Feeding an older baby 265
Feeding an older baby
When the baby is 6 months old, you can start giving her other foods in addition to
breast milk. Always give the breast milk first, and then the other foods. It is good to
start with a gruel or porridge made from your main food (see page 87). These new
foods need to be well cooked and mashed. At first they can be mixed with a little
breast milk to make them easier for the baby to swallow.
After a few days, start adding other helper foods (see page 87). But start with just a
little of the new food, and add only 1 at a time or the baby may have trouble digesting
them. Most important is to add foods that give extra energy (such as oil), and—whenever
possible—extra iron (such as dark green leafy vegetables). For more information on
feeding your baby healthy foods, see Where There Is No Doctor, page 107.
Remember, a young child’s stomach is small and cannot hold much food at one
time. So feed her often, if possible 5 to 6 times a day, and add high-energy helper
foods to the main food.
The baby will be happier and calmer if you plan ahead and have everything ready when
it is time for him to eat. If you wait until the baby is hungry and crying, it will be hard for
you to stay calm while you get ready to feed him. When you get ready to feed the baby:
If you cannot see well
Always remember to wash
and rinse your hands with
soap and clean water.
To feed a baby with your fingers
and without a spoon, give only a
small amount each time that feels no
larger than a pea or bean.
To feed a baby with a spoon
1. Use one hand to put a small
amount of food onto a small
spoon. Hold the spoon close to
the round eating end, and push
off any excess food from the
spoon with another finger of the
Sit the baby in a comfortable and
safe place so he will not topple over.
Put the food in a sturdy bowl or
container and position it so the baby
cannot kick it over.
2. Place the thumb of
your other hand on the
baby’s chin, just under the
mouth. Using your thumb
as a guide, put the spoon
containing the food into
the baby’s mouth.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007