Feeding Your Infant: Ages 0 to 4 Months
Congratulations! You’re the proud (and nervous) parent of the world’s most beautiful baby! Giving your baby love and nurturing comes so naturally to you. So does showing him or her off to your family, friends, and even perfect strangers! But when it comes to feeding, you may feel a little unsure of what to do. Here are some guidelines from the South Dakota Department of Health.
What Foods are Best?
Breast milk or iron-fortified formula are the only foods recommended for the first four months of life. A breast-fed baby should be fed on demand. An average infant fed iron-fortified formula should drink about 2.5 ounces per pound of body weight. For example, a 10-pound baby should eat about 25 ounces of formula in 24 hours (10 pounds x 2.5 ounces = 25 ounces).
When babies go through growth spurts, they will eat more. A newborn baby may feed between 8-12 times a day, or even more. Growth spurts may occur at 2-4 weeks, three months, and six months, and may last 1-2 days.
|1–2 months||6–8 feedings or on demand||6–10 feedings of 2–4 ounces each|
|3–4 months||5–6 feedings or on demand||5–6 feedings of 4–7 ounces each|
Do not give solid foods until your baby is ready! According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, in the first six months, water, juice, and other foods are generally unnecessary for breast-fed infants. Formula-fed babies may be ready for solids between 4-6 months. Look for the following signs that your baby is ready:
- Holds neck steady
- Sits without support
- Opens mouth when food is offered
- Draws in lower lip when spoon is removed from mouth
- Keeps food in mouth and swallows it
- Reaches for food, showing he/she wants some
Do not give cow’s milk, honey, syrup, Kool-Aid, or soda (pop) to your baby! Breast milk or iron-fortified formula is best.
What Are My Choices?
|Benefits of Breastfeeding||Benefits of Iron-Fortified Formula|
|Why not cow’s milk?||Why not low-iron formula?|
What Can I Expect?
Bottles and Storage
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in a many products, including plastic containers or bottles (with recycling number 7), as well as canned goods. While BPA's effects in humans is still being studied, some experts recommend that you limit your baby's exposure to this chemical. To learn more, read the article "
American Academy of Pediatrics
Food and Nutrition Information Center
About Kids Health
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
American Academy of Pediatrics website. Available at: http://www.aap.org/.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Public Health. Advisory regarding bishphenol A (BPA). http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=eohhs2pressrelease&L=4&L0=Home&L1=Government&L2=Departments+and+Divisions&L3=Department+of+Public+Health&sid=Eeohhs2&b=pressrelease&f=090803_bpa_advisory&csid=Eeohhs2. Published August 2009. Accessed August 24, 2009.
Jones P. BPA raising concerns. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=15topicID=81. Updated November 2009. Accessed March 5, 2010.
South Dakota Department of Health website. Available at: http://www.state.sd.us/DOH/.
Last reviewed July 2008 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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