You are encouraged to come to the MindUp regularly with your child (preferably every 100 days) for growth monitoring and promotion!
- Put a picture of the baby in the HMF first 1,000 days album -
Day 400: 4 - 5 months old
In case of concerns or difficulties after giving birth or breastfeeding, or concerning the health of the baby, a mother should always see a health professional at the local health center!
First 1,000 days and the prevention of stunting:
- The first 1,000 days covers the period of 9 months pregnancy + first 24 months of life
- During this period children grow at very high speed: they triple their weight, almost double their height, and their brain makes millions of connections
- This period is crucial for helping children to reach their full potential
- Even before birth, the fetus is at risk if the mother lacks essential nutrients needed for the brain, bone, and organ development of the baby
Note: Most stunting (low height-for-age) happens in this critical period and is almost always irreversible!
Growth monitoring and promotion is very important:
- Measuring the height and weight of a child regularly is important to make sure the child grows and develops well
- The weight and height of a child can be seen and measured, but the most important growth of the brain cannot be seen, however, if we see that a child grows well in height, we can assume that the brain also is developing well
Note: The baby's weight should be measured monthly and the height every 3 months at the local health center or MindUp
Read and watch the videos about:
- The importance of exclusive breastfeeding (the baby only receives breastmilk, no other liquids or solids are given - not even water) in the first 6 months of life
- Breastfeeding positions and attachment to the breast (when necessary)
- Benefits of breastmilk over animal milk or formula milk
Note: If you are experiencing any problems with breastfeeding, it is good to discuss this with a MUM or a health care professional.
Responsive feeding and caring:
It is very important to respond to the baby’s cues for feeding and comfort in order for the child to develop well and reach its full potential.
Take vitamin A supplements:
- You should take a vitamin A supplement right after birth (or within a few weeks) and one in 6 months after birth, this is important to ensure good health and protection against infections for both you and your child.
- Vitamin A boosts your immune system and the baby receives vitamin A through breastmilk
- Make sure your child gets a vitamin A capsule at 6 months of age
You should eat the following in the period that you are breastfeeding:
- Continue to eat a few extra healthy snacks a day while breastfeeding
- Drink plenty of water (2 Liters a day) and juice
- Eat a healthy and diverse diet
- There are no special foods required to produce an adequate amount of breastmilk, the baby will make sure there is enough produced by drinking often
When your baby is 6 months of age, you can start complementary feeding:
- At 6 months of age, breastmilk alone is no longer enough to meet the nutritional requirements of the baby, other foods and liquids are needed along with breastmilk
- Complementary feeding is the transition between exclusive breastfeeding and family foods
- Complementary feeding covers the period from 6-24 months of age, even though breastfeeding may continue to two years of age and beyond
Note: Breastmilk is still the most important nutrition source at this age
- Eating skills: Breastfeeding is best (0-6 months) - Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life is the best nutritional start for babies, tongue moves forward and back to suck.
- Brain & Cognitive Development: By 4 months a child can grab objects. Movements become more purposeful, improved eye-hand coordination (able to transfer an object from one hand to the other), start to babble.
- Emotional Development: smiles for attention, exhibits fear, anger, and disgust through crying.
- Physical Changes: sits with help/support, on tummy pushes up on arms with straight elbows.
- Physiological Changes: doubles birth weight by 6 months, development of the acquired immune system, visual acuity and hearing mature.