A Guide to Your Baby’s Sleep and Naps

8 Tummy Time Tips for Your Baby

WebMD Feature. By Barbara Brody. Reviewed By Roy Benaroch, MD

As a new parent, you’ve no doubt been told by your doctor to always put your baby on his back every time he sleeps or naps. So you might not realize that it’s also important for your little one to spend some time on his belly while wide awake.

“Tummy time is when your infant lays on his (or) her stomach while supervised,” says Wendy Wallace, DO, a pediatrician at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Care Network.

If your baby is always on his back, he might get a flat spot on his head. That’s mostly a cosmetic issue, and one that tends to go away over time. But it might also mean that his head, neck, and shoulder muscles aren’t getting enough exercise. Tummy time is the fix.

When your baby is on his belly, he has to look up, left, and right to see people and objects. Moving his head around helps his skull round out, as well as strengthens his neck, shoulders, and trunk. Later on, these muscles will let him sit up. Eye muscles also get stronger as your little one looks around during tummy time.

Some tots seem to love playing on their tummies. Others might act like they can’t stand it. Keep trying! There are many things you can do to help your baby get comfortable and even have fun in this position.

1. Go slow. Some infants will only tolerate a few minutes of tummy time in the beginning. That’s perfectly normal.

2. Move to his level. “Tummy time can initially be scary because it’s new,” Wallace says. “Getting down on the ground and doing face-to-face encouragement will reassure a baby that he can do it and it’s OK.”

3. Use plastic mirrors. Your baby will probably lift his head to admire his reflection.

4. Put the baby on your tummy or chest. Newborns love to lay on a parent and gaze up at their face, Wallace says.

5. Involve a sibling. If you have an older child, encourage him to get down on the floor and play with his little brother or sister (while an adult is supervising).

6. Work it into other activities. Put your baby on his tummy while you dry him after a bath, smooth on lotion, or burp him (across your lap).

7. Sing or tell a story. He’ll raise his head and move around when he hears your voice. Remember to make eye contact, too.

8. Offer extra support. Make a bolster out of a thin towel or blanket. Roll it up, put it under your baby’s chest, and stretch his arms forward and over the roll. Be careful to keep his chin, mouth, and nose away from the bolster.

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Canada Medical Advisory Board:

How to introduce solid food to your baby

Approved by the BabyCenter Canada Medical Advisory Board

https://www.babycenter.ca/a1040403/how-to-introduce-solid-food-to-your-baby#:~:text=How%20to%20introduce%20solid%20food%20to%20your%20baby,food%2C%20and%20not%20too%20full%20to%20be%20interested.

This article comes to us from Canada. It contains specific ideas on foods, amounts, how often and how much to feed your baby. The glossary of topics covered is helpful. I found the breadth of the information here interesting. There is always more to learn!!! Hope you enjoy! JUDY

In this article

Congratulations! Your baby has reached another exciting milestone. She’s ready to start eating solid food. This will likely be an exciting and sometimes frustrating time for you both. We have some pointers here on how to introduce your baby to solids, but this, like all parenting endeavours, will take patience, some experimenting, a little mess cleaning, and a sense of humour. Bon appétit!

How should I begin to introduce solid food?

For the best beginning possible be sure that your baby is ready to start solids. It is recommended by Health Canada and the Canadian Paediatric Society that you wait until your baby is six months old before introducing solids. You also want to be sure that your baby can sit up on her own, hold her head up, and shows interest in eating. Once you know that she’s ready to begin, gather together a few basic tools for feeding her. Then spend a little time thinking about which foods you want to introduce first

 iron. Here’s one good way to introduce it.

1. Offer your baby her usual breast milk or formula.

2. When she is nearly satisfied, give her about one or two teaspoons of dry cereal mixed with enough formula, breast milk, or water to make a soupy solution. If you don’t want to start with baby cereal there are other iron-richfirst food options like pureed meats. Give this mixture to your baby on a soft rubber-tipped spoon once a day.

3. Finish with her milk feed. This way, she won’t be so hungry that she is too frustrated to try the new food, and not too full to be interested.

It doesn’t have to be the morning feed; pick a time that’s convenient for both you and your baby. Most parents have to experiment before they find a routine that works.

At first, your baby may eat very little. Be patient with your little one and remember it may take a little time for her to learn these new skills.

When your baby is eating two to three tablespoons of cereal or soupy puree a day, try adding another food. As she begins to eat and develops more of a side-to-side grinding motion, add a little less liquid so the texture becomes thicker. This allows your baby to work on chewing (gumming) and swallowing.

How will I know when my baby’s full?

