Your baby is at an age where they’re growing, learning and developing quickly and each day can include new challenges and adventures which leads you to think AM I ON THE RIGHT TRACK? Here’s some common questions amongst parents of babies between 6-12 months.
How do I know if my baby is getting enough breastmilk?
It can be tricky to tell if your baby is getting enough because you can’t actually see how much they’re drinking! You can use wet nappies as a guide- your baby is probably getting enough if they are wetting about 6 nappies a day. In the first month, they may have about 3 bowel movements in a day.
Growth charts are useful as well, your baby should be consistently gaining weight and following their own growth trend. Check out more about growth charts click here.
For any other breastfeeding queries, refer to the Australian Breastfeeding Association website.
My 7 month old is a fussy eater and is refusing some foods he used to eat
One challenge you might be faced with is fussy eating. One day your baby will be a great eater, and the next he will not. Is this normal? In short, YES. Fussy eating can be a normal part of development for babies as they learn about their environment and assert their independence. For tips and strategies on how to manage fussy eating click here.
My baby only eats a couple of tablespoons of solids a day, should I be concerned?
It’s important to remember that all babies are different. Some babies only start off with small amounts of food (i.e ½ teaspoon) whilst other babies want more than this. It’s important to never force your baby to eat, rather, let them guide how much. Check out our page on ‘encouraging baby to eat’.
I can't get my baby to try new foods...help!
First off, be patient and consistent. It may take many offerings of a new food for your baby to start to eat it (can be up to 20 times). You can try changing up the textures as well. For example, if your baby has been on soft, lumpy foods, trial finger foods to see if this helps. You can also try offering a new food alongside foods they will already eat. Timing is everything as well. Make sure they’re happy and in a good mood.
What's the go with Baby Led Weaning?
Baby Led Weaning (BLW) is when parents to skip the spoon feeding phase and wait until baby can feed herself with soft sticks of food or foods that have a natural handle (think broccoli spears) from 6 months old. BLW allows baby to explore different foods and guide what they’ll eat. However it is still important for your baby to get different textures of foods which includes soft lumpy foods so they can get used to varying tastes and textures which leads to better acceptance of foods later in life.
BLW can be messy and most of the food can end up on the floor. So it’s still important to breast/formula feed until at least 12 months old. Your baby will determine how much and whether they will eat. Never force your baby to eat, rather look at meals as a time for baby to be a part of the family and learn what family meals are all about.
No matter which approach you use (BLW or puree/semi solid foods) the most important factor is to let your baby guide you based on their ability rather than what they “should” be having because of their age. Some babies move from weaning to transitioning to various textures within a couple months, other babies may take a little longer.
How do I prevent choking?
First, it’s important to understand and be able to differentiate between gagging versus choking. Gagging is different to choking. A baby’s gag reflex is located in the front of their mouth and moves further back as they get older. Gagging is a normal part of learning to eat chewable foods. Children should gag less as their chewing skills develop. Gagging might sound like a little coughing or retching, or baby might get a little red in the face.
Children of any age can choke on food, but children under four years are most at risk because they have fewer teeth and are still learning to eat, chew and swallow. Choking happens when something blocks the airway, making breathing difficult. There might not be any sound as the baby’s ribs and chest pull in in attempt to get air. It’s a great idea to attend a first aid course for babies to upskill and also avoid giving high risk foods such as nuts, small hard foods (such as raw or undercooked pieces of hard fruit and vegetables, popcorn, rice cakes and cocktail frankfurts) and small whole foods such as grapes or cherry tomatoes.
To make eating safer:
- Do not give food or drink to children when they are running, playing, laughing or crying
- Always sit children down to eat
- Stay close and watch children while they eat
- Encourage children to eat slowly and chew well
- Encourage children to feed themselves.
How do I keep my baby safe from food poisoning?
Here are are some safe food handling practices for you to know:
Food safety considerations:
|Use clean equipment to prepare, serve and store food.|
Always wash your hands before preparing food.
|Foods like meat, chicken, fish and eggs should be well cooked.|
|Store prepared food in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer.|
Re-heat pre-prepared food thoroughly before cooling it down to give your baby.
|Dairy foods should always be pasteurised (i.e. not ‘fresh from the farm’).|
|Always use products before their use-by date.|
|Never re-heat food more than once.|
|If food has been kept out at room temperature (but not eaten): For two hours or less – put it in the fridge or eat it straight away.|
If food has been kept out at room temperature (but not eaten) for more than two hours (but less than four hours) – eat it straight away.
If food has been kept out at room temperature (but not eaten) for more than four hours – throw it out.
How do I know my baby is growing and developing well?
All babies are different and will grow at a rate that is right for them. For more information on healthy growth and development, check out our ‘Healthy Growth’ page click here .
For any other breastfeeding queries or information on your growing bub, check out Better Health Victoria.