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Feeding & Nutrition

Not all babies are the same, so it should come as no surprise that whatever your little one finds yummy may differ from other newborns. Huggies answers your questions and provides some food for thought when it comes to feeding your baby.


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Breastfeeding! Common questions, fast answers.

What is breast milk? Unlike the stuff in the dairy aisle of the grocery store, breast milk is actually alive! Not only does it have protein, fats and sugars, but it also contains living cells and antibodies that help a baby fight illness. Overheating breast milk can actually make it less healthful, so don’t microwave or boil pumped milk. Instead, submerge a sealed pumped bottle in a bowl of warm water for a minute and then swirl it gently. Repeat as needed until the milk is body temperature.

How does breastfeeding work? Basically, specialized glands in a breast make milk from a mom’s blood and bodily fluids. Breastfeeding is a feedback cycle between mom and baby: The action of the baby’s tongue stimulates the glands to make more milk.

Is it supposed to hurt? It’s normal to have nipple pain in the first few days of breastfeeding as your milk comes in. Having an improper latch can also cause pain, so make sure the baby is sucking on the whole nipple, not just the tip. After the first few days, breastfeeding should be completely painless. If it’s not, consult with your pediatrician or a certified lactation consultant.

Does breastfeeding make babies smarter? Several long-term studies have suggested that breastfed babies average about two to five more IQ points than their bottle-fed counterparts. But it’s nearly impossible to know if such a small difference is the result of breast milk itself or other factors, like babies having more time to interact with their moms or breastfeeding moms being healthier to begin with.

Will breastfeeding make my baby healthier? Breastfeeding can’t keep your baby from ever getting sick, but the extra antibodies do make breastfed babies statistically less likely to get sick in the first year. Also, for reasons not fully understood, breastfed babies are less likely to become obese or suffer chronic diseases as adults.

Sandy &Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Your All-in-One Resource for Pregnancy &Childbirth. Order your copy from Barnes &Noble.


Breast milk storage: Do's and don'ts

If you're breast-feeding and going back to work or looking for more flexibility, you're probably considering using a breast pump. Once you start pumping, it's important to know how to safely store your expressed milk. Consider these do's and don'ts for breast milk storage.

What kind of container should I use to store expressed breast milk?

Before expressing or handling breast milk, wash your hands with soap and water. Then store the expressed milk in a clean, capped glass or hard plastic, BPA-free container. You can also use special plastic bags designed for milk collection and storage.

However, breast milk storage bags might tear, leak and become contaminated more easily than hard-sided containers. For extra protection, place the bags in a hard plastic food storage container with a tightly sealed lid.

Don't store breast milk in disposable bottle liners or plastic bags designed for general household use.

What's the best way to store expressed breast milk?

Using waterproof labels and ink, label each container with the date you expressed the breast milk. If you're storing expressed milk at your baby's child care facility, add your baby's name to the label. Place the containers in the back of the refrigerator or freezer, where the temperature is the coolest. If you don't have access to a refrigerator or freezer, store the milk temporarily in an insulated cooler.

Fill individual containers with the milk your baby will need for one feeding. You might start with 2 to 4 ounces (59 to 118 milliliters), and then adjust as needed. Also consider storing smaller portions — 1 to 2 ounces (30 to 59 milliliters) — for unexpected situations or delays in regular feedings. Breast milk expands as it freezes, so don't fill containers to the brim.

Can I add freshly expressed breast milk to already stored milk?

You can add freshly expressed breast milk to refrigerated or frozen milk you expressed earlier in the same day. However, thoroughly cool the freshly expressed breast milk in the refrigerator or a cooler with ice packs before adding it to previously chilled or frozen milk. Don't add warm breast milk to frozen breast milk because it will cause the frozen milk to partially thaw.

How long does expressed breast milk keep?

How long you can safely keep expressed breast milk depends on the storage method. Consider these general guidelines for healthy infants:

  • Room temperature. Freshly expressed breast milk can be kept at room temperature for up to six hours. However, use or proper storage within four hours is optimal. If the room is especially warm, the limit is also four hours.
  • Insulated cooler. Freshly expressed breast milk can be stored in an insulated cooler with ice packs for up to one day.
  • Refrigerator. Freshly expressed breast milk can be stored in the back of the refrigerator for up to five days in clean conditions. However, use or freezer storage within three days is optimal.
  • Deep freezer. Freshly expressed breast milk can be stored in the back of a deep freezer for up to 12 months. However, using the frozen milk within six months is optimal.