Your baby’s appetite will vary from one feeding to the next, so a strict accounting of the amount she’s eaten isn’t a reliable way to tell when she’s had enough. If your baby leans back in her chair, turns her head away from food, starts playing with the spoon, pushes the spoon away, acts uninterested, or refuses to open up for the next bite, she has probably had enough. (Sometimes a baby will keep her mouth closed because she hasn’t yet finished with the first mouthful, so be sure to give her time to swallow.)

On the other hand, if your baby leans forward, opens her mouth like a baby bird, reaches for the spoon or the food, she may be telling you that she wants more. Watch and learn your baby’s hunger and fullness cues. This is called responsive eating and it’s an important step towards healthy independent eating habits.

Do I still need to breastfeed?

Yes. Breast milk is designed to be the perfect food for your baby’s first six months. Both breast milk and formula provide important vitamins, iron, and protein in an easy-to-digest form. Even though solid foods will gradually replace some of your baby’s milk feeds, breast milk or formula will remain her most important source of nutrition until she is one year old.

How should I introduce more solid foods?

The goal is to introduce your baby to a wide variety of foods by her first birthday. Health Canada recommends starting with iron-rich foods and then gradually introducing more foods to your baby. You can offer her food that your family is eating so long as you adjust it to the right texture and size for her eating abilities. 

 allergic reaction. If you have a family history of allergies, make a plan with your baby’s doctor before you introduce the common allergens.

Some good foods for babies include: pureed meats, pureed legumes (lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas), ripe bananas, or cooked, pureed apple, carrots, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes, parsnips, cauliflower, peas, and butternut squash, but almost anything goes. Try mixing to a sloppy consistency with boiled, cooled water or breast or formula milk. You can also try baby rice, maize, cornmeal or millet cereal.

If you get a negative reaction from your baby, offer the food again a few days later. She may always turn up her nose at some foods, but continue to offer them in hope that they become more appealing.

Lots of Questions Answered Regarding When, What, and How to Introduce Solid Food

The article below is from the Mayo Clinic site. It answeres a bunch of questions you may have. Use these as guidelines. Remember, every baby is different. Every family makes the choices they believe best for their kids. Learning everything you can to make the best choices is your job. Please pass on things you find interesting and helpful! We are always learning new things together!!! JUDY

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/healthy-baby/art-20046200

Healthy Lifestyle

Infant and toddler health

Solid foods: How to get your baby started

Solid foods are a big step for a baby. Find out when and how to make the transition from breast milk or formula to solid foods.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Giving your baby his or her first taste of solid food is a major milestone. Here’s what you need to know before your baby takes that first bite.

Is your baby ready for solid foods?

Breast milk or formula is the only food your newborn needs. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months after birth.

But by ages 4 months to 6 months, most babies are ready to begin eating solid foods as a complement to breast-feeding or formula-feeding. During this time babies typically stop using their tongues to push food out of their mouths and begin to develop the coordination to move solid food from the front of the mouth to the back for swallowing.

In addition to age, look for other signs that your baby is ready for solid foods. For example:

  • Can your baby hold his or her head in a steady, upright position?
  • Can your baby sit with support?
  • Is your baby mouthing his or her hands or toys?
  • Is your baby showing a desire for food by leaning forward and opening his or her mouth?

If you answer yes to these questions and your baby’s doctor agrees, you can begin supplementing your baby’s liquid diet.

What to serve when

Continue feeding your baby breast milk or formula — up to 32 ounces a day. Then:

  • Start simple. Offer single-ingredient foods that contain no sugar or salt. Wait three to five days between each new food to see if your baby has a reaction, such as diarrhea, a rash or vomiting. After introducing single-ingredient foods, you can offer them in combination.
  • Important nutrients. Iron and zinc are important nutrients in the second half of your baby’s first year. These nutrients are found in pureed meats and single-grain, iron-fortified cereal.
  • Baby cereal basics. Mix 1 tablespoon of a single-grain, iron-fortified baby cereal with 4 tablespoons (60 milliliters) of breast milk or formula. Don’t serve it from a bottle. Instead, help your baby sit upright and offer the cereal with a small spoon once or twice a day after a bottle- or breast-feeding. Start by serving one or two teaspoons. Once your baby gets the hang of swallowing runny cereal, mix it with less liquid and gradually increase the serving sizes. Offer a variety of single-grain cereals such as rice, oatmeal or barley. Avoid feeding your baby only rice cereal due to possible exposure to arsenic.
  • Add vegetables and fruits. Gradually introduce single-ingredient pureed vegetables and fruits that contain no sugar or salt. Wait three to five days between each new food.
  • Offer finely chopped finger foods. By ages 8 months to 10 months, most babies can handle small portions of finely chopped finger foods, such as soft fruits, vegetables, pasta, cheese, well-cooked meat, baby crackers and dry cereal.

What if my baby refuses his or her first feeding?

