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Infant Feeding - 0 - 4 months

 

 

Ideal Food Feeding Pattern Artificial Feeding
Click here Breast feeding
Introduction to bottle
Night feeding
Introduction
Modification to the formula
Sterilisation
Intervals of feeding
Technique of feeding
Contraindications

 

FEEDING PATTERN

Breast feeding

Stomach capacity has never been given much importance while telling a mother how to feed her baby. This results in mothers either force feeding or getting unnecessarily worried about baby not taking enough.

Stomach capacity(0 – 4 months): 30 – 86 ml (6-14 tsp.)

No top feeding / Supplementary foods at all as:

  • Breast milk alone can supply all requirements
  • Solids given close to breast feed can reduce the absorption of nutrients from milk
  • Ability to move food and chew does not develop before 3 - 4 months
  • Poor head control and cannot hold neck up for swallowing
  • Food digestion is poor as stomach is small (30 - 86 ml)

Foods:

The current recommendations are to exclusively breastfeed your baby until around 6 months of age- this means that they do not require any substitute milks, water, juices, or foods until around 6 months when you would continue to breastfeed your baby alongside the introduction of complementary foods, for up to 2 years or beyond if it suits both mother and child.

Some may start weaning at 4 months of age

Simplifying it – till six months breast milk as the only source of milk; no milk from out provided mother has enough lactation

Breast fed babies will often continue having night feeds for more months- not all, but many will and this is completely normal. Some babies may not give up breast feed at night for 2-3 yrs. When breast milk is regularly consumed the rate of milk production remains what the baby needs to grow; so moms need not worry about ‘is the baby getting enough?’.

Because all our babies and breasts are unique, the pattern of milk consumption and frequency or duration of feeds are never the same between mother/child pairs.

Some babies would very much still need night feeding after 3 months from a nutritional perspective, and since one of the several advantages of breast-feeding is that promotes bonding between mother and infant. Infant learns to depend on/ enjoy the comfort / calming effect the period of breast-feeding provides; many babies would require the closeness of their mother in the nights for many months, which again is totally normal.