How to Feed Your Baby

Hangry is defined as a time when you are so hungry from lack of food that it makes you angry, frustrated or both. Your baby has this same reaction when its belly is empty. It will cry loudly and let you know it’s time to eat.

We all know that food is imperative to living. But your infant needs you to feed it. In most cases, the baby wants a mother’s breast milk or infant formula that is prepared in a bottle.

Here we will discuss some guidelines regarding your baby’s eating needs, breastfeeding, formula preparation and cow’s milk to help you properly feed your little one.

How Much Can Your Baby Eat?

Many new moms want to know how much their baby needs to eat. It’s a hard question to answer because all babies need varies. Every child is different. Also, it can depend on whether your baby is being breastfed or drinking formula.

According to WebMD, a newborn can eat eight to twelve times a day during the first month. The average baby will eat every two to three hours. They also can average every 1.5 hours if breastfeeding. An average up to fifteen times a day.

The average formula feed baby consumes about 1.5 to 3 ounces per feeding while a breastfed baby who is about one month old can consume up to 4 ounces. As the baby continues to grow, its consumption will also increase.

Daily feeding needs will vary from day-to-day. Proper nourishment is essential is your baby’s development. Make sure that you continue to feed your baby as his/her appetite grows. Monitoring the weight with your local pediatrician is also advisable.

Your baby will show signs of weight gain, plenty of wet diapers and be active and happy. These are all good signs that he/she is getting the right amount of food. Trusting your instincts is also key in knowing your baby’s needs.

Should You Breastfeed Your Baby?

Today, breastfeeding is a hot topic that many moms have differing opinions on. Unfortunately, breastfeeding does come with a stigma. Everyone has an opinion. Every family member, friend, and even strangers will share their comment. Even the US government is starting to take a stance on breastfeeding. Whichever side you are on, take a moment to think about the benefits breastfeeding can have on your child.

The health benefits of breastfeeding are essential to your baby. It has been stated that breastfed babies have a lower rate of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. WebMD also states that breastmilk has essential nutrients that help protect babies from infections because of its antibodies and hormones.

Most new moms feel uncomfortable, awkward, frustrating and sometimes unproductive. Nursing your baby is a learning process and will take time to properly breastfeed. Some women find breastfeeding uncomfortable and sometimes painful at first.

Don’t get discouraged. You are providing your baby with valuable nourishment. Ask for help while you are still in the hospital. They can advise you how to hold your baby correctly and show you how your baby needs to properly latch on.

Don’t be embarrassed. Your body is adjusting to producing milk.

Be patient. Once colostrum clears, the breastmilk will be able to flow properly.

Many breastfeeding moms purchase nursing products that help make life a little easier:

  • Breast pump - helps pump milk and store for future feedings
  • Nipple creams - help with the discomfort
  • Nursing bras – access to feeding easily
  • Nursing cover - provides your baby a little privacy when feeding 


The quiet time breastfeeding your baby will also help develop your motherly bond. Many new moms cherish these moments with their baby.

If you need help with breastfeeding issues, there are numerous local supports available for advice via phone and even home visits.

But if nursing your baby is not something that you feel comfortable with, that’s OK too. The market is full of infant formula that provides your baby with options to bottle feed.

Bottle Feeding Your Baby

For parents who chose to bottle feed your baby, there are many options available on the market today.

You can choose a glass or plastic bottle to feed your baby. Some bottles are shatterproof. If you choose a plastic kind, be sure that it is BPA free.

There are a variety of baby bottle nipples. Some are made of silicone and others made of latex. Each one varies in shape and size depending on nipple hole for desired flow of infant formula.

Once you have chosen your bottle and nipple, be sure to sterilize all materials before using. The materials need to be placed in boiling water for at least five minutes.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the water you use to mix infant formula must be from a safe water source. Check your local water district for more information.

Choosing the type infant formula is up to you. Some parents choose one that is made from cow’s milk but others choose soy milk formulas or hypoallergenic formulas. Make sure the one you choose is an iron-fortified formula.

Each infant formula should be mixed properly according to the directions from the manufacturer. The formula label is stated to prevent any issues with nutrition values. Too little or too much water changes the consistency of formula. Always make formula as needed, not in large batches. Do not leave out for more than one hour. Be sure to throw out the leftover formula in a bottle.

Test the temperature of a warmed bottle in advance before giving to your baby. Some say the best to test is putting a few drops on the inside of your wrist. You can also serve infant formula using room temperature water.

An opened container of formula needs to be covered and refrigerated. Must be discarded after 48 hours. Infant formula is a bit pricey so be sure to follow directions accurately.

After your baby is done eating, be sure to wash the bottle and nipple with hot water and dish wash detergent or put in the dishwasher. Check the nipples regularly for any cracks, discoloration or signs of wear. Replace them immediately to prevent a choking hazard.

Can I Give My Baby Cow’s Milk?

Unfortunately, babies are not able to digest cow’s milk. It has a high concentration of proteins and minerals that can stress a newborn’s kidneys and lead to possible diarrhea, heat stress or fever. Cow’s milk can also lack nutritional values of iron, vitamin C and other nutrients a baby needs.

Its known to cause stomach and intestine lining issues which leads to loss of blood in stools. Growing babies also need healthy fats that cow’s milk does not have. It is not advised to give your child cow’s milk for the first twelve months.

Conclusion

Your baby’s nutrition is essential in his/her cognitive and physical development. Daily feedings will continue to increase over time as your baby grows. Whether you breastfeed or choose to use infant formula, you are providing a strong foundation of health for your child. Remember to monitor your child’s weight, change lots of wet diapers and look for signs of a happy baby. Now let’s eat! I’m hangry.

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