Solid Data on Solids (3)

By |May 6th, 2017|

Fully breastfed infants start to need other foods at around six months. By then they have run their stores of iron down and also need to supplement the vitamin D in their diet. Also breastmilk (and formula) is relatively low in protein, which is suitable for babies, but the growing infant now needs more.

 

Back in the day, the often-recommended first food was baby rice. We now recognise that early taste experiences program our babies’ food preferences for later, so processed refined rice flour, which is a world away from real food, and is now no longer recommended. Better […]

Solid Data on Solids (2)

By |March 17th, 2017|

Children Eat What They Enjoy, and Enjoy What They Know….

 

 

Humans are omnivores – they’ll eat anything that looks nutritious, and therein lies a problem: they can also poison themselves in many different ways. So evolution came up with a solution. Make the young generally ‘neo-phobic’ (fear of new things’) that is, wary of unfamiliar foods. Another great strategy is to get them to copy their mother and only eat what she eats, as it’s should always be safe.

So we copy our Mum.

When we’re in the womb we swallow the amniotic fluid and learn the tastes of the foods that […]

Sun and Bugs

By |November 3rd, 2016|

With the return of the warm weather parents have started asking me what to do about their babies regarding insect repellants and sunscreens.

 

Mosquitoes and midges agree that babies are delicious and will ignore the adults and exclusively hone in on the youngest human with the softest skin. Babies primarily need to be protected from contact with them by avoiding outside exposure in the evenings and sleeping with insect nets over their cots.

The spray-on repellents should not be used at all under 2 months of age and after that, it should not sprayed directly on to the baby’s skin. Use […]

Do you have a good baby?

By |October 12th, 2016|

“Do you have a good baby?” Says the sweet-faced old lady to you in the shopping centre.

Just to be clear, this is code for “Does your baby sleep for long periods of time and not feed too often or at inconvenient times?”

How to answer? She means well, so perhaps “Yes, she is. She cries when she is hungry and sleeps when she is tired” is a bit abrupt.

Instead how about giving her a short enlightening lecture?

Here are the critical points:

  • Babies are just foetuses who are outside the womb. In comparison to other mammal babies, they are remarkably immature. Hence […]

Mouth to Mouth

By |July 30th, 2016|

I was bewildered by all the Internet chatter about the picture of Victoria Beckham kissing her children on the mouth. The horror and the outrage!

That same day I was discussing feeding babies spoon foods, and a mother wondered what they did before blenders. Good question, because these two things are connected.

Transitional feeding seems to be necessary for humans from around six months of age. It is a time when breastfeeding doesn’t yield enough iron or protein to maintain optimal growth in babies.

In many animals the mother prepares soft foods by chewing it herself and then transferring it into the […]

A Conversation about Childcare.

By |May 19th, 2016|

II had an interesting conversation with a friend a few days ago.

He sighed “We are having such trouble getting our little girl into childcare – there are so few places available. We are feeling so stressed and guilty that she might not get the early education and sociability that she needs?”

Time for a reality check.

  • Humans are amongst the most social species on the planet. We have been honed by countless generations of ancestors who selected themselves to reproduce by their ability to socialise. It doesn’t need to be trained into us. It’s inherent.
  • In our first couple of […]

Travelling with a Toddler: It’s not all bad.

By |February 16th, 2016|

UUp at the crack of dawn to try and get the timing of the baby’s nap to coincide with the plane taking off. But she, like a pet dog, knows there is something big afoot. She would rather walk around than eat breakfast.

At Sydney Airport: First send in handsome son-in-law to check-in counter. We get a big smile from airline lady and get assigned seats with lots of extra empty seats around us. Cool! Then when we hit the queue for border control with the little one in the lead, a nice official tickles her chin and hurries us […]

Breastfeeding to Sleep

By |February 11th, 2016|

Just lately I’ve had a question from a couple of mothers through email and Facebook asking me what to do as their babies are now 6 months old and they are still exclusively falling asleep at the breast.

A paediatrician to one of them told her to stop this, and the other was told that ‘feed, play, sleep’ was some kind of gold standard to work towards as early as possible.

It’s perfectly okay for babies to continue falling asleep at the breast if you are both happy with it. There is nothing essential about separate sleeping and nothing biologically important […]

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