Feeding a five month old baby
5-Month-Old Baby: Milestones, Sleep & Feeding Schedule
The months have flown by and your baby has been growing like crazy — she may be double the size she was at birth. It’s not just her little body that is getting bigger, but her whole world, too. She may show an interest in complex shapes and patterns, and perhaps even try to babble to you in her early attempts at conversation. Enjoy the ride as you watch your little one grow and develop this month, and read on to see what exciting things your baby will learn to do!
Baby Development Milestones
Let's see what exciting and sometimes challenging changes await you this month.
Growth and Physical Development: Twice the Size
Each baby is different and will develop at her own pace, but once your baby turns about 5 months old, you may notice that she's about double her birth weight. On average, babies this age will gain around 1 ¼ pounds and grow 0.8 inches in length per month. Your baby's healthcare provider will keep track of her growth using baby growth charts to make sure her growth is steady.
Senses: Your Baby Loves Red and Blue
Your baby's eyesight keeps on improving, and by now she can see much farther than before. You might notice reds and blues are her favorites as she may prefer to look at those colors. Your little girl will probably like to stare at more complex patterns and shapes; she will find these really interesting as her sight matures, so don't shy away from showing her picture books and posters with bold and intricate patterns.
Movement: Building Stronger Core Muscles
Your baby is getting stronger and she is working on building those all-important core muscles. By now, she can raise and hold her head and chest when lying on her stomach. She'll continue to strengthen these muscles as she pushes her head and chest further up. Perhaps she'll enthusiastically move her legs and rock back and forth on her tummy. This isn't just her being cute — it's how she's building the strength to eventually roll over and also to start crawling.
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Personality: Your Baby Gets Experimental
Babies are fast learners and each experience will teach your little one so many things. At around 5 months old, your baby will start to learn that each action has a reaction. Perhaps she will kick her mattress and notice the crib rocks, or she'll drop something and see that you pick it right up. This will encourage her to become curious and she will test out how she can influence the world around her. This may get frustrating for you as a parent — it's not fun to pick up a dropped rattle for the umpteenth time — but indulge her as long as it's safe. Make sure she doesn't play with anything she can choke on, or that's breakable, sharp, or toxic. Experimenting helps her brain develop and will also help her better understand how she can impact her environment.
As your baby's cognitive abilities expand, you'll be fascinated by her ability to soak up information like a sponge. Engage her eager mind by taking her for walks around the neighborhood, talking to her, and showing her new things. She will love books with large, brightly colored pictures. You can also help her develop her language skills by calling out the names of the new things she sees. She may even babble back as if she has understood you. When you talk to her, pause for a second to let her give you her “answer.” These are your first, early conversations with your little one, and although she may not make much sense at 5 months old, isn't it lovely to communicate with your baby? The more you do it, the better she becomes, and she'll be ready to say her first words in a few months' time.
How to Support Your Baby’s Development
Your baby has been working hard to develop strong neck and shoulder muscles. Over the coming months, she will use these muscles to stay sitting up, roll over, crawl, and eventually walk. Continue with providing daily tummy time sessions to help your little one build up these skills. Try to do it two or three times a day if you can. As she gets used to tummy time, you can do it more often to help her gain strength and confidence. Make sure she is awake during tummy time and never leave her unattended.
Feeding Your 5-Month-Old Baby
At 5 months old, your baby may be taking four to six ounces of breast milk or formula at each feeding, or perhaps even more. She may need to eat more when she goes through a growth spurt, which can happen at any time; you may notice one when your baby turns about 6 months old. Whenever she seems hungry, follow her hunger cues and feed her on demand.
What goes hand-in-hand with feeding? Diaper changes! Although diaper changes may not be too exciting, all those dirty diapers sure can be rewarding! Download the Pampers Club app and turn diapers and wipes into fun toys for your 5-month-old, lovely treats for you, or useful coupons to put toward your next Pampers purchase.
How Much Sleep Does a 5-Month-Old Baby Need?
