Introduction: As parents especially first time parents you might be worried about your baby’s weight either that they weight too much or too little; it’s important for you to know that in the first few days after a baby is born, they tend to lose about 3-7%(sometimes up to 10%) of what they weighed when they were born but get back all that weight at 2 weeks old so don’t worry if your baby seems to lose weight after they are born.
It’s also important to know that every baby is unique in their own right and as such may not grow according to what is generally acceptable but that doesn’t mean that your baby isn’t healthy.
Normally, until a baby is 6 months old he/she should weigh 1 pound more at the end of each month and by the time they are 1 year old they should weigh about triple of their birth weight; this is just the average because a baby who weighs more or less than that may still be healthy, so your baby may weigh a bit more/less than this.
However if you’re concerned about whether your baby is healthy or not you can consult your health care provider or ask your pediatrician for a well-baby exam.
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Food For 6 Months Old Baby To Gain Weight
If you have consulted your health care provider and confirmed that your baby doesn’t have any illness that may be causing inadequate weight gain, you can help your baby put on weight by feeding them healthy calorie rich foods. Types of calorie rich food to help your baby gain weight include:-
- Breast milk: breast milk is the safest option when it comes to feeding your baby, this is because it’s already formulated and prepared by your body for your baby. Breast milk is easily digested, most nutritious and perfectly balanced food for your baby to grow healthy and strong. Breast milk also has the side benefit of creating a strong bond between babies and their mothers.
When breastfeeding your baby it is important for you to let your baby empty your breast because this way your body gets the message to make more milk and your baby gets both the fore milk and hind milk. The fore milk is the milk that comes out first from your breast and the hind milk is the milk that comes out lastly from your breast and it’s most times more nutritious than the fore milk.
Breast feeding your baby exclusively until they are six months old will help to make them health and build a string immunity for them. You may also try eating foods that are proven to improve breast milk production and breastfeed them when they seem to be thirsty rather than giving then water but try not to over feed them. imp
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Well breast fed babies feed about 8-12 times a day at a 2-3 hours interval. If your breast fed baby wets about 6-8 diapers a day and stools 4-6 times a day, is very active, allergy free and looks healthy then it means they are properly fed( i.e. they are getting enough milk).
- Formula milk: If for any reason you cannot breast feed your baby probably because of an underlying health issue or work you can formula feed your baby. If you’re undecided on which formula milk to choose you should consult your pediatrician or health care provider. If you’re concerned about the details on how to go about it consult a Lactation consultant. Your baby can start to take solid food at age 6-9 months.
- Avocados: when you want to start your baby on solids, it’s better for you too feed them pureed foods or semi solids like yoghurt, milkshakes, cereals, custards etc. Avocados are a good source for rich vitamins and minerals so it will help your baby to gain healthy weight. Avocados contain vitamins E,K,C,B6, healthy fats, folate, dietary fibers, copper and pantothenic acid; thus adding avocados to your baby’s diet can help them gain weight. Avocado has a mild taste that your baby will feel comfortable with and it can be easily mixed into other foods like yoghurt, milkshakes, cereals and even made into spreads for bread and/or dips for chips.
- Healthy oils: healthy oils that are rich in healthy fats like olive oil and avocado oil can help you baby to gain weight. If you feel like your baby needs a little bit more assistance in gaining weight you can add a spoon of olive oil or avocado oil to their soup or feed it to them with whole grain bread.
- Eggs: eggs are a very powerful source of protein and also rich in other food nutrients like vitamins, minerals and saturated fat which makes them perfect for helping your baby put on weight healthily. The advantages of eggs is that it’s a very filling food and also easy to prepare, versatile and easy on the stomach in terms of digestion, you can also implement eggs into other dishes like rice, French toast, or served as a dish like scrambles eggs or omelets.
It’s very important to be careful when introducing eggs to your child because of the possibility of diseased eggs from the farms or allergies. You can start feeding your baby eggs from age 9 months to 1 year.
- Fish: another powerful source of protein that can prove to be vital to the growth of your child. Fishes are rich in healthy fats and can help your baby gain weight but try to be careful not to use fishes that have high mercury content as it is harmful to both children and adults, you can use fishes like catfish, salmon, crayfish, croaker etc. For more effect you can pair these fishes up with a marinara sauce or a full fat yoghurt dip to add nutrients.. Another benefit of fishes is that it contains a type of omege-3 fatty acid( docosahexaenoic acid DHA) that aids brain development in early childhood.
- Bananas: a fruit full of calories and rich in carbohydrates, vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6, hence a good food for to use in helping your baby to gain weight. It has a mild taste and can be served in different ways perfect for transitioning your baby into solid foods. You can mash it up and serve it to them or you can be creative and make it into a shake, smoothie or snack( perfect for travelling).
- Sweet potatoes: a very nutritious, healthy, easily digestible and tasty food that is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, copper, potassium, dietary fibers, manganese and phosphorus is a good food to help your baby gain weight. As a plus it’s easy to prepare, you could just boil it, mash it and serve it; or you could puree it or make it into a soup.
- Oatmeal or cereal: Another food that is amazingly rich in nutrients and goodies that’s good for your little one to grow healthy and add weight. Oat meal is rich in dietary fibers like even glucan( glucan is a soluble dietary fiber) which will help your baby’s stomach develop and become accustomed to bacterial diversity. You can make oatmeal and add breast milk or formula milk to make it light in the initial stage and gradually let it become thicker as they get used to it. You can also add varieties of side dishes, pureed fruit or spices like cinnamon to add nutrients to it.
- Diary and diary products: you can introduce diary products like butter, cheese, yoghurt and milk to your child to help them add weight, but yoghurt and cow’s milk should only be introduced to them when they turn one. Diary products should be monitored because overeating or undereating of it can have adverse effect on your child’s health.
- Chicken: is a highly nutritious source of protein that helps one to build up muscle mass and so can help your child to add weight healthily. A bonus is chicken is versatile meaning it could be served in a variety of option and meal choices like Salads or soups, you can even make kebabs (after they turn 1) or curries from it.
- Dry seeds and fruits: dried seeds and fruits that are healthy can help you to make your children’s meal attractive and nutritious at the same time. Dried seeds like pumpkin, sesame and flax and dried fruits like walnuts ,almonds, raisins and cashews will help your child to gain weight healthily. Almond milk can also be a great substitute for children who are allergic to cow’s milk. You can also make a healthy weight gain smoothie for them.
- Vegetables and tropical fruits: tropic fruits like pineapple, papaws, mangoes, oranges etc. And Vegetables like pumpkins, carrots, can help your child build immunity because they are rich in various healthy nutrients like essential vitamins and healthy sugars so while they put on healthy weight they also build up their immunity. You can serve them as a snack or a salad.
Note: it’s important for you to know that babies grow slower when they become 1 year old as opposed to how fast they grow in the first few months of their lives; so you shouldn’t be too bothered if your baby is still alert and looks healthy even when your baby doesn’t feed as much as he/she used.