Newborn Care Guide
- Table Of Contents
- Feeding Your Baby
- Bottle Feeding
- Common Breastfeeding Issues
- Is Something Wrong?
- Other Care Issues
- Recommended Immunization Schedule
Breastfeeding vs. Bottle Feeding
After you have your baby, the two most common activities will be changing diapers and feeding your baby.
You may choose to breastfeed, bottle feed, or use a combination of both. Some parents are undecided about what method they will use to feed their baby right up until the baby is born. That's OK. The important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong decision. You must make the decision that is right for you - not for someone else.
If you haven't already run into this problem... you will: how and what you feed your baby will generate more comments and suggestions from friends and family members than anything else, except maybe crying! You will soon meet the "Buttinskis". These people know all and are not shy about telling you exactly what you should do and how you should do it. Sometimes they are friends and sometimes they are family members. Whichever they are, be polite; tell them you'll consider what they say; thank them for their interest; then do what you want! You are the parents!
For proper growth and development, breast milk or iron-fortified formula is all your baby should need for the first four months of life. Giving solid foods, juices, or homogenized milk too early can lead to allergies, anemia, and being overweight. Feeding solid foods may also decrease the intake of breast milk or formula and reduce the amount of needed nutrients your baby consumes.
Contrary to popular belief, solid foods don't make a baby sleep through the night. Usually, most babies sleep through the night once they weigh between 13 and 15 pounds, regardless of what they eat.
Good nutrition will help you produce an adequate supply of milk and maintain your own health while breastfeeding. Breast milk is approximately 87% water, so be sure to drink plenty of water. It is recommended that you continue your prenatal vitamin and mineral supplements. Some types of drugs pass into breast milk. Do not take any medications without the approval of your physician or nurse practitioner.
Infant formula is cow's milk that has been modified so that it is similar to breast milk in nutrient content There are soymilk formulas available for babies who are allergic to cow's milk formulas. If you think your baby is allergic to cow's milk formula discuss it with your physician or nurse practitioner.
The three forms of formula are: Ready-to-Feed, liquid Concentrate, and Powder. Remember, buy iron fortified formula It is important to read the label carefully and follow directions exactly when preparing the concentrate or powder formula. Prepare only enough for 24 hours and refrigerate it. Throw away formula left in the bottle after feeding. Discard formula not used in 24 hours.
Since breast milk is digested faster than formula, breastfed infants may want to eat more frequently, perhaps 8 to 12 times each 24 hours. Nurse your baby 15-20 minutes on each side. Growth spurts occur at approximately three weeks and six weeks of age and your baby will want to nurse longer and/or more often during these times. Letting the baby nurse longer and/or more often will allow your breasts to make more milk and keep up with the increased demands of the growth spurts.
If your baby is wetting 6 to 8 diapers a day and gaining weight at the appropriate rate when visiting the doctor, your baby is getting enough milk. You will soon learn to recognize when your infant is full or still hungry. Do not force your infant to finish what you have prepared. If your infant begins to finish all of the feeding add an extra 1/2 to I ounce at the next feeding.
Although not absolutely necessary, it is OK to give your baby a few sips of water each day. Don't add sugar to the water. Your infant should learn to drink plain water. Pedialyte is NOT a water substitute. It is to be used when your child is ill with vomiting and/or diarrhea and is at risk of becoming dehydrated.
If you give your infant iron-fortified formula, no additional vitamin or iron supplements are necessary. If you are breastfeeding and you are taking your prenatal vitamins as recommended, your infant also does not require additional vitamins or iron. If your infant is a "preemie" additional your physician or nurse practitioner may prescribe vitamins and iron. Whether your baby needs Fluoride supplementation will be decided at a later time by your health care provider.
page last modified on: 5/7/2013