Around this time your baby will sleep 12 to 16 hours a day. This includes an extended stretch at night with perhaps only a few brief awakenings. Each baby is different but with any luck, she won’t need feeding in the middle of the night by this age. Five-month-old babies still need a couple of naps and will sleep around three to four hours during the day. If you need some help getting your baby to sleep, watch our video guide for tips on establishing a good bedtime routine.
Don’t miss these must-watch sleep tips from the Smart Sleep Coach pediatric sleep consultant:
A Day in the Life of Your Baby
By now you have probably settled into a daily routine that works well for you and your baby, but here is an example for how you might choose to break up the average day:
Your Baby’s Health: Tender Gums
It’s upsetting to see your baby is unwell, or hear him cry when he feels pain or discomfort. You try everything as a parent to make sure your little one is safe and healthy, but there are times when he feels sick, no matter how careful you are. Some common health concerns that may affect a 5-month-old baby include:
Teething. You may notice your baby is drooling, cranky, or crying from discomfort this month. Between 4 and 7 months old, many babies start to get their first teeth. Your baby may get lucky and not feel any pain when he’s teething, but he may still have swollen or tender gums. Soothe his discomfort by giving him a teething ring made of firm rubber or rubbing his gums with a clean finger. If you notice he’s drooling, just wipe his mouth with a clean cloth to prevent a rash. See more tips in our video guides on teething. If you notice your baby is in pain or is feeling irritable, turn to your baby’s healthcare provider for advice.
Conjunctivitis. This is when the white of the eye and the inside of the lower eyelid become red and inflamed. Also known as pinkeye, conjunctivitis is itchy and painful, and usually lasts a week or two. Conjunctivitis is usually caused by an infection, but can also be provoked by an allergy or an irritation to something like smoke. Take your baby to his healthcare provider if you think he may have an eye infection because treatment will likely be required. Conjunctivitis is very contagious, so wash your hands before and after administering any eye drops, and if your child is in child care it may be best to keep him at home until he’s all better.
Your Life as a Parent: Body Image and Self-Care
Now that a few months have passed since the birth of your baby and you’re settling into a routine, you may be starting to think more about yourself. Good for you! Taking care of yourself is important, and as a new mom, it can be easy to overlook your own needs. You can get started by adding healthier habits into your daily routine. Like many new moms, you may be quite eager to return to your pre-baby figure, but it does take some time to achieve healthy weight loss after pregnancy. The key is slow and steady. Remind yourself that although your body may not look like it used to, it has done something truly incredible by giving birth to a new life. Look at how strong you are! Here are some ideas to help you feel good, or even great, about where you’re at right now!
Healthy eating. Eat more fiber-filled fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; add proteins like chicken, eggs, or fish to meals; limit desserts and treats like chocolate, chips, ice cream, candies, and cookies; and watch your portion sizes.
Exercise. Once your healthcare provider gives you the all-clear, add some gentle exercise back into your daily routine. Keep in mind, you’ll have to slowly work back towards your pre-pregnancy fitness levels, so aim to gradually build up your physical strength and endurance over time.
Me-time. It might be challenging to set aside time for yourself, but it’s important to find balance. Make plans to go to the movies with friends, or on a date night with your partner, or indulge in a spa treatment for a little well-deserved “me time.” Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Get your partner, family members, or your babysitter to come to your aid when you’re feeling overwhelmed or just need a break.
5-Month-Old Baby: Milestones and More
Your baby is 5 months old! Feeling a bit like a coach? You’ve been giving baby tons of encouragement over the past month —as they’re (probably!) trying to sit unassisted in a tripod position. Give baby the space to try on their own, but stay within arm’s reach, just in case they start to topple. You’re probably also inspiring baby’s language by having conversations around the house. The ultimate reward for all your efforts will be when you (will soon) hear those wonderful words: "mama" and "dada."
