Breastmilk is recommended as the primary food for your baby’s first year. Many parents assume that when their baby starts eating food they get their nutrition mostly from that food. You might be surprised to know that at 6 months, the majority of your baby’s nutrition is still from the breastmilk or formula received. You can introduce solid foods starting at 6 months but it is a good idea to nurse your baby first and then offer solids until your baby is at least 9 months old.
Introducing complementary foods. Baby meat (can thin with breastmilk or meat juice), fruits and vegetables are good first foods for breastfed infants. Introduce one new food at a time and watch for any allergic reactions such as rash, vomiting or diarrhea. Signs your baby is ready to try complementary foods include: ability to sit up; fading of tongue-thrusting reflex so baby does not automatically push solids out with his tongue; ability to pick up food and put in in his mouth; interest in what you are eating.
Begin to introduce a cup. Practice makes perfect and drinking from a cup takes practice. Try breastmilk or water in a cup. Wait on diluted fruit juice until your baby is older.
Your baby may play at the breast. . It is ok to lay her down for some playtime while she is awake. While you are able to supervise, try laying her on her stomach for some much-needed tummy time. She can amuse herself now for little while in a safe place such as a crib (but always lay her down on her back when placing her in a crib).
Growth spurts and an increase in your baby’s appetite can occur at any time but typically around 6 months of age. After 6 months babies gain about 1 pound per month and grow about 1/2 inch a month.
Bowel movements will change in color and texture as complementary foods are introduced.
You may notice your baby teething. Babies cannot bite while actively nursing due to the position of the tongue and lips. Many babies never attempt to bite. If your baby does, pull him in close to the breast to partially block the airway so he will release the nipple and say no gently. A strong reaction such as yelling can cause a baby to refuse the breast.
When teeth first come in, brush them in the morning and evening with a small soft toothbrush with a tiny smear of toothpaste containing fluoride.