What to feed the baby between 0-4 months of age?
Breast milk or formula ONLY. No water, honey, gutti or anything else. The recommended age for starting solids is 4-6 months.
Breast Milk.. Is your baby getting enough?
Signs that your breastfeeding baby is getting enough nourishment:
- Your breasts feel softer after nursing, because your baby has emptied some of the milk that was making them firm.
- After a feeding, your baby seems relaxed and satisfied.
- Babies usually lose up to 10% of the birthweight in the first week of life, and they are back to birth weight by the end of second week. In the first month, your baby should gain 5 to 10 ounces a week; in months 2 and 3, she should gain 5 to 8 ounces a week; in months 3 to 6, she should gain between 2.5 and 4.5 ounces a week; and from 6 to 12 months, she should put on 1 to 3 ounces a week.
- In the first few days, your milk is thick and small in amount. It is called Colostrum. In the forst few days of life, your baby may have only one or two wet diapers a day. After your milk comes in, though, your baby will wet six to eight cloth diapers a day, or five or six disposables. (Disposables can hold more liquid than cloth diapers.)
- In the first month, your baby has at least three stools a day, and they lighten to a yellowy mustard color by the fifth day after birth. She may have less frequent bowel movements once she's a month old. In fact, it's not uncommon for breastfed babies to skip a day of bowel movements now and then. Once she's eating solid foods, at about 6 months, she'll probably become quite regular and go back to having at least one bowel movement a day.
Formula feeding.. Is it OK?
While breast milk is best for the baby and should be the first choice, formula feeding is also an option if there are social, medical or other constraints. Mothers should try to breast feed atleast in the initial 3-4 weeks, as breast feeding is well established by that time and most healthy antibodies are transferred in the initial days. If formula feeding is to be done, combining it with breast feeding should be considered. Breast feeding should be done first, followed by formula feeding in this case. If you plan to use formula for occasional feedings, limit bottles to one per 24 hours to avoid slowing your milk production.
Make sure that the formula that you use for your baby is iron-fortified to prevent anemia. Follow-up formulas are specifically designed for babies 4 to 12 months old who are already eating some solids. Follow-up formulas contain more calcium, iron, protein, and calories than infant formulas. They're often a bit cheaper too.
Cow or Buffalo milk should not be introduced to the baby before atleast one year of age.