Keep in mind research suggests that the longer you store breast milk — whether in the refrigerator or in the freezer — the greater the loss of vitamin C in the milk. It's also important to note that breast milk expressed when a baby is a newborn won't as completely meet the same baby's needs when he or she is a few months older. Also, storage guidelines might differ for preterm, sick or hospitalized infants.

How do I thaw frozen breast milk?

Thaw the oldest milk first. Place the frozen container in the refrigerator the night before you intend to use it. You can also gently warm the milk by placing it under warm running water or in a bowl of warm water.

Also, don't heat a frozen bottle in the microwave or very quickly on the stove. Some parts of the milk might be too hot, and others cold. Some research suggests that rapid heating can affect the milk's antibodies.

While further research is needed on whether previously frozen milk that's been thawed can be frozen again and safely used, many experts recommend discarding thawed milk that isn't used within 24 hours.

Does thawed breast milk smell or look different from fresh breast milk?

The color of your breast milk might vary, depending on your diet. Also, thawed breast milk might seem to have a different odor or consistency than freshly expressed milk. It's still safe to feed to your baby. If your baby refuses the thawed milk, it might help to shorten the storage time.

This article was from Mayo Clinic Health Information Library and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image : Getty


Newborn sleep: Should I wake my baby for feedings?

Should I wake my newborn for feedings?

Answer Section

Whether you should wake a sleeping newborn for feedings depends on the baby's age, weight and overall health.

Most newborns lose weight in the first few days after birth. Until your newborn regains this lost weight — usually within one week after birth — it's important to feed him or her frequently. This might mean occasionally waking your baby for a feeding, especially if he or she sleeps for a stretch of more than four hours.

Once your newborn establishes a pattern of weight gain and reaches the birth-weight milestone, however, it's generally OK to wait for feedings until he or she wakes up.

Most newborns need eight to 12 feedings a day — about one feeding every two to three hours. While waking up a sleeping baby might seem like a bad idea, frequent feedings early on are important for a couple of reasons:

  • Crying is a late sign of hunger. The sooner you begin each feeding, the less likely you'll need to soothe a frantic baby. Look for early signs of hunger, such as stirring, restlessness, sucking motions and lip movements.
  • Frequent feedings support early breast-feeding. If you breast-feed, frequent feedings will help you establish your milk supply. Babies also are more likely to nurse repeatedly in a short period of time (cluster feed) if they have gone longer stretches between feedings.

Keep in mind that premature babies often have special nutritional needs. They also might not reliably show signs of hunger until they are older.If your baby was born prematurely or you're concerned about your baby's feeding patterns or weight gain, consult his or her doctor for specific recommendations.

This article was from Mayo Clinic Health Information Library and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image : Getty


Breast-feeding twins: Making feedings manageable

If you've decided to breast-feed your multiples, congratulations! Breast-feeding will provide many benefits for you and your babies. Still, breast-feeding more than one baby can be challenging. Understand how to get started and where to turn for support.

What are the benefits of breast-feeding twins or higher order multiples?

Breast milk contains the right balance of nutrients for your babies. The antibodies in breast milk will boost your babies' immune systems. Breast milk also has special benefits for babies who are born prematurely, as are many twins and higher order multiples. Breast milk is easier to digest than is commercial infant formula — especially for premature babies who have smaller, less mature stomachs and intestines. If your babies aren't able to nurse at first, you can pump breast milk to be given to your babies through a feeding tube.

Beyond the health benefits for your newborns, breast-feeding is likely the most convenient and least expensive way to feed your babies — and it might help you lose weight after you give birth. Breast-feeding twins or other multiples also ensures frequent interaction between you and each of your babies.

Should I breast-feed my babies at the same time?

When you start breast-feeding your babies, feed each one individually. This will give you a chance to see how well each baby latches on to your breast and address any issues. Consider creating a 24-hour chart to record how long and how often each baby nurses, as well as the number of wet and soiled diapers for each baby. If you feed your babies pumped breast milk, record how much they take at each feeding.

