At Feeding Time
Feeding is one of your baby’s (and your) most pleasant experiences. At feeding time, your baby receives nourishment and a feeling of security from your loving care. The food helps your baby grow healthy and strong. Loving care helps your baby develop a sense of security and stability. Both you and your baby should be comfortable at feeding time. Choose a position that will help you relax as you feed your baby. Be sure she/he is warm and dry.
A Schedule With Flexibility
A feeding schedule should be flexible, allowing your baby to eat when she/he becomes hungry. Very young babies usually need to be fed every 2 to 3 hours, but older babies may wait for 4 to 5 hours between feedings. Although crying is the only way a young baby can complain of hunger, crying may mean other things as well. If your baby cries within 2 hours after a feeding, check for other causes such as an uncomfortable position or a wet diaper before feeding her/him again.
Burping Your Baby
Try to burp your baby during and after breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. It’s also a good idea to try burping your baby halfway through a feeding. Burping helps remove swallowed air. To burp, hold the baby in an upright position so that her/his head is directly above her/his stomach. Sometimes a baby will not be able to burp, so don’t try to force one. Don’t be alarmed if your baby spits up a few drops of her/his feeding when being burped.
Feeding Your Baby Other Foods
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is no need to begin feeding a baby solid foods or liquids other than breast milk or formula before 4 to 6 months of age. When that time is near, I will discuss with you the addition of new foods. When solid foods are introduced, generally one new food is begun every several days. When fruit juices are given, they should be limited to a total of no more than 4-6 ounces a day. Water supplementary is unnecessary for both formula-fed and breastfed infants. Whole cow’s milk should not be given before one year of age. Don’t give your baby honey before her/his first birthday. Certain bacteria that are sometimes found in honey may cause a serious disease called infant botulism in your baby. Older children don’t get this disease, so feeding them honey is not dangerous.
The need to supplement an infant’s diet with vitamins or fluoride is individualized, based on what diet your infant is being fed and where you live. Breastfed babies will likely need a vitamin D supplement, starting in the first two months. I will discuss this with you at your first visit and, if indicated prescribe accordingly.