Do you keep comparing the cute tiny cheeks of your child to the plump cheeks of the babies in the grocery aisle, outside your pediatrician’s office, and on the covers of all the parenting magazines you see? Do you also wonder how to make your baby gain weight and if they are eating enough?
Several parents do. The first few days after your baby is born, they will lose some weight, so keep that in mind. It is anticipated. In the first few days of life, a baby who is formula-fed loses 3 to 4 percent of its birth weight. A breastfed baby loses 6–7% of its body weight.
Most newborns will have regained this weight by the end of two weeks. You will undoubtedly notice that your infant has tripled in size by the end of the first year. Nice gain! Let us assume, though, that you do not want to wait around. Or that you continue to gaze at the chubby cheeks of every infant that passes by. What can you do to aid your infant’s weight gain?
Does your infant require weight gain?
Your first course of action should be to visit your pediatrician and, if necessary, a board-certified lactation consultant if you believe your infant is not gaining weight.
They can work with you to compare the development of your child to average growth charts to determine where they stand. Make sure they are using the World Health Organization’s (2006) updated growth charts, as these charts were updated to consider the development of breastfed infants.
These charts are also those that pediatricians in the United States use and those that the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) suggests for children between the ages of 0 and 2. They will give you peace of mind. Every infant is different, yet they should all have their growth curve.
How can the weight of your baby be increased?
Some infants struggle to feed and just do not put on the weight that they should. If you think your child is having trouble swallowing, vomits in between feedings, appears to have a food allergy, has reflux, or has persistent diarrhea, call your pediatrician.
These problems could make it difficult for your infant to absorb the calories they require. If you and your baby’s pediatrician determine it is essential after ruling out these scenarios, you can then produce the best plan of action to help you achieve that coveted weight growth. Remember, if your baby is gaining weight at a healthy rate and your pediatrician is confident in that, and if they can show you the baby’s acceptable development curve, trust that you and your baby are doing fine and that no modifications are required.
Trying to make a baby gain more weight when it is not necessary can lead to eventual bad feeding and eating habits and weight growth.
Are you breastfeeding?
What would you do if you were nursing and saw those squishy rolls on your baby’s arms and legs knowing that your milk supply was the reason for them? quite a bit. However, not all infants acquire weight in the same way. How can you help? Here are some recommendations:
Practicing is everything. It takes practice to master the art of nursing a child. Just as you were not born knowing how to breastfeed, neither were you born knowing how to hold a paintbrush. Contact a lactation consultant so they can determine whether your baby is latching on properly, has a problem that makes it difficult for them to feed at the breast, or simply needs some waking up.
Increasing milk production: Relax if you are concerned that your milk production will not be enough to satisfy your baby’s needs. Moms in general worry about this. Keep your infant close by, nurse him or her every hour or so, and try to get some rest to enhance your milk production. There is always more food to eat the more you eat.
Are you giving your child formula?
Formula-fed babies often gain weight more quickly than breastfed babies after the first few months. But what if your infant who is being fed formula is not doing well?
If your infant displays symptoms of intolerance or allergy to the formula you are using, you might want to think about switching brands or using breast milk from a milk bank. If your infant displays symptoms of reflux, eczema, diarrhea, constipation, or other problems, consult your pediatrician. They might advise utilizing donor milk or formula based on protein hydrolysate. Only infants with a milk allergy to cow or soy are advised to use this expensive type of formula.
Make sure your formula is well blended: It is crucial to follow the mixing directions in your recipe. It is crucial to have the proper ratio of powder to water. A newborn who drinks too much water may not get enough calories, which is harmful.
Speak with your supplier: Consult your baby’s pediatrician before adding anything to their bottles, including additional formula or rice cereal. What is safe and healthful for your infant can be suggested to you by them.
Here are a few foods to help increase their weight:
If you are feeding them solids, then go with these:
Avocado is a fantastic transitional food for babies starting on solids, whether you are using a baby-led weaning technique, a more typical puréed foods style, or a combination of the two. Additionally, avocados are a fantastic snack when you are trying to get your infant to gain weight because they contain healthy fats and have a moderate flavor. Serve it mashed or in thick spears. It can also be included in other dishes, like rice porridge or another fruit.
One new dish should be introduced at a time is a good suggestion. In this manner, you will be better able to identify the potential allergen that might have caused your child’s allergic reaction.
Another deliciously rich food that is simple to include in your baby’s diet is oatmeal cereal. Blend plain oats that have been boiled in water, adding additional water as necessary to get a soupy texture. Cook and thicken the oatmeal with formula or breastmilk to give it a heartier texture. Thicken it gradually as your infant becomes more at ease. Oatmeal contains a significant amount of fiber, particularly beta-glucan, a soluble dietary fiber. It encourages bacterial variety in the gut and helps your baby’s healthy gut flourish.
Oatmeal’s bland flavor also makes it simple to pair with other substantial, nutritious dishes. For added taste, you may spoon in cinnamon and puréed fruit, for example.
Both the protein and the fat in peanut butter can help your baby grow weight.
Remember that one of the eight allergens that can lead to the most severe allergic responses in Americans is peanuts. According to the most recent research, it is okay to give infants as young as 6 months foods that frequently trigger allergies. Nuts are included in this. According to research, adopting this strategy may help people avoid acquiring allergies.
It is best to introduce allergenic foods gradually, one at a time, and to space out the introduction of new, higher-risk meals by at least a week.
Another nutrient-dense food that is wonderful for both adults and babies is eggs. They offer a satisfying blend of lipids and protein. They are frequently mild on the stomach, adaptable, and simple to prepare.
This is another typical allergic food that you should introduce gradually and carefully, so be careful. Be on the lookout for allergic reactions. If your infant is wheezing or suffering breathing issues, get emergency medical attention right away.
Once eggs are a regular part of your baby’s diet, you might try scrambling them with cheese and vegetables for an extra nutritional boost. Eggs can be used in a variety of dishes. Try mixing them with rice, cheese, and vegetables to make quick rice patties; slice the patties into strips to serve.
Ages 9 to 12:
While it is not necessary to wait until your baby is 9 months old to introduce fish, it may be simpler for them to tolerate the texture now than earlier.
Fish provides your baby with the protein and good fats necessary for growth. Make sure to choose fish low in mercury, such as salmon, herring, and trout. The omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is beneficial for the development of the brain in early childhood, is also present in this and other fish. For additional nutrients, serve fish with marinara sauce or a creamy, full-fat lemon yogurt dip.
Beyond a year:
Although it seems contradictory, you could notice that babies start eating less as they reach the 12-month milestone. This is because of their slower growth rate. Between their first and second birthdays, many toddlers only gain around 5 pounds.
Avocado or olive oils
Healthy fats should make up a good portion of your toddler’s diet. In fact, your toddler’s calories should contain between 30 and 40 percent fat. At this age, they require between 1,000–1400 calories per day, which equates to 30–50 grams of fat per day.
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