Once you've established breast-feeding with each baby, how you breast-feed is up to you and your babies. Some mothers find that breast-feeding two babies at once works well and saves time. Others prefer to breast-feed each baby separately. Likewise, some babies might show a preference for individual feedings. Try different approaches or a combination — such as breast-feeding one baby at a time at night and two at the same time during the day — to see what might work best.

What positions can I use to breast-feed my babies at the same time?

There are several ways to breast-feed two babies at the same time. What's most important is choosing a position that feels good to you and your babies and enables a correct and comfortable latch.

For example:

  • Double-clutch or double-football hold. In this position, you'll hold each baby in a clutch or football hold. Position a pillow on each side of your body and your lap. Place each baby on a pillow beside your body — almost under your arm — so that the babies' legs point toward the back of your chair. Make sure each baby's back is supported by the inside of your forearm. Use the pillows for arm support. Secure the babies' bottoms with the insides of your elbows. Keep the babies' heads at nipple level. Place the palm of one hand at the back of each baby's head to provide support.

    Alternatively, place both babies — head to head — on pillows directly in front of you. Be sure to keep your babies' bodies turned toward you, rather than facing up. Use your palms to support each baby's head.

  • Cradle-clutch combination. In this position, you'll hold one baby in the cradle position — with his or her head on your forearm and his or her whole body facing yours — and the other baby in the clutch position. If one of your babies has an easier time latching on to your breast or staying latched, place him or her in the cradle position.
  • Double-cradle hold. To use the double-cradle position, you'll place both of your babies in the cradle position in front of you. Position your babies so that their legs overlap and make an X across your lap.

At first, you might want help positioning your babies. Enlist someone to help you get situated until you get the hang of simultaneous feedings. Consider latching first the baby who tends to need more help getting started.

To breast-feed two babies at once, you might use the double-clutch or double-football hold position. In this position, you'll hold each baby in a clutch or football hold under your arms.

Will I have enough milk?

Most women are able to produce enough milk to feed twins. Many women are also able to breast-feed or pump enough breast milk to feed higher order multiples. To ensure a steady milk supply, consider these tips:

  • Start right after birth. Breast-feeding your newborns soon after birth and at least eight to 12 times every 24 hours will help you establish your milk supply. The more often you breast-feed, the more milk you'll produce.
  • Pump. If your babies are born early and are unable to breast-feed right away, begin pumping shortly after you give birth to establish your milk supply.  Hospital-grade, double electric breast pumps help stimulate milk production while cutting pumping time in half. Once breast-feeding is well-established, pumping also allows other caregivers to help with feedings.
  • Alternate breasts. Offering both breasts to each baby at each feeding and alternating the breast the feedings are started on, as well as which baby feeds first, might optimize your milk production and each baby’s feeding. This is because each of your babies might have a different style of feeding. Switching breasts will also give your babies different views, which stimulates their eyes. Consider assigning each baby to one breast for a day and then switching the next day or giving each baby a different breast at each feeding.

Remember to always bring your babies to your breast — rather than bending over or leaning forward to bring your breast to your babies.

Can I combine breast-feeding and formula-feeding?

Exclusive breast-feeding is recommended. Once breastfeeding is established and if you have chosen to do an occasional bottle, expressed breast milk would be the best choice so that formula could be avoided or delayed.

However, some mothers choose to combine breast-feeding and formula-feeding. For example, you might replace one or more breast-feeding sessions with a formula-feeding. Work with your doctor, your baby's doctor and a lactation consultant to determine what works best for you and your babies. If you give your babies formula, keep in mind that your milk production might begin to decrease if you breast-feed or pump less than eight to 10 times within 24 hours.

What else do I need to know about breast-feeding twins or higher order multiples?

Getting the hang of breast-feeding twins or other multiples can be difficult, but don't get discouraged. If you're struggling, meet with a lactation consultant who has experience with multiples. Ask your baby's doctor for help. Talk to other women who successfully breast-fed multiples. Ask loved ones for assistance with household tasks and the care of older siblings — or consider hiring household help — so that you can focus on feeding and caring for your babies.

Be patient with yourself and your babies as you experience the challenges and rewards of breast-feeding two or more newborns. Above all, don't be afraid to ask for help.

