When you have your baby at your home in the first few weeks, then it can be overwhelming for you and your partner. But, as weeks are passing, you and your partner will adjust to the new role in your life. You will feel more confident and comfortable. Many women are worried about their babies in the first three months because they are not sure if their milk can feed their baby. But, you need to remember that during the first three months of your baby, the breast milk or milk formula will provide all the nutrition needed.
Doctors are recommending to parents feed their babies only with breast milk until the baby is six months. If the mother does not have milk, then she can give formula feeding. It is advised for mothers to gradually introduce solid foods to their babies. In some studies is said that feeding babies with only solid foods in the period of the first three months, can help to improve their long–term health and it can help them to sleep better. Breast milk is healthier than formula, so many governments are encouraging mothers to breastfeed their babies.
It is recommended for mothers to breastfeed her baby about eight times per day. When your baby seems hungry, then you can breastfeed him or her. You need to burp your baby a few times during and after feeding. If your baby’s diet is a combination of breast milk and formula, then talk with your doctor about the advice that can help you to know how much he or she needs to eat.
Foods for 1-3 Month Old Baby:
What changes you can expect:
You need to remember that as your infant grows, feeding will change. Babies will start drinking more milk during each feeding, so they will not need to be fed as often and they will sleep longer at night. Also, your baby’s appetite will increase during the growth spurts. You need to continue feeding your baby on demand and you can increase the number of feedings as needed. As the weeks go by, your baby will become more alert and he or she will start to cooing and smiling.
In this period, there will be more interaction between you and your baby during feedings. These things are general guidelines, so you and your baby may be hungrier more or less often than this. This is a reason why you need to pay attention to your baby’s signals of being hungry or full. The baby who is getting enough might slut down, stop or turn away from the bottle or breast, so you should not be worried if this happens with your baby.
In the beginning, you may be wondering how much you need to feed your newborn, but you need to continue to feed your baby whenever he or she seems hungry. In the first month, it is recommended to feed your baby about eight times in one day (this is for breastfed babies) or about every 3 – 4 hours for bottle-fed babies. If your baby is mid – growth spurt, then he or she may want to eat a little more often.
Breastfeeding: How much and how often?
As your baby is getting older, he or she will start to breastfeed less often and he or she will sleep longer at night. When your baby seems alerts, content, and active, then your baby is eating enough. If your baby is steadily gaining weight, growing, and developing, then your baby is probably eating enough milk. Your baby is eating enough if he or she eats six to eight times per day. If your baby is wetting and soiling diapers on a regular basis, then your baby is eating enough milk. If your baby does not appear satisfied, even after feeding and he or she cries constantly or is irritable, then your baby might not be eating enough.
It is noticed that a few weeks after the birth, breastfed babies tend to have fewer bowel movements than they had before. When your baby is around two months of age, and then your baby may not have a bowel movement after each feeding, or even every day. If you have noticed that your baby does not have a bowel movement after three days, then you need to talk with your doctor about this condition. During periods of rapid growth, you can notice that your baby may want to feed more often.
This frequent nursing is sending a signal that your body needs to make more milk. But, in a couple of days, the supply and demand will get into balance. Infants who are breastfed need to take Vitamin D supplements in the period of first few days of life. Other supplements, solid foods, juice, and water are not usually necessary. After nursing, your breasts feel softer, because your baby has emptied some of the milk which was making them firm and this is a sign that your baby is probably getting enough nourishment.
Also, if your baby seems satisfied and relaxed after feeding, then he or she is getting enough milk from your breasts. In most cases, mothers are able to provide their babies with all the milk they need, but sometimes babies do not get enough. When the problem is not discovered, then this can cause the baby to suffer from dehydration or failure to thrive. These are uncommon but serious problems, so you need to take extra care of your baby during the first three months.
Formula feeding: How much and how often:
It is noticed that babies digest formula more slowly than breast milk. If you are bottle-feeding your baby, then you can notice that your baby may have fewer feedings than a breastfed infant. As your baby grows, he or she can eat more at each feeding and it can go for longer stretches between feedings. Also, you can notice that your baby is starting to sleep longer at night. During the second month, your baby can take about four or five ounces at each feeding.
By the end of the third month, your baby will need an additional ounce at each feeding. When you are using a bottle for feeding your baby is easy to overfeed him or her, because it is easier to drink from a bottle than from a breast. You should be sure that the hole on the bottle’s nipple is the right size. The milk in the bottle should drip slowly from the hole and not pour out. Also, you need to resist the urge to finish the bottle when your baby shows signs of being full.
You should never prop a bottle because propping a bottle can cause choking and it can increase the chances of getting tooth decay and ear infections. Your doctor will tell you where your baby falls on the growth charts and he will help you that your baby has been growing steadily and he or she has a healthy amount of formula. If you think that your baby is taking too little or too much formula, then talk with your doctor.
When your baby is continuing to gain weight after his or her first ten days and follows a healthy growth curve during the first years, then this is a sign that your baby is getting all the formulas that he or she needs. When you are finished with feeding and your baby seems relaxed and satisfied, then you should know that he or she is eating the right amount of formula. If your baby wets 2 – 3 diapers per day in the first few days after birth, then you should remember that your baby is getting the right amount of formula.
If your baby vomits after a feeding, then this could be a sign that he or she had too much. Also, the tummy pain can be a sign of overfeeding. If your baby’s tummy seems tense or your baby draws up her legs or her tummy, then this could be a sign of pain in the tummy, so you need to talk with your doctor about the pain and the right amount of feeding your baby.
Should you worry about spitting up:
You need to know that it is normal for babies to spit up after eating or during burping. When your baby spits up a small amount (which is less than one ounce or 30 ml), then you should not be worried as long as this happens within an hour of feeding and does not bother your baby. There are some things which you can do to reduce the spitting up in the early months, such as
- Avoid overfeeding your baby
- You can feed your baby before he or she gets very hungry
- You need to burp your baby regularly
- You need to keep your baby in a semi-upright position during the feeding and an hour after
- You should not play vigorously or jostle with your baby right after a feeding
You need to call your doctor if your baby seems to spit up large amounts or it spits up forcefully. Also, you need to visit the doctor if your baby is not gaining weight as expected, seems to lose weight, or is irritable during or after feedings. You need to call your doctor right away if your child has a fever or shows any signs of dehydration, such as not wetting diapers.