Baby Nutrition MileStones: From New Born To 4 Yrs Old

Your baby is about to go through an amazing growth spurt. In their first year, babies triple their birth weight. To grow that much, they need a lot of nutrients — more than at any other time in their life. Experts say breast milk is the best source of nutrition for babies during the first 6 months, but formula can be a good alternative.

Stages of Early Childhood

Breastfeeding or Formula Milk?

Breast milk and infant formula are the only two options of milk drink throughout the first 6 months of life. However, breast milk is the preferred option as it additionally provides protection against illness. Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants. Thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.

Benefits of breastfeeding over formula feeding:

For baby

  • Optimal growth and development
  • Reduced incidence of gastrointestinal, urinary tract & respiratory infections
  • Growth factor, which enhance the infant’s gut development and maturation
  • Reduced risk of constipation
  • Reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Reduced incidence of some childhood cancers (leukaemia & lymphomas)
  • Fewer visits to the doctor in the first 2 years of life
  • For Mother

  • Delay in return to menstruation allowing maternal iron stores to replenish following pregnancy and childbirth
  • Reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer
  • Helps the return to pre pregnant weight
  • Lower risk of postnatal depression
  • Women over the age of 65 years who have breastfed show a lower incidence of osteoporosis and hip fractures
  • Weaning?

    Weaning is when a baby moves from breast milk to other sources of nourishment. It is conducted by introducing solid food step by step around 6 months and breast milk/formula milk have to be continued until 2 years old. 

    When to start solid food with baby?

  • Have good head and neck control
  • Can sit upright when supported
  • Show an interest in food, for example, when they look at food on your plate and watch you eat
  • Reach out for your food
  • Open their mouth when offered food on a spoon.
  • How to start solid food with baby?

  • Sit directly in front of baby. Offer the spoon and wait for baby’s mouth to open before attempting to feed.
  • Use a small spoon and place a tiny amount of food between their lips. It may slide out of the mouth but gradually the baby will learn to move the food to the back of mouth to swallow.
  • Do not force the baby to finish the food. Indicate fullness by:
    • not opening the mouth
    • pull away from spoon
    • turn away
    • push food out of the mouth
  • Frequently Asked Questions from Moms

    Family Food?

    By the time your little one is 1 year old, he should be eating the same foods as the rest of the family. Energy is vital to maintain all body functions. It is obtained from carbohydrates, protein and fats. Vitamins and minerals are vital for health as they perform hundreds of functions in the body. A balanced diet can supply all the necessary vitamins and minerals. This is how your plate should be look like in order to have a balanced diet:

    Example of Malaysian Healthy Plate:

    In Short,