This article was from Mayo Clinic Health Information Library and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image : Getty

Mom breast feeding baby on rocking chair

4 Things to Know Before Breastfeeding

It seems like breastfeeding should be one of the simplest acts on earth, considering the human race was dependent on it for thousands of years, but that’s often not the case. Whether you’re not sure if you want to try nursing at all or are planning to breastfeed exclusively, here are four things to keep in mind.

It very rarely comes easy.

People love to say, “Breastfeeding is natural.” That is true, but that doesn’t mean breastfeeding is easy. Before formula and bottles were a thing, breastfeeding was the norm. This meant that women had much more experience in what a proper latch looks like or what to do if they had too much (or not enough) milk by the time they had their own babies. Today, many women begin their breastfeeding journeys with little to no practical experience, and they have to figure it out as they go along.

There are no schedules.

If you’ve been reading traditional pregnancy and baby books, it’s common to come away with the idea that babies nurse every two hours for 10 minutes a side. In reality, nursing babies eat when they want and for as long as they want, and this is totally normal. When your baby is older, you may find that you notice a certain pattern to the feedings, but even then a sudden growth spurt and cluster feeding sessions can come on without warning. It’s also important to keep in mind that every child is different. One baby may need both breasts every time to be full, while another may alternate with every feeding.

All lactation consultants are not equal.

Whether you’re planning on breastfeeding for six weeks or two years, support is crucial to your success. If you have a family member or friend who had a successful breastfeeding relationship she can help a great deal, but a good lactation consultant is worth her weight in gold. If you’re having trouble getting started, don’t just go with what the hospital lactation consultant tells you. Look for a local International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) who can offer references and is willing to meet up with you personally to observe a nursing session and troubleshoot.

Everyone will have an opinion.

From how long you should nurse or whether you need nipple guards to the cover-up controversy and whether you should breastfeed at all, everyone will feel the need to offer an opinion on your nursing experience. Soak in the supportive comments, take all advice with a grain of salt, and remember that your breastfeeding choices are no one’s business but your own.

This article was written by EverydayFamily from Everyday Family and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image : Getty


The Breastfeeding Diet

It's the couch potato's dream — burning up the calories of a five-mile run without leaving your lounge chair. And guess what? That dream is your reality now that you're breastfeeding your little tater tot. It's true — milk production burns 500 calories a day, which means that when you're breastfeeding, you'll get to eat an extra 500 calories a day (up from your pre-pregnancy numbers) to meet that need — just one of the many benefits of breastfeeding.

Hello, potato chips? Not exactly. Quality matters as much as quantity, especially if you expect to stay vertical during those long postpartum days (and even longer nights). The good news is that you're an old pro at eating well — what with all the practice you've had for the past nine months during your pregnancy. The even better news is that eating well while breastfeeding is very much like eating well while expecting (see The Pregnancy Diet), with (best news of all) slightly more relaxed rules. You'll still be aiming for plenty of healthy foods and steering clear of the less healthy ones (though there's more leeway for indulgences). Plus, while calories definitely count, you still won't need to count them — just follow the Breastfeeding Diet as best you can:

What to Eat When You're Breastfeeding

Like eating well during pregnancy, eating well while breastfeeding entails getting the right balance of good (and good for you) food. Try to get the following each day:

  • Protein: three servings
  • Calcium: five servings (that's an increase from your pregnancy requirement of four)
  • Iron-rich foods: one or more servings
  • Vitamin C: two servings
  • Green leafy and yellow vegetables, yellow fruits: three to four servings
  • Other fruits and veggies: one or more servings
  • Whole grains and complex carbohydrates: three or more servings
  • High-fat foods: small amounts — you don't need as much as you did during pregnancy
  • Liquids: Eight cups of water, juice, or other non caffeinated, non alcoholic beverages
  • Omega-3s: Two servings per week to promote baby's brain growth (look for it in wild salmon and sardines, as well as DHA-enriched eggs)
  • Prenatal vitamin: Daily

What Not to Eat

Here's the great news: When you're breastfeeding, there's a lot more that can be on the menu than off. But (and here's the less great news), with caveats. It's fine to pop open the cork on that pinot noir you've been pining for (or flip the top on that ale you've been aching for) — but within limits (a couple of glasses a week, preferably taken right after you nurse, rather than before, to allow a couple of hours for the alcohol to metabolize and for far less to reach your baby — use Milkscreen to check the alcohol levels in your milk). Time to pick up your coffee habit where you left off? Depends on how hefty your habit was — more than a cup or two of joe can make junior jittery (and keep you both from getting any sleep). As for safe foods after pregnancy, it's okay to reel in the sushi again, although you should continue to avoid high-mercury fish such as shark, tilefish, and mackerel, and to limit those that may contain moderate amounts of that heavy metal.

