim to lower the risk of SIDS, such as sleep positioners (like wedges or incliners) or monitors that can detect a baby’s heart rate and breathing pattern. No known products can actually do this.
- Don’t use weighted blankets, sleepers, or swaddles on or around your baby.
- Make sure that all sleep surfaces and products you use to help your baby sleep have been approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and meet federal safety standards.
Helping Your Baby Sleep
You may have started a bedtime routine that you're sticking to. If you haven't yet, now is a good time to start. Soothing activities that lead up to "night-night" time can help relax your baby. A warm bath followed by stories or singing will signal an end to the day, and these same activities can be used at bedtime for years to come.
You'll want your baby to fall asleep on their own. This may mean doing your nighttime routine and putting the baby into the crib while they're drowsy but still awake. If your baby cries, stay away for a few minutes. Your baby may settle down and go to sleep.
If the crying continues, soothe your baby for a moment without picking your little one up. This may go on a few times until your baby figures out that the crying is not getting results. This can be tough for parents, since it's upsetting to hear your baby cry. If you know your baby is safe (and not hungry, wet, soiled, or feeling unwell), it's OK to give them time to settle down.
Why Does My Baby Wake at Night?
Even a baby who has been sleeping through the night will sometimes wake in the wee hours, just as adults do. Some babies may call out or cry in the middle of the night, then calm down when mom or dad enters the room. This is due to separation anxiety, a normal stage of development that happens during this time.
Give your baby a few fussy minutes before you respond. After seeing that everything is OK and reassuring your baby without taking your little one out of the crib, leave your baby alone to fall back to sleep.
Remember: Cuddling, feeding, or talking when your baby wakes up may prompt your little one to wake regularly for this attention.
When Should I Call the Doctor?
Most infants at this age will have a regular sleep routine and are able to sleep through the night. But there is a wide range of normal. If you have any questions about your baby's sleep, talk with your doctor.
what foods can be given to a child
Reviewer Kovtun Tatyana Anatolievna
August 19, 2022
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Complementary foods are any foods other than breast milk and infant formula. Often they are introduced into the baby's diet after the fourth, fifth or sixth month of life. Is this approach correct and how can I feed a child at 5 months?
When do complementary foods start at five months
Current research shows that the optimal age for introducing complementary foods for all children is four to six months. This period is even called the "critical window". It is then that the foundations of the tolerance of different types of food are laid in the body and the need for new nutrients arises. The baby may already lack the nutrients that he receives from mother's milk or formula. The baby needs vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, additional sources of energy and other important nutrients. It's time to introduce him to a variety of taste sensations and form taste habits for life. And of course, learn important chewing skills. nine0005
The age of 4-6 months for the introduction of complementary foods is also recommended by the European Nutrition Committee ESPGHAN, the Union of Pediatricians of Russia and other specialists in nutrition and health of children. At the same time, the terms are individual, and you should always consult with a specialist. But for a healthy child, in the absence of additional indications, the best age to start complementary foods is four to five to six months.
It used to be thought that exclusive breastfeeding should introduce complementary foods earlier. But recently, scientists have found that at this age, breast milk no longer always fills the need for micronutrients, especially iron. Thus, the age of 4 to 6 months for the start of complementary feeding is now recognized as the “gold standard” for both breastfeeding and formula feeding  .
What foods to introduce into the baby's diet
The best first complementary foods that will complement the diet of a child at 5 months, experts consider children's vegetable purees or children's dairy-free cereals. In this case, the choice depends on the characteristics of the child. For children with reduced body weight or frequent stools, porridge is more suitable, and for babies with excess weight and constipation, mashed potatoes.
The first vegetable purees should consist of only one type of vegetable. Frutonyan's assortment includes mashed marrows, cauliflower and broccoli. It is these vegetables that experts recommend because of their delicate fiber. The composition of products is not allowed the presence of flavorings, dyes, preservatives, added starch, sugar and salt. nine0005
The first porridge for feeding should also be one-component. Start with gluten-free cereals: buckwheat, corn or rice. Pediatricians insist on cereals of industrial production, which are enriched with useful components.
