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What Is an Infant Feeding Chart?

Infant feeding charts recommend when parents should introduce avocados and other foods to their child's diet.
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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2014
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What a baby eats, how a baby eats, and when a baby eats are important parts of the child’s development. At the beginning of a child’s life, parents generally place a lot of emphasis on giving their babies the proper food at the proper time. Many of those parents rely on infant feeding charts, which can refer to two different tools. In some instances, an infant feeding chart will refer to a place to record feeding and diapering. In other instances, such a chart refers to guidelines that advise parents about which foods they should introduce to their babies at a given age.

In the beginning of their lives, most babies rely solely on milk. Eventually, however, parents need to begin introducing solid foods. A healthy introduction to solid foods should be gradual and should not be imposed upon a child too early. Parents often use an infant feeding chart as a guideline to tell them when to give which foods to their babies.

These guidelines are often broken down into weeks. For example, the chart may tell a parent that during the first week of a child’s fourth month, he should be fed rice cereal. That chart may also encourage the introduction of sweet potato and avocado during the second week of the six month.

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All infant feeding charts are not the same. One reason for this is that many people disagree about the stage at which solids should be introduced. Some are in favor of feeding a child solid foods when he is four months old. Others argue that a child should be restricted to milk until he is six months old. The foods that a baby should be fed are also a matter of dispute, meaning that parents generally must do some research to make sure the infant feeding chart they choose is based on information from sources they trust.

The second type of infant feeding chart is one that records the child’s feeding habits. Generally, these are forms that have spaces where a parent can include information such as the time that a child ate, what he ate, and how often his diaper was changed. Infants require regular medical checkups and doctors often ask question about this information. The infant feeding chart provides the doctor and parents with a reliable record. These tools may also be very helpful to parents because they can help them recognize habits that could easily be overlooked if they were not recorded in an organized manner.

It is not difficult to obtain either type of chart. A person can download a printable infant feeding chart from the Internet. In most instances, both the charts that provide guidelines and those that allow parents to record their baby’s details are available for free.

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