BREAST and FORMULA FEEDING
As pediatricians we know that breast milk is best for your baby because of antibodies passed from mother to baby which help prevent infection. However as working parents, we understand that sometimes breastfeeding is not an option. The formulas that are on the market today are very close to breast milk in nutritional properties and therefore they are perfectly acceptable substitutes. Whichever formula you choose should be fortified. The amount of iron in these formulas meets daily requirements and is usually not sufficient to cause constipation. The most important thing to remember in feeding your new baby is that for the first several weeks you may not have an established feeding schedule. Your baby will need to be fed on demand at the times when he/she is awake. Your baby will spend a lot of time sleeping, anywhere from two to five hours at a stretch. On average, formula fed babies will feed every three to four hours while breastfed babies will feed more frequently, approximately every two and a half to three hours. At around two to four weeks of age when your baby has a more established feeding schedule, you may notice that he/she takes a very long nap during the day. At that time you may want to shift the feeding schedule so that the sleeping period occurs at night when you would like to get your sleep.
The amount your baby eats will change as he/she grows. Formula fed infants will take anywhere from half to two ounces per feed at first. Breastfed infants will feed anywhere from five to twenty minutes on each breast.
If your baby is stooling regularly and wetting diapers well, he/she is getting enough to eat. Your baby will show you when he/she needs more to eat. He/she may feed more frequently, show signs of hunger just after feeding or sleep less through the night. If you are using formula, add an ounce to a feeding. If you are breastfeeding, your breasts will naturally produce more milk in response to these behaviors and the schedule will readjust in a few days. You should drink more yourself to help increase your supply.
Just a quick note regarding stooling patterns. The number of stools naturally slows down between the ages of two and four weeks. This can sometimes be mistaken for constipation because the baby may not stool for a couple of days. If your baby is feeding well and still wetting his/.her diapers, don’t panic! Your baby will exhibit a new normal stooling pattern in a few days.
FOODS to AVOID WHILE BREASTFEEDING
- Cola Products including: -Mello Yello –Orange Soda –Ginger Ale –Mountain Dew
Unless otherwise directed by a physician, your baby’s sole source of nutrition during the first few months of life comes from breastfeeding or formula. When your breast fed baby is requiring more feeding than the established pattern or your bottle fed baby is consistently taking 32 ounces or more per day, it is time to start solid food.
HOW to BEGIN
Start with meat once a day at dinner time. The first couple of weeks may be quite messy and is often frustrating for the baby. You can help ease the frustration by feeding the baby half of his/her breast milk or formula before offering meat on the spoon. This takes the edge off the baby’s hunger. Each day increase the amount your baby is fed. Add one teaspoon of meat each day. Continue until you reach six teaspoons of meat. Expect the baby to drink less when food is introduced. When the baby is again drinking twenty-six ounces of formula or the nursing baby is letting you know that he/she is still hungry, offer meat two times a day. At your next office visit, the doctor will discuss with you when to begin offering your baby fruits or vegetables.
HOW to CONTINUE
Once you have started your baby on solid food, you may introduce one new food every two to three days. You begin slowly so that we can identify any allergies your baby might have. Look for vomiting, diarrhea or a rash with the introduction of each new food. If food allergies, asthma or eczema run in the family, you want to begin new foods every five days instead of 2-3.
IN WHAT ORDER SHOULD I INTRODUCE FOOD?
Introduce in any order
Introduce in any order. If you are making your own baby food, do not give real berries or citrus fruits until the baby’s first birthday.
• Yellow/Orange: squash, turnips, corn, carrots, etc.
• Green: green beans, peas, spinach, etc.
FOODS to AVOID BEFORE AGE ONE
• Peanuts (peanut butter is okay)
• Egg whites
• Hot dogs
If allergies run in your family, you may want to avoid peanuts and peanut products until two or three years of age. Hot dogs and grapes are not highly allergenic foods, however, they are leading causes of choking death in children.
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