Buckwheat, rice and corn porridge "FrutoNyanya" correspond to all recommendations. They contain a complex of vitamins (C, E, PP, pantothenic acid, B2, B1, B6, A, folic acid, D3, biotin, B12) and minerals (iron, zinc, iodine). nine0005
It is far from always possible to supplement the nutrition of a child at 5 months with complementary foods the first time. Sometimes it takes 10-15 attempts for the baby to accept a new product. Parents must be calm and consistent, and then everything will definitely work out. And from six months, you can offer your baby several different cereals or mashed potatoes.
It is best if by the year the child’s diet contains 3-4 types of vegetables and the same number of cereals. And you can not delay the introduction of baby meat puree after six months, as these products supplement the diet with essential nutrients. nine0005
Complementary feeding rules at five months
Understanding how you can feed a child at 5 months, you can move on to how to do it.
- Use a spoon to feed porridge or puree. Don't give food on your finger.
- A new product is introduced into the diet gradually. For the first time, the portion should be minimal, no more than 1/5 of the recommended rate. Then the amount is gradually increased and brought to the required level within a week. nine0049 Each time after feeding, closely monitor tolerance. To make it easier to control the possible reaction of the body, complementary foods should be introduced in the morning.
- Complementary foods should not be introduced during infectious diseases, and should not be combined with vaccination. After the next vaccination, at least 3-5 days should pass.
- Complementary foods are given to a child who is hungry - that is, before breastfeeding or formula. When breastfeeding, it is important to keep it for the entire duration of the introduction of different types of complementary foods, that is, at least up to a year. nine0050
- Complementary foods contain less water than breast milk or infant formula. Therefore, babies are offered water in small portions between feedings. In addition to complementary foods, a child needs 150-200 ml of water per day. It is better to use special bottled, but boiled is also suitable.
Sample menu for a 5 month old baby
- Vegetable puree: 150 g daily + 1–3 g vegetable oil;
- porridge: 150g daily + 1-3g butter.
Once the complementary foods have stabilized, its tentative five-month schedule looks like this: nine0005
As they grow older, other foods are added to complementary foods: fruit, meat purees, cottage cheese, kefir, yogurts, baby juices, baby cookies, and so on.
How to feed a baby at 5 months: which porridge and puree to choose
Experts advise not to cook cereals on your own, but to start complementary foods with industrial-made cereals. By choosing a responsible brand, parents can be sure of the quality and safety of the product. nine0005
What about puree? In this matter, pediatricians are also on the side of finished products. Purees produced at the factory have a number of advantages:
- high quality raw material;
- compliance with strict hygiene requirements;
- laboratory-tested chemical composition, including vitamin content regardless of the season;
- optimum degree of grinding.
It hardly makes sense to cook mashed potatoes on your own, which is inferior in quality to the factory one. It is better to devote this time to communication and games with the child, so that he grows up not only healthy, but also the happiest.
List of sources
1. Union of Pediatricians of Russia. The program for optimizing the feeding of children of the first life in the Russian Federation. Guidelines: 2019. // URL: https://www.pediatr-russia.ru/information/dokumenty/other-docs/nacprog1year_2019.pdf#page=46 (Accessed 03.12.2021).
Reviewer Kovtun Tatyana Anatolievna
Scientific adviser to PROGRESS JSC, candidate of medical sciences
All expert articles0001
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By 5 months the infant reaches a certain maturity of the digestive and immune systems, allowing for non-dairy nutrition. Today, there are many points of view on the timing of the introduction of complementary foods, but there are criteria by which parents can absolutely understand whether their child is ready to change something in their own diet. nine0005
- When should we start introducing complementary foods?
- What to prepare for a new stage in life?
- How to start complementary foods at 5 months?
- Which products are we introducing first?
- What not to give before 1 year
- Where to be vigilant?
- So all the same PORRIDGE or VEGETABLES?
Of course, the ideal period for the introduction of complementary foods at 6 months, but only on condition that the baby receives the optimal amount of nutrients from breast milk / mixture, has a good increase in height and weight, meets normal criteria for neuropsychic development. nine0005
But in real life, unfortunately, by the age of 5-6 months, children often begin to experience a deficiency in certain nutritional components, which requires parents to correct the child's diet. At the same time, allergists are unanimous in their opinion, who argue that the introduction of complementary foods in the interval of 4-6 months can reduce the risks of developing food allergies in the future, since it is in this age period that the immune system is most tolerant to new food agents.
