The choice of whether to breast or bottle-feed is up to you. But we do encourage you to try to breast feed your baby. However, if for any reason, you bottle feed, we will support you in that decision. For nursing babies, commence feeding shortly after birth, and continue on demand every 2 to 4 hours. Your milk will come in on day 2-3, and your baby will be more easily satisfied after that time. If you have difficulty breastfeeding, please consider the following:
- Consult with a lactation specialist
- Call our office for advice
- Refer to one of the recommended books on breast feeding
Bottle-fed babies are usually started on a dairy based infant formula, and will feed every 3 to 4 hours. Hold your baby at an angle while feeding, and burp him frequently. The volume of formula needed will increase from ½ to 1 ounce per feeding at birth, to 4-6 ounces at one month of age. The formula does not need to be warmed prior to each feeding. Never warm in the microwave as this may heat the milk unevenly, resulting in oral burn. Like any milk, formula will spoil if left out of the refrigerator for too long. If your baby doesn’t finish a bottle, throw away the remaining portion.
Baby foods are usually introduced between 4 and 6 months of age. Bear in mind that there is no “one way” to introduce solid foods into a baby’s diet; also there is nothing to be gained by trying to introduce all the foods too rapidly. New foods should be started one at a time and then fed 3 to 4 days before a new one is offered. Your doctor will discuss when it is appropriate to start solids at your child’s checkup.
Start with each new food at lunchtime if possible.
Begin with rice cereal, 2 teaspoons mixed with formula or expressed milk. Increase by one or two teaspoons per day for up to 5 days. When you are sure that your infant can tolerate cereal, move that to breakfast or dinner, and start with a new fruit or vegetable at lunchtime. It is best to introduce fruits and vegetables between 4 and 6 months, so that the baby does not get used to only sweeter foods. Once he can tolerate fruits and vegetables he will be able to digest oatmeal. Rice ceral is not preferred as it is a very refined carbohydrate. Meats and other proteins are usually added after 6 months.