Babies often reject their first servings of pureed foods because the taste and texture is new. If your baby refuses the feeding, don’t force it. Try again in a week. If the problem continues, talk to your baby’s doctor to make sure the resistance isn’t a sign of a problem.

What about food allergies?

It’s recommended that you give your baby potentially allergenic foods when you introduce other complementary foods. Potentially allergenic foods include:

  • Peanuts and tree nuts
  • Egg
  • Cow milk products
  • Wheat
  • Crustacean shellfish
  • Fish
  • Soy

There is no evidence that delaying the introduction of these foods can help prevent food allergies. In fact, early introduction of foods containing peanuts might decrease the risk that your baby will develop a food allergy to peanuts.

Still, especially if any close relatives have a food allergy, give your child his or her first taste of a highly allergenic food at home — rather than at a restaurant — with an oral antihistamine available. If there’s no reaction, the food can be introduced in gradually increasing amounts.

Is juice OK?

Don’t give juice to your baby until after age 1. Juice isn’t a necessary part of a baby’s diet, and it’s not as valuable as whole fruit. Too much juice might contribute to weight problems and diarrhea. Sipping juice throughout the day can lead to tooth decay.

If you offer juice to your baby, make sure it’s 100% fruit juice and limit it to 4 ounces a day.

Know what’s off-limits

Certain foods aren’t appropriate for babies. Consider these guidelines:

  • Don’t offer cow’s milk or honey before age 1. Cow’s milk doesn’t meet an infant’s nutritional needs — it isn’t a good source of iron — and can increase the risk of iron deficiency. Honey might contain spores that can cause a serious illness known as infant botulism.
  • Don’t offer foods that can cause your baby to choke. As your baby progresses in eating solid foods, don’t offer hot dogs, chunks of meat or cheese, grapes, raw vegetables, or fruit chunks, unless they’re cut up into small pieces. Also, don’t offer hard foods, such as seeds, nuts, popcorn and hard candy that can’t be changed to make them safe options. Other high-risk foods include peanut butter and marshmallows. To introduce nuts and prevent choking, spread peanut butter in a thin layer or puree peanut butter or peanuts with fruits or vegetables.

Preparing baby food at home

Another reason to avoid giving your baby solid food before age 4 months is the risk associated with certain home-prepared foods. A baby younger than age 4 months shouldn’t be given home-prepared spinach, beets, carrots, green beans or squash. These foods might contain enough nitrates to cause the blood disorder methemoglobinemia.

Make meals manageable

During feedings, talk to your baby and help him or her through the process. To make mealtime enjoyable:

  • Stay seated. As soon as your baby can sit easily without support, use a highchair with a broad, stable base. Buckle the safety straps.
  • Encourage exploration. Your baby is likely to play with his or her food. Make sure that finger foods are soft, easy to swallow and broken down into small pieces.
  • Introduce utensils. Offer your baby a spoon to hold while you feed him or her with another spoon. As your baby’s dexterity improves, encourage your baby to use a spoon.
  • Offer a cup. Feeding your baby breast milk or formula from a cup at mealtimes can help pave the way for weaning from a bottle. Around age 9 months, your baby might be able to drink from a cup on his or her own.
  • Dish individual servings. If you feed your baby directly from a jar or container, saliva on the spoon can quickly spoil leftovers. Instead, place servings in a dish. Opened jars of baby food can be safely refrigerated for two to three days.
  • Avoid power struggles. If your baby turns away from a new food, don’t push. Simply try again another time. Repeated exposure can create variety in your baby’s diet.
  • Know when to call it quits. When your baby has had enough to eat, he or she might cry or turn away. Don’t force extra bites. As long as your baby’s growth is on target, he or she is likely getting enough to eat. Also, don’t try to get your baby to eat as much as possible at bedtime to get him or her to sleep through the night. There’s no evidence that this works.

Enjoy your baby’s sloppy tray, gooey hands and sticky face. You’re building the foundation for a lifetime of healthy eating.

Introducing Solid Food

These babies look pristine. Your’s won’t! Ha! Ha! Introducing solid food is messy! Don’t wear clothing you like for you or baby! Until the two of you get the dance of feeding down it will be wild! Bibs or aprons for both of you will help! Take lots of photos! You won’t want to forget………

My intent in creating this blog is to provide information and ideas to new moms as they navigate the interesting and wide world of parenting. I bring articles and suggestions to you for your benefit. I know, as you have learned, everyone will have differing suggestions for you as you parent. It will be like when you were in the hospital after delivering you baby. Each nurse had a different way to swaddle, breastfeed, etc. This can be overwhelming for new parents. Yet, it is a great way to learn. Once you have enough confidence to decide what you want to do in your home, you can evaluate what is sent to you, and choose which plan is best for you!

