At Feeding Time
Feeding is one of your baby’s most pleasant experiences. At feeding time, the baby receives nourishment from food and a feeling of security from parents’ loving care. The food helps your baby grow healthy and strong. Parental love starts your baby in the development of a secure and stable personality.

Both you and the baby should be comfortable at feeding time. Choose a position that will help you to relax as you feed your baby. For your baby’s comfort, be sure he or she is warm and dry.

Whether breast-feeding or bottle-feeding, hold your baby close. The baby’s head should be slightly raised and rest in the bend of your elbow.

A Schedule With Flexibility
A feeding schedule usually is most satisfactory if it is flexible, allowing the baby to eat when he or she becomes hungry. Very young babies usually want to be fed every 2 to 4 hours, but older babies may wait for 5 hours between feedings. Although crying is the only way a young baby can complain of hunger, crying may mean other things as well. If your baby occasionally cries within 2 hours after a feeding, hunger probably is not the problem.

Feed your baby on a semi-demand schedule, ie: every 2 to 5 hours as he or she desires. Wake for feedings at least once every 5 hours during the day, but do not awaken for any night feedings (after 10 p.m.) unless specified by one of us.

Type of Feeding
In general, breast milk is the best feeding for a baby. Today’s infant formulas are a suitable alternative. If you decide on formula feeding, we will recommend one fortified with iron. Breast milk or infant formula is usually the only food your baby needs in the first 4 to 6 months of life. Breast milk or infant formula should be continued until your baby’s first birthday. The cow milk that the rest of your family drinks is not appropriate feeding for the first year of life.

Technique of Breast-Feeding
Before feeding your baby, rinse your breasts with plain water, and pat them dry. You may need to help a newborn baby start nursing. Do not push the baby toward the breast. Instead, as you hold the baby, gently stroke the cheek nearer the breast. The baby will respond by turning his or her head to the breast and seeking the nipple.

The nipple and the dark area around it (the areola) should be in the baby’s mouth. Pressure of the baby's mouth on the areola releases milk from your breast. You may need to place a finger or two on your breast to keep it away from the baby’s nose. Otherwise, the baby may have trouble breathing.
Use both breasts during each feeding. When you first begin to nurse, put the baby to each breast for about 5 minutes. Gradually build up to 10 to 15 minutes at the first breast. Continue on the second breast until your baby is satisfied. Many babies will suck for a long time. However, the milk is usually emptied from each breast in 10 to 15 minutes. Prolonged nursing can be exhausting for you and your baby.

Begin each feeding at the breast you finished with the previous time, especially if the baby did not feed long at that breast. We suggest you put a diaper pin on your bra strap to remind yourself which breast to begin with at the next feeding.

If you need to be separated from your baby at feeding time, you can leave either a bottle of milk that you “expressed” (squeezed) from your breasts or a bottle of prepared infant formula which we can recommend. We suggest deferring such feedings until your baby is at least three weeks old. Breast milk does not come in good supply for the first 4 to 5 days and does not reach the maximum amount for 7 to 10 days, so have patience.

Expressed breast milk can be stored in baby bottles and frozen for up to six months. An excellent way for the baby’s father to be involved in feedings is to have Dad feed a bottle of expressed milk each day. Mothers can avoid “supply problems” by drinking large quantities of fluids each day. You need not drink milk and in fact milk consumption may make your baby very fussy and cranky (colicky). Water and juices fill the bill nicely.

Technique of Bottle-Feeding
Strict sterilization of bottles and formula is a carry-over from years past, and is no longer necessary. We suggest using the powder or concentrate rather than the “Ready-To-Use” preparations, because the use of fluoridated tap water will provide the fluoride needed to strengthen developing teeth. If you live in an area with well water or unfluoridated water, please notify us. Your baby will need fluoride drops. We recommend mixing your formula with hot tap water. Formula may be used up to 24 hours after preparation, if refrigerated.

Formula should be allowed to cool to a lukewarm temperature. If it is removed from the refrigerator, heat to a lukewarm temperature by placing bottle in either a large kettle or a bottle warmer. Prior to feeding, test formula temperature by allowing a few drops to fall on the inner surface of your wrist.
Hold the bottle so that the neck of the bottle and the nipple are always filled with formula. This helps your baby receive formula instead of air. Air in the baby’s stomach may give a false sense of being full and may also cause discomfort.

Sucking is part of the baby’s pleasure at feeding time. A baby may continue to suck on a nipple even after it has collapsed. So take the nipple out of the baby’s mouth occasionally to be sure it hasn’t collapsed.

Never prop a bottle and leave your baby alone to feed. Also never put the baby into bed with a bottle. The bottle could slip and make the baby gag. Drinking from a propped bottle may be related to tooth decay in older infants. Remember, too, your baby needs the security and pleasure of being held at feeding time. Face-to-face contact is very important for your baby.

Most babies feed for 15 to 20 minutes. Sometimes your baby will take all the formula in the bottle and sometimes not. Don’t worry; this is normal. You should never force your baby to eat or to finish every bottle. Throw out any formula left in the bottle if not used after 24 hours.

When your baby regularly finishes the entire bottle at each feeding — and sometimes cries for more — it may be time to increase the amount of formula. Your baby will need larger amounts of formula as he or she grows.

We recommend washing your bottles and nipples in a dishwasher or hot tap water.

Test nipples to be sure the holes are the right size. If the nipple holes are too small, the baby may tire of sucking before getting all the formula he or she needs. If the holes are too large, the baby will get too much formula too fast. The baby may also get so much air that he or she spits up all or part of the feeding. When the nipple holes are the right size, warm infant formula should drip smoothly, without forming a stream. To enlarge holes that are too small, use a white-hot needle. An easy way to heat the needle is to put the blunt end in a cork and heat the point in the flame of a match or cigarette lighter.

Burping your baby helps remove swallowed air. To burp your baby hold him or her upright over your shoulder, and gently pat or rub the back. Another way is to place the baby face down across your lap and gently rub the back. Or you can sit the baby on your lap, leaning slightly forward, with your hand supporting the chest.

Burp your baby several times during as well as after each feeding. Sometimes, a baby will not be able to burp. Do not try to force the baby to burp if the first few attempts are not successful. Don’t be alarmed if your baby spits up a few drops when being burped.

Other Feedings
Additional water is not necessary, but 1 to 2 ounces of warm water may be given in hot weather or if your baby fusses soon after a feeding.

Do not give your baby sugary liquids, like soft drinks or juices, to drink from a bottle. They can harm your baby’s teeth or cause diarrhea. Regular milk, also is not as good as breast milk or infant formula for a baby in the first year of life.

You should wait to give solid foods to your baby until he or she is 4 to 6 months old. When that time is near, we will discuss with you the addition of new foods to the baby’s diet.

Vitamin/Mineral Supplements
Exclusively breast fed babies are supplemented with fluoride after six months. Formula fed babies do not generally need supplementary vitamins because they are already present in the formulas. If you plan to use “Ready-To-Use” formula, or if your drinking water is not fluoridated, please let us know, as fluoride supplemen will be necessary. In addition, exclusively breast fed babies should receive vitamin supplements using either Tri-vi-sol® or VI-DAYLIN® ADC drops.