Feeding Your Baby
Helpful Hints for the Parents of Newborns
The first few weeks of life are a very special time for you and your baby.
Here are some helpful hints that can help keep your baby healthy.
- Be sure to wash your hands before each feeding. Ask others to wash their hands, too. This could keep baby from getting sick.
- Relax and enjoy feeding time. Baby knows how much breastmilk or formula to take. When baby releases the nipple and turns attention to other things, he’s full.
- Baby will take different amounts of breastmilk or formula at different feedings. Be sure to throw out the leftovers in each bottle. Always wash and rinse the bottle and nipple carefully before using them again.
- You can plan to feed your newborn formula every 2 to 3 hours and your breastfed baby a little more often.
- Sometimes babies have a fussy time, often in the late afternoon. This is normal so try not to worry.
- Always hold baby at feeding time! This makes baby feel loved and secure. Propping the bottle can cause ear infections. Also, you may not notice if baby chokes.
- Smoking around baby can cause ear infections and breathing problems. Ask smokers to please step outside or go to another room. If you smoke, this is a good time to quit or cut back. Do not smoke when you are feeding your baby.
- The best food for your baby is breastmilk.
- The best formula for your baby is iron-fortified. The iron does not cause colic or constipation. It helps baby stay healthy.
- Wait until at least four months to start cereal! Then start with rice cereal fed with a spoon. Do not put cereal in the bottle.
- Cereal too early might cause allergies later.
- A little spitting up is normal. If you are worried about how much your baby is spitting up, you may be feeding too much at one time. Try giving less at each feeding. Spit up formula or breastmilk will look curdled. Spit up formula will smell sour. This is normal. Be sure to burp baby gently several times during each feeding to prevent spitting up. Keep baby as upright as possible during burping.
- No honey anytime during the first year! It can cause deadly food poisoning.
- Buy some extra formula when you can afford it. This way you won’t get caught without any. If you don’t use powdered formula, you may want to get some for days you and your baby are away from home.