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How your baby's growing
At this age, babies tend to gravitate toward stuffed animals, big and small. One might even become your baby's favorite security object. If so, it'll soon be covered in drool and accompanying you everywhere. Don't worry: A "lovey" can be a sign of emerging independence as your little one learns, slowly but surely, to separate from you.
When adding new members to your plush family, look for soft, well-stitched toys. Other good playthings include balls (nothing small enough to fit in your baby's mouth), stacking toys, blocks, and large dolls.
One way to tell if your baby has a favorite plaything or two is by trying to take it away. You may now hear a loud protest when you remove anything your baby really wants.
- Learn more fascinating facts about your 6-month-old's development.
Your life: Handling grandparents with grace
New grandparents mean well. They just tend to mean well a little too much sometimes.
Try not to react too defensively or judgmentally if your parents or in-laws criticize your parenting style, dispense unwanted advice, or otherwise try to influence your choices for raising your baby. Being confident in your own parenting skills will make these unsolicited opinions easier to handle. They may have more years of parenting experience than you do, but you and only you are the parents of this particular child, a fact you can (and may need to) gently remind them of.
By the same token, the wisdom of their experience can be useful. Thank them for their input even as you graciously and clearly stick to your position, if it works better for you right now.
As for spoiling, your baby won't suffer from being held and loved, unless the extra attention routinely interferes with feeding and sleeping practices you've set up. Excessive gift-giving is sometimes a source of consternation for parents, but grandparents usually do this out of genuine love and generosity. When you object to something, remember to start your response on a positive note. Thank the grandparents for their largesse and explain what you'd prefer for your baby.
Learn about: Vegetarian diets for babies
Is it okay to feed my baby a vegetarian diet?
Yes. Your baby can get all the vitamins, minerals, and protein he needs from a nutritious, balanced vegetarian diet. In fact, feeding him that way comes fairly naturally at this stage: A 6-month-old still derives most of his nutrients from breast milk or formula, and the first solid foods you should introduce, after cereal, are mashed or strained fruits and vegetables.
Anything I should watch out for?
A balanced diet is critical for any baby, but particularly if he's skipping a meal here and there. He'll need protein, which fuels the ability grow and heal, so with a meatless diet you'll need to make an effort to include alternative sources.
Let your baby's doctor know whether you plan to further limit your baby's diet to a vegan one – that is, one that doesn't include eggs or dairy products – because you'll need to take special care that he gets enough of certain nutrients, including vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, calcium, and zinc. A vegan diet can be low in iron, so you should make sure he gets iron-rich foods like whole grains, fortified cereals, and leafy greens such as spinach.
What are some good vegetarian sources of protein and other nutrients?
Alternatives to meat and poultry that are appropriate for a baby eating solid foods are cottage cheese, tofu, beans (well cooked and mashed), enriched whole grains (bread, pasta, rice, and cereal), yogurt, and cheese. Make sure to offer foods in bite-size pieces.
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