When to start introducing complementary foods?
There are several signs that a baby is ready to start weaning.
- One of the first is food interest. If the child is at the table with adults, he actively reaches for his mother's plate and is ready to try the food offered.
- And the next logical sign is coordination of movements: hand - spoon / food - mouth. The child may pick up pieces of food with his fingers and bring them to his mouth or try to put a spoon in his mouth. And do it consciously, not by accident! nine0050
- Child can sit. If he does not sit up on his own, but sits with support on an adult's lap, then this can also be considered a sign of maturity and readiness for complementary foods.
- Extinguishing reflex. The younger the child, the more actively he pushes any object, medicine, food out of his mouth. Gradually, the ejection reflex fades away and the little person is ready to accept other consistency than milk. But in the first days of acquaintance with complementary foods, some children have a gag reflex, which is very scary for parents. Thick porridge or pieces of fruit, when hit on the middle and back of the tongue, lead to a spasm of the larynx, and the person returns the food to the front of the tongue and / or spit out the product. This is also one of the stages of development, and the faster the gag reflex fades, the more often you feed the child with complementary foods and do not take breaks in the new diet. nine0050
What to prepare for a new stage in life?
- Your baby will definitely need a high chair and a colorful plate (with a rubber bottom or with a suction cup). Comfortable spoon, not too small and not too big, with a comfortable handle that the baby can hold in his hand. Bibs should be exactly at least two, waterproof and with a convenient lock. Lots of paper towels and a huge amount of patience.
How to start complementary foods at 5 months? nine0015
At present, there is no strictness in the sequence of introduction of certain products. The only thing children's nutritionists, pediatricians and other specialists agree on is that the child should receive the foods that are traditionally eaten in his family. If the family lives in Siberia, then the baby should try the apple earlier than the mango or blackberry.
- The first complementary foods most often are cereals or vegetables. The baby gets acquainted with each product for 1-3 days, and after that, parents can continue to get acquainted with new types of complementary foods or expand the range within the same group. If we stretch the acquaintance with each new dish for 7-10 days, then by the age of 1 we will not have time to introduce into the diet all the food groups that the family eats every day. 3 days is the optimal period for which any parent will understand the reaction to a particular product of their child. Therefore, we boldly begin complementary foods with the appearance of all signs of readiness and teach the little person adult nutrition. nine0050
- It is better to start acquaintance with new products in the morning or in the afternoon. This rule is conditional, and it is necessary to observe it only so that in the event of a negative food reaction (rash, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) in response to a new dish, parents can quickly contact a specialist and receive medical assistance if necessary, which is better. do during the day, not late in the evening or at night.
- Diet when transferring a child to an adult table must be observed. This is done so that the child is psychologically and physiologically ready for a certain interval between meals. Children do not perceive the variability of the environment well, and for harmonious development they need to follow the rituals and the usual sequence of actions of their parents: after sleep, breakfast always follows, and after a walk, lunch. Also, observing the intervals between meals allows the child to feel hunger and satiety, thereby correctly hearing the signals of his body and forming eating behavior. nine0050
- Snacking before 1 year of age is not necessary, most infants receive on-demand breast milk for a long time, and formula-fed infants have an optimal set of nutrients in formula, which eliminates additional meals outside of the main ones.
- At the age of 5-6 months of life, the number of non-dairy meals should be at least 2 times a day, by 9 months the number increases to 3 times a day. Most likely it will be breakfast and lunch. Only a mother and her baby can choose the time for complementary foods, because even babies can be larks or owls. Look at the biological rhythm of your baby. If he is very sleepy by 8 in the morning and has no interest in food, then breakfast should be shifted by 9−10 in the morning, and if you have a lark, then it is likely that porridge at 7 in the morning will make it even more active and cheerful.
Which products are we introducing first?