Foods to Watch Out For

If you have a family history of allergies, it's probably wise to avoid peanuts and foods that contain them (and possibly other highly allergic foods, such as tree nuts — check with the doctor). Also watch out for herbs — even some seemingly innocuous herbal teas. (Stick to reliable brands and choose flavors that are considered safe during lactation, including orange spice, peppermint, raspberry, red bush, chamomile, and rosehip.) Read labels carefully to make sure other herbs haven't been added to the brew, and drink them only in moderation. And when it comes to sugar substitutes, aspartame is probably a better bet than saccharine (only tiny amounts of aspartame pass into breast milk), but Sucralose (Splenda) is considered safe and a good all-round, low-calorie sugar substitute.

What to Watch Your Baby For

A few moms find that their own diet affects their babies' tummies and temperaments. While what you eat does indeed change the taste and smell of your milk (that happens for all mothers), that's actually a good thing, since it exposes your baby to many different flavors. But some babies can be sensitive to certain foods. If you suspect that something in your diet is turning baby off his or her feed (or turning his or her tummy), try eliminating the food for a few days to gauge the response. Some of the more common trouble makers are cow's milk, eggs, fish, citrus fruits, nuts, and wheat.

Mom feeding baby at table

Baby Feeding Overview: What to Feed, How Much, & What to Avoid

What you feed your baby during the first year is essential to your child’s healthy growth and development. These early nutrients are the building blocks on which your child’s future health depends. Find out what foods the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends for your growing child.

Figuring out when to stop nursing or when to transition to finger foods can be confusing. In addition to the guidance from your pediatrician, we’ve collected important nutrition tips from The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the premier source for baby care and health information ( These valuable feeding must-knows will help solidify a healthy foundation for your child’s health.

Birth-6 Months

The AAP recommends exclusively breastfeeding your baby for at least six months. Studies have proved that children who are breastfed for at least six months are less likely to be overweight or obese as they get older.

  • It is considered best to try to breastfeed your newborn within the first hour of delivery.

  • Some newborns breastfeed as often as every 1 1/2 hours, while others feed about every three hours. The AAP says, “breastfed newborns will feed 8-12 or more times per 24 hours (once your milk has come in).”

Breastfeeding can be difficult for many women. For those who chose not to, or are unable to breastfeed, bottle feeding with formula is an alternative.

  • The AAP recommends you first give your baby 2 ounces of formula every 2-3 hours. As your baby grows, your pediatrician can help you adjust the amount of formula for your child.

3-4 Months

According to the AAP, many families introduce complementary solid foods when baby is this age, particularly if the child seems fussy (this happens more often with formula-fed babies). Note: Try not to introduce solids prior to 4 months. The AAP associates this with increased weight gain, both in infancy and early childhood

4-6 Months

With your pediatrician’s guidance, you can introduce your baby to 3-5 tablespoons of single-grain, iron-fortified cereal mixed with breastmilk or formula.

At around 4-8 months, you can also add pureed veggies, fruit and meats to your baby’s diet. (Some doctors suggest starting with vegetables instead of fruit to prevent a preference for sweeter foods.

6 Months-9 Months

The AAP recommends introducing solid foods to your baby around 6 months of age.

  • Introduce one foods new at a time and continue to offer that food for 3-5 days to watch for allergies.

  • Baby’s serving sizes don’t need to be very big: Just 1-2 teaspoons to start, gradually increasing to 3-4 tablespoons as your child gets older.

  • This is a good time to help your baby begin transitioning from a bottle to a sippy cup.

  • Also, this is when you can start helping your baby to self-feed with a spoon.

Tips from the AAP to help baby try new foods include:
  • Multiple exposure to new foods and textures:
    It may take several attempts before baby accepts them.

