Nutritional needs of newborns till they are 6-months old
You will feel overwhelmed with joy on becoming a parent, but at the same time, it is something that brings many responsibilities. Responsibilities to keep your baby safe, sound, healthy and to make sure they get the best of everything especially when it comes to baby nutrition.
As you become a parent, you need to learn everything related to your baby from keeping the baby comfortable, aiding their growth and development, feeding them with the right things, avoiding all that can cause them any harm and much more.
However, proper nutrition for the baby is something that every parent prioritizes. What foods to feed and what to avoid; when to start giving certain foods, while doing away with others! All these are the things you should know as a parent to a newborn or as a parent-to-be.
Dive deep to know about what Ayurveda suggests for your baby’s nutrition & food till they are 6 months old.
A baby grows every day in some sense or the other. It is during the initial days that the baby's development starts taking place. The brain develops, muscles and bones get stout, and the immune system builds up. You need to be very careful about your baby’s nutrition to foster growth and aid development.
The sure shot essentials
Some of the most important nutrients a baby needs in the first six months are:
- Calcium:Since the bones of the baby show significant development during the first six months, calcium is a very vital requirement for babies. It is also vital at the teething stage of a baby.
- Folate:Folate is commonly known to aid cell division and is required by babies.
- Fat: Fat gives your baby energy and helps to develop the brain, hair, and skin cells. It also helps to build immunity against infections.
- Iron:Iron helps in the development of a child's brain and aids in the building of blood cells.
- Zinc: Zinc immensely helps in cell growth and repair of tissues.
- Vitamins: Just like an adult, the baby's body also needs various vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Vitamin C, D, E, and K to carry out different growth processes and foster development. All these vitamins contribute to the growth and building process of a baby's body in various ways.
Now that you know all about the baby nutrition till 6 months, let's see what you should feed them to provide all of these.
What food to give?
The stage of a baby from 0-6 months is referred to as the Kshirap Stage. This is because the baby only depends upon milk during this phase. Ayurveda suggests that milk is the best food for a baby till the age of 6 months.
Breast milk contains all the essential elements mentioned above and can provide the baby with enough nutrition until 6 months after birth. Therefore, the mother's milk is considered best for the baby. In such case it is very important that the mother and baby nutrition is perfect as both are co-related.
Way forward if breastfeeding is not possible
In any case, if the mother is unable to breastfeed the baby, goat's milk or cow’s milk processed with Laghu panchamoola, sthira panchamoola, or dashamoola can be used as an alternative.
There are some babies born before the completion of nine months or underweight. Significantly, these babies are not as developed as the ones born in their due period. Such babies need some special nutrition in addition to their mother's milk.
In such cases, extra nutrition is provided by adding fortifiers to the milk to meet the nutritional requirements of the baby for proper growth and sound development.
What to avoid?
As you see, Ayurveda is all about getting the best from natural things. Therefore, Ayurveda suggests breast milk is the best food for the baby and suggests avoiding formula or powdered milk. Also, whole cow's milk is considered unfit for a newborn baby as it lacks some important nutrients essential for a baby's development and is heavy. The best alternative, in case breast milk is not available, is considered to be goat's milk or cow’s milk processed with Laghu panchamoola, sthira panchamoola, or dashamoola.
Make sure the mother eats the healthiest food rich in nutrients that can nourish the child as well. Mother and baby nutrition is very important when you are breastfeeding your kid.