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The first year of a child’s life is a time of great discoveries, adaptation to the world around, formation of taste preferences and creation of habits. It is not enough to balance and diversify the baby’s diet, it is necessary to set a particular nutrition regimen that will help to develop food reflexes, which in turn will help in the formation of efficient and coordinated work of gastrointestinal tract. If the baby eats irregularly, the reflexes are failing, digestive functions are reducing, which leads to a longer and more complex process of food assimilation and excretory disturbances.
The infant’s nutritional regimen can be divided into several stages. At first, the baby is breastfed. Close contact with mother not only helps to nourish and satiate the body, but also gives the child a sense of security. At this time feeding is always on demand. If the baby’s development is normal, than since the age of six to eight weeks, he or she can be fed six times a day. The duration of breastfeeding should not be more than 20-30 minutes. Otherwise, the satiated baby will start to fall asleep, which later would result in the reflex of falling asleep while eating. If the baby is bottle-fed, then you can make three-hour intervals between feedings.
Generally, the dietary regimen of each child is determined individually, taking into account the baby’s day regimen and mother’s capabilities. Up to 6 months it is an “on-demand” regimen, it is necessary to set the regimen from 7-8 months, and by the age of 12 months, it should be 4-5 meals a day.
By the age of 12 months, the child’s stomach digests the food within about 3-4 hours, if it is rich in protein, this period increases to 5 hours. In this case, 5 meals a day are not advisable, and it is best to have 4 meals a day with intervals of 3-4 hours.
Feeding hours must strict with maximum permissible deviations of not more than 30 minutes. It is better not to give your baby juice, sweets, etc., between feedings, as this will lead to poor appetite and violation of the nutrition regimen.