Other feeding issues
Unless your health care provider tells you otherwise, it's OK to give your baby cow's milk after his first birthday. Give your baby only whole milk until age 2. Your baby needs the extra fat in whole milk.
Check with your health care provider is you think your baby has a milk allergy.
When to give your baby water
You can give your baby extra water each day, but you don't need to. Give your baby spring water, distilled water, well or tap water.
If you have a private well, you may consider having it tested for fluoride levels. Fluoride is essential for healthy teeth. If your well water is low on fluoride, you can get special tablets or drops for your child. Or, use topical fluoride at 6 months old. If you have questions, talk with your dentist or pediatrician.
What you should know about vitamin D
Your baby needs vitamin D to make healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D is triggered by direct sunlight. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies and young children stay out of direct sunlight when outside. This is especially true for babies younger than 6 months old. (Be sure to put sunscreen on your baby's skin when outside.)
Breast milk contains all the vitamins and minerals your baby needs, except for vitamin D. The AAP recommends giving your breast-fed baby a liquid multivitamin with vitamin D once a day. Follow the package directions. You may start giving the liquid drops in the first few days of your baby's birth.
Formula contains vitamin D in addition to the other vitamins and minerals your baby needs.
When to worry about spitting up
Your baby may spit up or vomit after a feeding. This is normal during infancy. Call your health care provider to schedule an appointment if your baby:
- vomits three feedings in a row
- vomits with force
- vomits more than once in a while
- coughs or has extreme fussiness during feedings (because of spitting up).
When to let your baby explore finger foods
At about 9 months old, your baby will be able to sit in a high chair. She will enjoy being at the table eating with your family. This is a good time for your baby to explore finger foods. Let her play with the spoon and explore different textures or food when he or she has developed a pinching grasp between the thumb and first finger. Make sure to cut up finger foods in small pieces to prevent choking.
What to do when your baby doesn't eat much
Between 9 and 12 months old, your baby may not eat much. This is normal. Your baby isn't growing at the same rate before her first birthday — those extra nutrients are
no longer needed. Do not give your baby extra milk, juice, or non-nutritious snacks because you think she isn't eating enough. Offer three meals a day plus nutritious snacks and milk. Limit juice because it may suppress her appetite.