My best resource for parenting is friends and acquaintances. I am not someone who reads manuals and catalogues. I prefer to talk with those more experienced than myself and learn from then. I am social, so I enjoy people much more than books and resources! Ha! Each of us has our favorite way of gleaning knowledge. Figure out which way is yours and get going!!!

With baby information everyone has their own opinion. Gramas, neighbors, friends, and acquaintances believe their opinion is best and they want to share it with you so you can do it!. Theirs may not be the best plan for you. You don’t need to tell them so. Just smile and say “Thank you so much.” Then go home and do with your baby what you believe to be best. You will improve at this as time goes on. Be easy on yourself. This is a new adventure! Don’t freak out! Don’t worry. Babies have survived since the beginning of time. Your’s will too!! JUDY

How to introduce solid food to your baby

Approved by the BabyCenter Canada Medical Advisory Board

https://www.babycenter.ca/a1040403/how-to-introduce-solid-food-to-your-baby#:~:text=How%20to%20introduce%20solid%20food%20to%20your%20baby,food%2C%20and%20not%20too%20full%20to%20be%20interested.

In this article

Congratulations! Your baby has reached another exciting milestone. She’s ready to start eating solid food. This will likely be an exciting and sometimes frustrating time for you both. We have some pointers here on how to introduce your baby to solids, but this, like all parenting endeavours, will take patience, some experimenting, a little mess cleaning, and a sense of humour. Bon appétit!

How should I begin to introduce solid food?

For the best beginning possible be sure that your baby is ready to start solids. It is recommended by Health Canada and the Canadian Paediatric Society that you wait until your baby is six months old before introducing solids. You also want to be sure that your baby can sit up on her own, hold her head up, and shows interest in eating. Once you know that she’s ready to begin, gather together a few basic tools for feeding her. Then spend a little time thinking about which foods you want to introduce first

 iron. Here’s one good way to introduce it.

1. Offer your baby her usual breast milk or formula.
2. When she is nearly satisfied, give her about one or two teaspoons of dry cereal mixed with enough formula, breast milk, or water to make a soupy solution. If you don’t want to start with baby cereal there are other iron-richfirst food options like pureed meats. Give this mixture to your baby on a soft rubber-tipped spoon once a day.

3. Finish with her milk feed. This way, she won’t be so hungry that she is too frustrated to try the new food, and not too full to be interested.

It doesn’t have to be the morning feed; pick a time that’s convenient for both you and your baby. Most parents have to experiment before they find a routine that works.

At first, your baby may eat very little. Be patient with your little one and remember it may take a little time for her to learn these new skills.

When your baby is eating two to three tablespoons of cereal or soupy puree a day, try adding another food. As she begins to eat and develops more of a side-to-side grinding motion, add a little less liquid so the texture becomes thicker. This allows your baby to work on chewing (gumming) and swallowing.

How will I know when my baby’s full?

Your baby’s appetite will vary from one feeding to the next, so a strict accounting of the amount she’s eaten isn’t a reliable way to tell when she’s had enough. If your baby leans back in her chair, turns her head away from food, starts playing with the spoon, pushes the spoon away, acts uninterested, or refuses to open up for the next bite, she has probably had enough. (Sometimes a baby will keep her mouth closed because she hasn’t yet finished with the first mouthful, so be sure to give her time to swallow.)

On the other hand, if your baby leans forward, opens her mouth like a baby bird, reaches for the spoon or the food, she may be telling you that she wants more. Watch and learn your baby’s hunger and fullness cues. This is called responsive eating and it’s an important step towards healthy independent eating habits.

Do I still need to breastfeed?

Yes. Breast milk is designed to be the perfect food for your baby’s first six months. Both breast milk and formula provide important vitamins, iron, and protein in an easy-to-digest form. Even though solid foods will gradually replace some of your baby’s milk feeds, breast milk or formula will remain her most important source of nutrition until she is one year old.

How should I introduce more solid foods?

The goal is to introduce your baby to a wide variety of foods by her first birthday. Health Canada recommends starting with iron-rich foods and then gradually introducing more foods to your baby. You can offer her food that your family is eating so long as you adjust it to the right texture and size for her eating abilities. 

 allergic reaction. If you have a family history of allergies, make a plan with your baby’s doctor before you introduce the common allergens.

Some good foods for babies include: pureed meats, pureed legumes (lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas), ripe bananas, or cooked, pureed apple, carrots, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes, parsnips, cauliflower, peas, and butternut squash, but almost anything goes. Try mixing to a sloppy consistency with boiled, cooled water or breast or formula milk. You can also try baby rice, maize, cornmeal or millet cereal.

If you get a negative reaction from your baby, offer the food again a few days later. She may always turn up her nose at some foods, but continue to offer them in hope that they become more appealing.