3 Tips to Prevent Your Baby from Gaining More Weight than Recommended

In order for the baby not to gain more weight than recommended, a series of basic tips should be taken into account. Breastfeeding is key.
3 Tips to Prevent Your Baby from Gaining More Weight than Recommended
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 16 December, 2022

Ensuring that your baby doesn’t gain more weight than recommended is essential to avoid metabolic diseases in the future. Otherwise, it could develop a state of inflammation that could affect its health. To do this, it’s important to offer a varied diet that’s sufficient in energy, but without overdoing it. Balance is the key in this case.

Before we begin, it should be noted that for the first 6 months breastfeeding should be the exclusive feeding method. Milk is the best element for your baby, as it has all the nutrients it needs in sufficient quantities. However, after 6 months, it will be important to supplement with other products.

Here, we’re going to offer you a series of tips for your baby not to gain more weight than recommended. This way, you’ll also be able to ensure that they maintain an optimal feeding status.

1. Avoid free sugars

Foods with added sugars are the worst option for babies, as they negatively condition the functioning of their metabolism. In the same way, they can have an impact on the levels of inflammation and even on the dietary preferences of the little ones.

A high consumption of this kind of product during the first stages of life is related to a greater risk of developing excess weight in the future. This is according to research published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. However, added sugar isn’t the same as sugar that’s naturally present in food. For example, the sugar in fruits shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

A baby eating finger foods while sitting at the table.
Allowing children to handle food helps them to become familiar with its organoleptic characteristics. In any case, it should always be under adult supervision.

2. Offer food for the child to handle

The method known as baby-led weaning could be positive for little ones to get used to the organoleptic characteristics of food and to avoid rejections in the future. It will also help to keep them at the right weight, as it’ll be more difficult for them to overeat. After all, it’ll take them some time to handle the food and eat it later.

According to a study published in the journal Current Nutrition Reports , it’s a safe method for children and has several benefits. However, it must be carried out with adult supervision to avoid choking. Also, keep in mind that very small or difficult-to-handle pieces shouldn’t be offered.

3. Don’t abandon breastfeeding until the first 12 months of age, at least

Exclusive breastfeeding is essential until the baby is 6 months old. However, experts recommend that you offer this food at least until the first year of life, as it produces benefits that have been clearly evidenced. This way, not only will there be a superior strengthening of the immune system, but also a reduction in the incidence of many metabolic diseases.

We can even affirm that breastfeeding has a positive effect on the composition of the microbiota, which will help the subsequent digestive processes. Even if complementary feeding has been initiated, it’s not advisable to neglect to breastfeed on demand for the little ones. This provides an excellent supply of nutrients that will ensure that all daily requirements are met.

If it’s not possible to offer more milk, a well-formulated substitute product should be sought. Many of those on the market have low doses of omega-3 and an excessive supply of simple and free sugars. This isn’t good for weight maintenance.

A woman sitting in bed breastfeeding her baby.
Breast milk should be the exclusive food for babies until six months of age. After that, it should be continued until at least 12 months of age, although you’ll need to supplement their diet with other foods to meet all the requirements.

As you’ve seen, the advice so that babies don’t gain more weight than recommended is very simple to follow. It’s only necessary to ensure the presence of natural foods in the complementary diet to achieve an optimal nutritional intake. It’s also essential to breastfeed for the first 12 months of life. This is the best combination to ensure good future health.

Keep in mind that there are a series of food introduction tables that can be used to know precisely when to start offering different foods. Some of them shouldn’t be consumed before the first year, as they’ll cause a higher incidence of allergies or could lead to dangerous choking.

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  • Fidler Mis N, Braegger C, Bronsky J, et al. Sugar in Infants, Children and Adolescents: A Position Paper of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Committee on Nutrition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2017;65(6):681-696. doi:10.1097/MPG.0000000000001733
  • Brown A, Jones SW, Rowan H. Baby-Led Weaning: The Evidence to Date. Curr Nutr Rep. 2017;6(2):148-156. doi:10.1007/s13668-017-0201-2

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