Due to the fact that the need to introduce complementary foods is dictated by the physiological needs of the baby for additional nutrients that the baby can no longer get with breast milk / formula, then products with a high nutritional value should be chosen.
- One of the earliest deficiencies is iron deficiency in infancy. Based on this, pediatricians recommend the first to introduce cereals, meat, fish or eggs. Previously, meat and fish were offered in complementary feeding regimens after 6-7 months of age, but studies have confirmed the benefit of early introduction of meat into the diet of children under one year old to maintain normal blood hemoglobin levels. nine0050
- Importantly, for better absorption of iron from animal products, they should be combined with vegetables rich in vitamin C (broccoli, sweet peppers or pumpkin).
- But most parents, of course, are more accustomed to starting complementary foods with a cereal dish. Therefore, of all cereals, we choose buckwheat, the richest in trace elements and iron (7 mg / 100 g of cereal). The first porridge for the baby should be dairy-free, without additional enrichment with sugar and salt, without gluten (the protein of some cereals). Therefore, buckwheat, as well as rice and corn, are ideal for a first acquaintance. nine0050
- Thus, porridge, vegetables and meat will be the first complementary foods on the baby's table. By 6-7 months, the child may well become familiar with all these food groups and absorb them well.
- The volume of the dish should not exceed the conventional norm (the size of the fist of a small person ≈ 80-100 g at the beginning of the journey) and then grow with the child.
Sample menu at 5 months for artificial owl:
6:30 - mixture.
09:30 - dairy-free porridge 80 g + mixture. nine0005
13:00 onwards - mixture.
Sample menu for 6 months for baby-lark:
5:00 - GV.
7:30 - dairy-free porridge + GW/mixture.
10:00 − GV.
13:00 - vegetables with meat + GW / mixture.
16:00 and beyond - GW / mixture.
What not to give before 1 year
ALL food groups must be included in the menu of young children so that it is varied and complete, but a number of adult dishes should not fall on the children's table. It is important for parents to know what should be EXCLUDED from children's diet:
- Added sugar and salt, which increases the load on the excretory system and increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in older age.
- Honey - due to the risk of botulism.
- Large varieties of fish (tuna, salmon) due to high mercury content.
- Seaweed due to its high iodine content, which can disrupt thyroid function.
- Spinach and beets, because they easily accumulate pesticides, the dose of which is toxic to children. nine0050
Where to be vigilant?
- There is a group of foods with a high allergenic potential: wheat, fish, eggs, nuts, seafood and cow's milk. These foods are more likely than others to cause food allergies. But studies have shown that the introduction of food allergens in the first year of life reduces the risk of developing food allergies at an older age. Therefore, it is not necessary to sharply limit the introduction of these products, it is necessary to apply a more careful attitude to them. The introduction of any allergenic food should be against the background of the relative health of the baby, outside the day of vaccination and without the combination of other NEW foods. Within 3-5 days, mix small amounts of new into the main dish and observe the reaction. nine0050
- But red fruits and vegetables are long gone from this list. The presence of moderate redness of the cheeks, chin after eating strawberries is not a cause for excessive concern. It is necessary to repeat the introduction of the berry in a couple of days and make sure that there is no reaction or that it is only a local short-term one.
So is PORRIDGE or VEGETABLES?
- To make a rational decision to start introducing complementary foods, parents need to contact their pediatrician. There are benefits to each type of food, and according to the child's health and maturity, the pediatrician will help the loving mother make the choice. nine0050
- Porridge is an ideal cereal product that is a rich source of energy, dietary fiber and trace elements. For the first feeding, both buckwheat and rice porridge are perfect. Specialized children's cereals are additionally enriched with a vitamin-mineral mixture, which helps to maintain a balance of nutrients in the child's diet and prevent the development of nutritional deficiencies. Baby Premium porridge for the first feeding is a lifesaver for mom, because it meets all the requirements for the transition of the child to adult nutrition, dissolves easily (without prolonged stirring and lumps) to the desired consistency and is represented by several cereals (rice, buckwheat , corn). nine0050
- Vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins, trace elements and fiber. Vegetable purees or light vegetable soups can also be introduced first due to their low allergenic potential, good digestibility and high nutritional value.