It seems each day brings new 5-month-old baby milestones, and your little one has been practicing their motor skills and showing off their unique personality. As exciting as these moments are, you probably still have some questions surrounding this new stage. What can babies eat at the five-month mark? How can I keep my 5-month old busy? And perhaps most pressing: What time should a 5-month-old go to bed? (This whole early parenting thing is still very exhausting!)
Parenting has a nonstop learning curve, and we’re here to help. From understanding a 5-month-old baby’s feeding routine to structuring a (somewhat) normal sleep schedule, here’s what you need to know as you celebrate this stage.
In this article:
Activities for a 5-month-old
5-month-old baby checklist and tips
Your busy 5-month-old baby is working on a number of skills that’ll really come in handy for moving around and getting things done, and they’re working on getting bigger too.
5-month-old baby weight and length
You probably want to know: How much should my 5-month-old weigh? The average weight for a 5-month-old baby is 15.2 pounds for girls and 16.6 pounds for boys; the average length (aka height) is 25.2 inches for girls and 25.9 inches for boys.
Of course that doesn’t mean your 5-month-old baby should weigh and measure exactly that. Remember: Healthy babies tend to follow a natural growth curve, staying within the same percentile range as they grow older. As long as baby’s sticking to the curve, that’s an indicator of healthy growth. And your child most likely gained about 1 to 1.25 pounds since last month!
You won’t typically hear the phrase “5-month-old growth spurt"—but it’s well known that babies tend to have growth spurts around the four- and six-month marks, and you’re right smack in the middle of those two. As we know, not every baby is exactly the same, so if you suspect yours is having a growth spurt—they’re extra hungry and feeding like crazy for a few days—then they probably are.
5-month-old’s five senses
- Baby’s ability to distinguish between different colors is improving—it’s not just the bright, bold colors they can tell apart but now it’s pastels and other subtle colors too.
- Baby can now spot a toy just out of reach, and grab it. Go baby!
- Baby will turn their head to hear a rattling sound and may start to turn their head when they hear a voice.
- They’re listening to what you’re saying and may soon start to imitate your words. Once they start making some sounds they like—“oh” or “ah” maybe—they might keep on repeating them. How cute!
5-month-old baby milestones
What do 5-month-old babies do? Here’s an idea of what’s likely going on with yours this month:
- Baby’s eyesight is growing sharper by the day. So what can babies see at 5 months old? Babies at this age will start noticing things several feet away and can differentiate between colors. They can also focus on objects without crossing their eyes.
- Baby is fascinated by their hands and may have started bringing both of them together. (Patty-cake time!)
- They’re likely reaching with both hands, grasping things and holding them using all their fingers.
- Baby is about ready to start learning about object permanence. Hide an object and then reveal it, so baby will start to learn that things still exist even when they can't see them.
- They’ve either started rolling over or are swaying side-to-side, getting ready to reach this milestone. Average age to start to roll from tummy to back is 4 months old; after that, baby will start to roll back to tummy. A 5-month-old not rolling over isn’t a cause for concern, but if baby isn’t at least trying to roll by their six-month checkup, you should let the pediatrician know.
- For your 5-month-old, crawling may be on the horizon. Babies tend to start crawling between 6 to 10 months, but some especially determined babies get started earlier than that.
Having a baby sometimes feels like one minor illness after another. These are some common health questions parents of 5-month-old babies ask:
5-Month-Old Baby Feeding
Feeding baby may be getting more complicated than it used to be. Nursing may have turned into nursing and pumping; bottles may have turned into bottles and baby food.
How much should a 5-month-old eat?
Wondering how much and how often a 5-month-old should eat? Five-month-old babies typically breastfeed or bottle-feed every three to four hours and may have started eating solid foods about two times per day.
- Bottle feeding: How much formula for a 5-month-old baby? Many babies this age eat 4 to 6 ounces of formula about four to six times a day.
- Breastfeeding: You should be nursing baby every three or four hours but each breastfed baby may be slightly different. What’s important is that baby seems content, your boobs seem to have been emptied (they’re soft) and baby’s gaining weight healthily.
