A 6-month old baby is mature, entertaining, and quite energetic. He requires a lot more food than newborns. It is the time when the infant starts turning into a kid. His bones get larger and stronger and his entire body starts shaping. It is the time when the baby needs proper nutrition to avoid development-related health issues. Therefore, parents must pay attention to a 6-month baby’s milk intake!
The World Health Organizations recommends mixed feeding after six months. You can feed complimentary meals to the child after six months. This external food should be nutritious and easy to digest.
There are many other things about feeding a 6-month old baby, which we have explained in this post. So, continue reading to gain more knowledge and take better care of your child!
How to Feed the Right Amount Of Milk to A 6-month Old Baby?
Mothers start searching for the best complimentary food for their 6-month old babies. One thing that puzzles them is how much breast milk they should feed the baby. Some mothers even wonder whether they should wean off or continue breastfeeding.
Yes, you must continue breastfeeding your child. It is not the right time to wean off because your child still needs breast milk daily for his growth. A mother always knows how much milk her child needs. Some studies show that a 6-month old child needs 600-800ml of milk every day. Your child may need a little more or less than the recommended amount.
A 6-month old baby’s daily food demands
The amount of food your child needs every day depends on his body weight. A 6-month old child needs about 150cc milk per kilogram! Thus, you can easily calculate how much milk your baby should consume.
The baby will consume up to 800ml of milk per day and then his milk demands will decrease. The regular intake of complementary meals reduces a 6-month baby’s milk intake.
The age won’t affect your child’s milk demands if you have been feeding formula milk to the child. He will still need a daily supply of the same amount of milk. You can supplement the baby formula with other meals to feed more nutritious foods.
What if your baby doesn’t consume enough milk?
Have you started feeding external foods to the child? A 6-month old baby is also quite small. His body is still developing and he can eat a limited amount of milk per day. The baby won’t drink 600-800ml of milk per day if he is already eating other foods.
It is a concerning situation if you aren’t feeding anything else and the baby still consumes less than 500 ml of milk. He might have some unknown health condition, like calcium deficiency or some other disease.
You should take your child to the pediatrician and diagnose the health problem. A quick cure can prevent your child from malnutrition. He will start consuming more food and get healthier like other healthy infants of his age.
What Should Parents Do If the Baby’s Milk Intake Decreases After 6 Months?
The child has been consuming milk since the day he was born. The baby’s lactase enzymes start decreasing after 6 months. It affects your milk cravings. That’s why infants put everything in their mouth. It is quite natural for babies to seek new tastes and new foods after 6-7 months.
It is sometimes quite natural for babies to consume less milk. They do it for a while and then continue feeding normally. The following reasons can also be responsible for the reduced intake milk intake in infants:
A 6-month old baby can see and hear better than newborns. Therefore, he is more likely to get distracted by the surrounding noises. Mothers should feed the baby in a quiet room or nursery. Thus, the child will stay focused on feeding and distract only when he is full.
You should turn your phone silent and turn off the TV or other noise sources while breastfeeding. It will effectively improve the baby’s diet and he will get much healthier.
Most babies get their first teeth after 6 months. This natural development can also be responsible for the decreased milk intake! Some babies have sore or itchy gums. These issues prevent them from breastfeeding properly.
If your child is getting his first teeth and his milk intake has reduced, you should feed him formula milk. Use a bottle with a soft nipple. Thus, the child will easily consume milk and stay healthy.
Poor breastfeeding posture
Different women prefer different breastfeeding positions according to their convenience. Are you feeding the baby in a position that forces him to put extra efforts into breastfeeding? Change it right now if it is the issue! Cradle, cross-cradle, side-lying, etc. are a few good breastfeeding positions. Try them now! You will see a rapid increase in your baby’s breast milk intake.
A 6-month baby can’t hold the milk bottle on his own. Therefore, you should hold the bottle until your child is feeding. Be there to assist the child until he learns how to hold things. It will help your baby a lot and he will gain enough milk to stay healthy.
Unknown health problems
6-month old babies are quite young. They can’t express it if something is discomforting them. The child will never tell he is not feeling well. His milk intake will reduce and he will look upset most of the time. Such symptoms indicate that your baby is suffering from an unknown health problem.
Fever, cough, rashes, etc. are easily diagnosable health problems in babies. Other health issues, like calcium deficiency, are quite tough to diagnose. Therefore, you should take your child to the doctor if his milk intake reduces with every passing day.
A top-skilled pediatrician will screen your child and find the troubling health problem. Your child will receive good treatment and feel healthier to consume more food.
How to Find Out Whether A 6-month Old Baby Is Hungry or Not?
Every pediatrician and health experts suggest parents feed the child on demand. Babies don’t demand anything when they are 6 months old. They just play, sleep, shout, and cry. How would you know your child is demanding food? Is there a simple way of knowing this thing? Continue reading to learn the signs of hunger in a 6-month old baby!
1. Putting a hand in the mouth
The baby will look a bit restless. He will simply put his hand in his mouth and start sucking it. Most babies do so because they can’t find anything else to soothe their desire. Therefore, they put their fingers or hand in the mouth and start sucking.
Some babies also do it when they are full. So, it is not the ultimate sign! A mother would remember when she fed the child last time. If you fed your child 3-4 hours ago and he is sucking his hand, he is hungry. Pick your child in your arms and breastfeed him!
2. Turning head towards mother or milk bottle
A 6-month old baby is smart enough to recognize his mother. He knows that she fulfills all his needs. Most importantly, the child knows that the mom feeds him. Therefore, the baby will turn constantly towards the mother when he is hungry.
Suppose, there is a milk bottle around your child, he will try to grab it. This thing tells you that your child is hungry. The baby can smell milk and seek it. So, the mother should not wait anymore and feed the child.
3. Smacking, puckering, and licking lips
Babies develop unique ways of showing that they are hungry. Many infants smack, pucker, or lick their lips when they are hungry. It is their way of showing they need food. The baby will soon start crying if you don’t pay attention. That’s how 6 months old children communicate for food.
4. Clenched hands
6 months old babies grope, move, and cycle constantly when they are full. These playful activities reveal the child is happy and comfortable. If the baby is clenching his hands and not playing normally, he is hungry. Hold him and feed him before he cries.
How to Know Your 6-month Old Child Is Full?
The following signs indicate your baby is full and ready to sleep or play:
- He will stop sucking milk and just hold the nipple in his mouth for a while.
- Your baby’s hands will be relaxed and he will look excited to play with you.
- He won’t turn towards the breast if you are holding him on your lap.
- The baby will keep his mouth closed.
- The child will sleep calmly.
6-month-old babies entertain parents and other family members a lot when they are full. You have learned all the important facts about a 6-month baby’s milk intake. Supplement his food with other nutritious meals to assist in the better growth of your child. Feed on demand to ensure your child is healthy and happy.