  • Eat with your baby:
    Babies and toddlers are more likely to eat foods they see their parents eating.

  • Watch for hunger cues:
    This is a good time to start watching your baby for signs of hunger (and fullness).

9-12 Months

Your baby is now developing a whole new set of feeding skills! To support further transitions into solids and self-feeding, the AAP shares the following:

  • Incorporate 2-3 healthy snacks per day, but maintain fruit and vegetable consumption after finger foods are introduced. These shouldn’t be thought of as treats, but as opportunities to self-feed nutritive snacks between set meals.


  • Avoid honey in any form for your child's first year, as it can cause infant botulism.

  • Avoid introduction of sugar-sweetened beverages.

  • The AAP dissuades parents from introducing fruit juices until your child is a toddler. If you must introduce juice, the AAP advices waiting “until 6-9 months and limit consumption to 4-6 ounces.” (Tip: When you do begin introducing fruit juices, consider diluting them with water to reduce the sugar content.)

  • No cow’s milk for baby until after the first year (the proteins are difficult for your baby to digest)

  • Watch for choking hazards! Larger pieces of food (think bigger than a pea) should be off-limits to baby.

  • Peanut and other nut butters are sticky, and can be difficult for young children to swallow until they’re older. There is also the risk of a peanut allergy; be sure to talk with your pediatrician about when peanut and other nut butters can be introduced into your child’s diet.

blue eyed baby drinking a bottle

Feeding your newborn: Tips for New Parents

Feeding a newborn is a round-the-clock commitment. It's also an opportunity to begin forming a bond with the newest member of your family. Consider these tips for feeding a newborn.

1. Stick with breast milk or formula

Breast milk is the ideal food for babies — with rare exceptions. If breast-feeding isn't possible, use infant formula. Healthy newborns don't need water, juice or other fluids.

2. Feed your newborn on demand

Most newborns need eight to 12 feedings a day — about one feeding every two to three hours. Look for early signs of hunger, such as stirring and stretching, sucking motions and lip movements. Fussing and crying are later cues. The sooner you begin each feeding, the less likely you'll need to soothe a frantic baby. When your baby stops sucking, closes his or her mouth, or turns away from the nipple or bottle, he or she might be full — or simply taking a break. Try burping your baby or waiting a minute before offering your breast or the bottle again. As your baby gets older, he or she will take in more milk in less time at each feeding.

3. Consider vitamin D supplements

Ask your baby's doctor about vitamin D supplements for the baby, especially if you're breast-feeding. Breast milk might not provide enough vitamin D, which helps your baby absorb calcium and phosphorus — nutrients necessary for strong bones.

4. Expect variations in your newborn's eating patterns

Your newborn won't necessarily eat the same amount every day. During growth spurts — often at two to three weeks after birth and again at six weeks after birth — your newborn might take more at each feeding or want to be fed more often. Respond to early signs of hunger, rather than keeping a strict eye on the clock.

5. Trust your instincts — and your newborn's

You might worry that your newborn isn't eating enough, but babies usually know just how much they need. Don't focus on how much, how often or how regularly your newborn eats. Instead, look for:

  1. Steady weight gain
  2. Contentment between feedings
  3. By the fifth day after birth, at least six wet diapers and three or more bowel movements a day

Contact the doctor if your newborn isn't gaining weight, wets fewer than six diapers a day or shows little interest in feedings.

6. Consider each feeding a time to bond with your newborn

Hold your newborn close during each feeding. Look him or her in the eye. Speak with a gentle voice. Use each feeding as an opportunity to build your newborn's sense of security, trust and comfort.

7. Know when to ask for help

If you're having trouble breast-feeding, ask a lactation consultant or your baby's doctor for help — especially if every feeding is painful or your baby isn't gaining weight. If you haven't worked with a lactation consultant, ask your baby's doctor for a referral or check with the obstetrics department at a local hospital.

©1998-2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of Use.

This article was from Mayo Clinic and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Baby eating broccoli

Starting Solids: When Is the Right Time?

By Jay L. Hoecker, M.D., Mayo Clinic

By ages 4 months to 6 months, most babies are ready to begin eating solid foods as a complement to breast-feeding or formula-feeding.

What's so magic about ages 4 months to 6 months? It's around this time that babies typically stop using their tongues to push food out of their mouths and begin to develop the coordination to move solid food from the front of the mouth to the back for swallowing.