- Pumping: If you’re pumping breast milk, you’re probably wondering how many ounces of breast milk for a 5-month-old is enough. Five-month-olds need about 25 ounces of breast milk per day. So you’ll need to divide that by how many feedings your baby usually has. So if you feed baby about eight times per day, they should get about 4 ounces of breast milk at each feeding. That’s about how much milk a 5-month-old should drink.
To double-check that baby’s getting enough breast milk, you can check their diapers. How many wet diapers for a 5-month-old is healthy? About four or five very wet ones per day.
What can babies eat at 5 months?
Five-month-old babies still need breast milk, formula or a combination of both. Does baby watch you intently while you eat your own breakfast? It might be time to start your 5-month-old on solids.
Wondering how much baby food for a 5-month-old is recommended? The five-month mark is an exciting time as baby might be ready to take on solid foods. If you and your pediatrician have decided to move forward with baby solids, go slow and follow baby’s cues. You might start out with one ounce and one meal and gradually increase the amount to about three ounces as often as three times a day.
How much fruit and veggies or how much rice cereal for a 5-month-old largely depends on the baby. The longer baby’s been eating solids and the more they’re interested in eating them, the more you should feel free to feed them—up to three ounces, three times per day.
Can I give my 5-month-old water?
Typically, doctors say to wait until baby is about 6 months old or eating solids before introducing them to water. That said, if they’re eating baby food, you can probably give them a few sips of water too.
5-month-old feeding schedule
Don’t know how to space out feedings? Here’s a basic schedule that might work for you and baby:
Image: Megan Rubey
Is baby sleeping well yet? If not, it might be time to consider sleep training. Read on for some common solutions to get you and your 5-month-old sufficient shut-eye.
How much should my 5-month-old sleep?
How many hours a 5-month-old should sleep depends on the baby! Just like everything else, there’s a range—there are big sleepers and not-so-big sleepers—and oftentimes the amount baby sleeps depends on their own unique sleep personality.
Five-month-olds tend to sleep around 15 hours a day, including about up to 10 hours at night (some babies wake at night and others don’t!) and two or three naps, adding up to around five hours of daytime sleep.
What time should a 5-month old go to bed?
Again, this will depend on your specific scenario and needs. At 5 months old, baby should be on a two- or three-nap schedule, with the last nap ending ideally no later than 5 p.m. Experts generally recommend putting baby to bed for the night around 7 or 7:30 p.m.
5-month-old sleep schedule
Five-month-olds need plenty of rest. Here’s a typical sleep schedule for a 5-month-old baby:
Image: Megan Rubey
My 5-month-old won’t sleep!
We hear parents say “My 5-month-old wakes up every hour” or “They used to sleep and now suddenly they’re not!” If your child isn’t sleeping, it could be for a variety of reasons; one of the most common is sleep regression. The 5-month-old sleep regression is common because babies naturally begin to sleep less deeply, and their brains have developed and become more active.
A soothing sleep routine can help baby get back to snoozing more soundly. Getting baby used to falling asleep on their own in the crib, rather than in your arms (we know—easier said than done!) is also important. That means you want to avoid rocking them to sleep. Pediatricians also recommend not feeding baby to get them to fall asleep; rather, put them down when they’re drowsy but still awake.Don’t worry, this sleep regression stage usually only lasts about two to six weeks. Read more tips for dealing with sleep regression.
Is sleep-training a 5-month-old a good idea?
Maybe! Some families swear by sleep training, others think letting baby cry—yes, there are usually tears involved—feels cruel. Do what’s best for your family.
If your 5-month-old baby does not sleep through the night, and you’re interested in giving sleep training a try, now is probably a good time. Experts say babies might be ready for sleep training if they’ve gotten into a regular sleep routine and have dropped most of their middle-of-the-night feedings. Read more about how sleep-train a baby to see if it’s right for your family.
Is a 5-month-old sleeping on their stomach okay?
