OCH pediatrician Christopher Spinelli, DO, FAAP shares five baby basic essentials to help parents establish healthy habits at home:
1. Keep offering healthy foods. It may take up to ten times offering a new food before your baby takes it. Don’t give up! Crying does not always mean your baby is hungry. Pick up your baby, check their diaper, and/or try soothing movements or music to comfort before feeding.
2. The taste for healthy foods starts in infancy. Offer babies different choices of fruits and vegetables daily. No fruit juices until at least 6 month old. Limit fruit juices to 1/2 cup per day.
3. No television for baby (this includes video games, equipment or computers in a baby’s room). When your infant is in the room, turning off the television is ideal.
4. Babies need free movement to develop their muscles. Place your child on a clean blanket and allow free movement of arms and legs. Babies should not be in walkers. Babies should not be kept in cribs, play yards, or swings for long periods of time.
5. Breast feeding is the best source of nutrition for the first year of life and may decrease the risk for overweight children. Here are a few tips on breast-feeding:
- Only breast milk or formula for the first year. Cow’s milk starts after 1-year-old.
- Continue to breast feed as long as you are able. Any amount is better than none during the first year.
- Stop feeding when he/she acts full by pulling away from the breast or bottle.
- No bottles in bed.
Dr. Spinelli says now is the best time to teach your child healthy habits that will last a lifetime!