Keep in mind that waiting until age 6 months before introducing solid foods to babies who are exclusively breast-fed can help ensure that they get the full health benefits of breast-feeding.

Starting solids too early - before age 4 months - might:

  • Pose a risk of aspiration - sucking food into the airway
  • Cause a baby to get too much or not enough calories or nutrients
  • Increase a baby's risk of obesity

Also, starting solids before age 4 months hasn't been shown to help babies sleep better at night.

Starting solids too late - after age 6 months - poses another set of issues. Waiting too long might:

  • Slow a baby's growth
  • Cause iron deficiency in breast-fed babies
  • Delay oral motor function
  • Cause an aversion to solid foods

Postponing solids - including highly allergenic foods - past 4 to 6 months of age also hasn't been shown to prevent asthma, hay fever, eczema or food allergies.

In addition to age, look for other signs that your baby is ready for solid foods. Can your baby hold his or her head in a steady, upright position? Can your baby sit with support? If you answer yes to these questions and you have the OK from your baby's doctor, you can begin supplementing your baby's liquid diet.

Image: Getty Images


Table Manners for Toddlers (Yes, It's Possible!)

With all the food your child throws, mushes, and drops, feeding her can feel like a full-contact sport. These strategies will make mealtime less messy and "stress-y".

Ack! My child keeps dropping her spoon, then laughing as I pick it up

You might find this completely annoying, but to your toddler, it’s the best game in the world, saysRobin Goldstein, Ph.D., professor of child development at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and author of The New Baby Answer Book. "She’s just delighted that you’re engaging with her. Play along once or twice, then say, "Ooh, that was fun, but now let’s play a different game!" Then pretend to be a "hungry bear," eat a bite of food, and say, "Can you show Mommy how a hungry bear eats?"

Ack! My child smears food everywhere

Your child is using all of her senses—especially touch—to figure out the world around her, so it’s fine to let her be a Picasso with her peas once in a while (especially if you plan to put her straight in the tub after dinner). If she’s putting more food in her hair than in her mouth, though, it’s probably a sign that she’s not hungry or she’s bored, says Goldstein. Take her out of the high chair and let her crawl around or play with toys for a few minutes; then put her back and see if she wants any more food by placing just a tiny amount of food on the tray, like a couple of cubes of cheese or a spoonful of pasta.

Ack! My child likes to throw her food

When your baby flings pureed squash at the wall, keep your cool, but give a clear message that the behavior is inappropriate, says Goldstein. Say firmly, "No! You can throw a ball, but we do not throw food." Then remove her from the high chair for five or ten minutes to play with toys (and get her energy out) and try again. Also consider placing a plastic splat mat under the high chair to make clean up easier.

Ack! My child turns up her nose at new foods

Stick with tried-and-true favorites—then place just a bite or two of a new food on the tray every day until she’s ready to go for it. Remember: It can take up to ten tries before a child accepts a new food.

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Say Goodbye to Rewards Codes

You asked, we listened! Introducing two new ways to get your Huggies® Rewards Points when you buy: submitting a receipt and loyalty card linking — exclusively for Huggies® Rewards. 

Huggies Rewards Submit Receipts instead of Rewards Codes

Submit Your Receipts

There's a faster way to get your Huggies® Rewards Points! Earn points by uploading and submitting a photo of your receipt for all Huggies® Diapers and Wipes. You'll even get 2x the points for your first receipt submission! 

Huggies Rewards Submit a receipt for points

Get More Points!

Now there are more ways to earn points! From reading articles, to taking surveys, to sharing on Facebook & Twitter. More ways to earn = more ways to love Huggies®!

Huggies Rewards Contact Us

New Huggies® Rewards App

Get the most out of your Huggies® Rewards experience. The new Rewards app has all the same great features as the website, right at your fingertips. Available in the App Store® and get it on Google Play™.


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Android, Google Play, and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.



Huggies Rewards App

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Join Huggies Rewards

By clicking SIGN UP you are agreeing to the Huggies® Rewards Terms & Conditions.

Join today and receive 500 free points! You'll also start earning Reward Points for all of your purchases. Points earned can be used towards gift cards, free diapers and wipes, and so much more!

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