Continue to put baby to bed lying on their back to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Once baby starts rolling onto their tummy, there’s really not much you can do about letting them sleep in that position.
In fact, a lot of babies find stomach sleeping really comfy. Some worried parents feel the need to go into the nursery and flip baby over, but rest assured that once baby can lift their head and shoulders and can roll over on their own, it’s okay for them to sleep on their stomach.
Five-month-old babies are just coming into their own, and they want in on the fun! Looking for things to do with a 5-month-old baby? Check out this list of baby activities that will give you an idea of 5-month-old activities, as well as things to do with baby as they grow.
5-month-old baby schedule example
A 5-month-old's daily schedule might look something like this:
Image: Megan Rubey
Activities for a 5-month-old
As baby grows and develops each day, you’re probably wondering: How can I keep my 5-month old busy? Here are some fun activities to keep them engaged and entertained:
- Take baby for a walk. As their eyesight improves, baby will begin focusing on different aspects of nature, from trees to flying birds. This is great stimulation for baby; plus, a change of scenery and fresh air can be good for you too!
- Put baby on the floor to explore. Whether you put baby on their back or tummy, this floor time gives them a chance to move around, explore and strengthen those little muscles. (Just sure to babyproof the area first).
- Play music. Baby’s hearing is getting better; they’ll love listening to different kinds of music. Sing along and dance with baby.
- Continue to read. Reading every day will help encourage early language skills.
5-Month-Old Baby Checklist and Tips
- Schedule baby’s six-month checkup, if you haven’t already.
- Put an unbreakable baby mirror in front of baby’s face and watch their delight as they admire their own mug and self-entertain.
- Need a new car seat for your 5-month-old baby? Look into a convertible seat that can be positioned both backward (until age 2 or 3) and forward (after that).
- Take baby’s 5-month-old baby milestone photo.
- Baby has likely started putting everything in their mouth by this age, so clear your space of small choking hazards.
Five-months-olds grow up right before your eyes. Your little one will surprise you each day with their new tricks. Their personality is getting more defined by the minute, and you’ll soon have a bubbly 6-month-old on your hands. Where has the time gone?
Medical content was reviewed by Dina DiMaggio, MD, a board-certified pediatrician at Pediatric Associates of NYC and NYU Langone Health in New York City, and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is also the coauthor of The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers.
Daily routine of a 5-month-old baby
5 months is an important milestone in your baby's life. The period of infancy has ended and now is the time to lay the foundations for healthy sleep habits and a proper daily routine. It is important to understand what is the best time for a child to rest, how many hours without overwork he can be awake. A suitable rhythm of the day will improve the behavior of the baby and he will have enough energy for learning new skills, games and exploring the environment.
Food is the second point worth paying attention to. The period of colic should already be over, the baby’s body will get stronger enough, and digestion will improve. Many mothers tend to start complementary foods at this age. But is it necessary to rush, especially the baby is breastfed?
Let's dwell on these points in more detail!
Approximate daily routine
At five months, babies need 14-15 hours of sleep per day. Of these, night sleep is up to 10 hours with awakenings for feeding. And the baby sleeps for 4-5 hours during the day.
By the 5th month, the period of “sleep regression” usually ends and the child develops biological rhythms. You will notice that the daily routine has become more predictable than before. Now you can lay the foundations of a physiological regimen with getting up no later than 7 in the morning and leaving earlier at night between 18.00-20.00.
You will be taken to the 3 daytime nap graph. At the same time, the segments of morning and lunch dreams will be the longest. To find the best time to sleep, look at your child's signs of tiredness and the maximum awake time at that age, which is now around 2 hours. Wake time can vary between sleeps. It is usually shorter before the first daytime sleep (1.5 hours). And longer before the second sleep - up to 2 hours. Remember that the process of laying down also enters during wakefulness.
If the child is not overworked, then daytime sleep will not become a problem and will gradually lengthen to 60-90 minutes.
The baby is not yet ready to sleep without waking up all night. He will wake up to food up to 3 times - this is the norm at 5 months of age. With artificial feeding, the number of night rises may be less. But if the child wakes up more often and you feed him so that he falls asleep, then this indicates his inability to prolong sleep on his own. In this case, feeding has become habitual, which helps the child "stick together" sleep cycles. It is better to leave her - you can teach your baby the skill of falling asleep on his own.
How to improve your baby's sleep:
Switch from sleeping outside in your stroller to a crib. Sleeping in a still state is more restorative. At the same time, remember the right conditions for the crumbs to rest - darkness, white noise and a suitable temperature.
Perform a ritual before every sleep. It will help to relax the child and set him up for rest.
Set aside time for active games after waking up, and 1-1.5 hours before rest, move on to a more relaxed wakefulness.
Make sure your baby gets enough sleep. Otherwise, overwork will accumulate, which will manifest itself in frequent nocturnal awakenings. This is where following a routine can help.
In cases where the child has woken up after 20-30 minutes, try not to take him out of the crib. If he's not very upset, don't go in on him. If he protests strongly or you are not ready to listen to his crying, you can enter, pat him on the back or hiss.
Check our table to see if your five-month-old baby is getting enough sleep:
Diet at 5 months
The basis of a five-month-old baby's diet is breast milk or infant formula. The child does not need water, since he receives the norm of liquid from milk and formula. Therefore, the menu remains the same.
WHO (World Health Organization) does not recommend introducing complementary foods before 6 months of age. But sometimes the child is ready to change the diet a little earlier. Before introducing adult food, if you see the need, first consult with your pediatrician. And already discuss the complementary foods menu with him.
The diet will consist of 5-6 feedings during the day and 1-3 feedings at night.
If you are breastfeeding, you will drink about 210-214 ml of breast milk at a time. for one meal. The duration of feeding may vary.
Formula-fed formula should be calculated from the recommendations of the pediatrician. This is usually 1/6 of the child's actual body weight. At 5 months, a formula-fed baby will drink 800-1000 ml. mixture per day every 3-4 hours during the day.
The baby is becoming more and more interested in the world around him and during feeding he can start to be distracted, not eat up and make up for hunger at night when he needs sleep. In this case, you can arrange feeding in a calm environment.
Every week you will notice how your baby grows and develops. He develops an interest in others and begins to “communicate” with other children and adults. Mom and dad become the most important people in his life.
- The kid likes to look at everything around, shows interest in the reflection in the mirror, begins to distinguish colors.
- The child actively develops physically and learns to control his body more and more. He is already trying to sit down and actively rolls over from his back to his stomach and back.
- The baby is learning to hold things with his hands, and the grip is getting stronger.
- The child already distinguishes sounds. He listens more and more to your voice and to various noises around.
Play different genres of melodies for your baby. He will smile, wave his arms, and maybe make sounds in time with the melody.
Each time you give him a toy, say its name, for example: “This is a ball”, “This is a bunny”. This will help the baby to speak faster.
Use colorful and mirrored toys.
Lay your baby out on a play mat to explore colors, toys hanging above him to help him explore the world.
What is your baby's daily routine like? Have difficulty sleeping?
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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.
- 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 is ideal, but only if the baby receives the optimal amount of nutrients from breast milk / formula, has a good increase in height and weight, meets normal criteria for neuropsychic development.
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!
- Child can sit up. 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.
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?
To date, 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.
- Acquaintance with new products is better to start 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.
- Snacking before 1 year of age is not necessary, most infants receive on-demand breastmilk for a long time, and formula-fed infants have an optimal nutritional profile in formula, which eliminates extra 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.
- 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.
- 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.
13:00 onwards - mixture.
Sample menu for 6 months for an infant-lark:
5:00 - GV.
7:30 - dairy-free porridge + GW/mixture.
10:00 − GV.
13:00 - vegetables with meat + HS/mix.
16:00 onwards - HW/blend.
What not to give before 1 year old
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.
Where to be alert?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.