Back to F.A.Q. index . . .
What do I need to know about feeding
my newborn baby?
Below you will find several F.A.Q. regarding nutrition for
newborns. For more information, review our discussion
Your Child's Diet or visit our Helpful Links section on
Q: What are the advantages of
are happy to support our patients' mothers whether they
decide to breast feed or use formula. Still, breast milk
has been associated with numerous health benefits for both
the baby and the mother. The American Academy of Pediatrics
released a policy statement on February 2, 2005,
highlighting research that provided “strong evidence that
human milk feeding decreases the incidence and/or severity
of a wide range of infectious diseases including bacterial
meningitis, bacteremia, diarrhea, respiratory tract
infection, necrotizing enterocolitis, otitis media, urinary
tract infection, and late-onset sepsis in preterm infants”
for both developed and developing countries of the world.
In addition, “postneonatal infant mortality rates in the
United States are reduced by 21% in breastfed infants.”
Other benefits include the following: breast milk is less
expensive, breast feeding mothers have lower rates of breast
cancer later on in life, and the cuddling and bonding
between mother and baby can be beneficial for both.
Q: How can I tell if I'm
making enough milk?
Expect to see the baby stooling and urinating frequently.
Most women can also feel the breast engorged before a feed
and empty after. If you are not sure if your baby is
feeding well the best thing is to weigh the baby accurately.
If babies feed well they gain weight (after the first few
days of life when they lose weight) at a rate of about an
ounce a day. You can call for an appointment to have the
baby examined and weighed at any time.
Q: What should I do if my
baby is sleeping more and eating less?
This downhill cycle of poor feeding, increased sleeping and
poor milk production can often be avoided or reversed with
vigorous, frequent attempts at feeding (such as waking for
feeds, feeding every 3-4 hours until feeding is well
established, etc.) Often babies like this have to be
examined and weighed to determine if they are becoming
Q: When should I introduce
cereal and other foods?
American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive
breastfeeding (no complementary foods such as juice, water,
or baby or other solid foods) for the first 6 months of
life. The Academy does recognize individual differences in
feeding needs and behaviors. It is acceptable that some
children will begin such foods as early as 4 months or as
late as 8 months.
Q: When should I begin to
give fruit juice and water?
It is our opinion that children usually do not need any
fruit juice or water when they are babies. Of course, on a
hot summer day or if you just want to give something extra a
little water given here or there is perfectly okay. Small
babies usually do fine with breastmilk and no other liquids
Q: Which formula do you
recommend for bottle fed babies?
choice whether to breast feed or bottle feed is yours.
Although we encourage breast feeding, we respect a woman's
right to choose which method to feed her own child. In cases
of choice or circumstance (such as adoption, women not
comfortable with or able to breast feed, various life
circumstances, etc.) we recommend cow's milk based formula
supplemented with iron for the average healthy full-term
newborn. Examples of such formulas are SimilacŪ Advanced and
EnfamilŪ Lipil. We do not recommend "Low Iron" formulas.
Q: When should I change from
formula to milk?
general at about one year old. Some parents switch all at
one from formula to whole cow's milk and others do this more
gradually. Most parents switch all at once, although a
gradual transition to cow's milk probably makes it somewhat
less likely that problems will occur.
Q: Will cereal in the bottle
before bed help my baby sleep through the night? Does
feeding before bed help a baby sleep through the night?
to both questions. It is usually a bad idea to put cereal
in the bottle before bed. This may lead to children waking
up at night with gas and stools. It may also lead to a baby
learning to become dependant on having a "full belly" to
fall asleep. Also, cereal provides "empty calories" for
babies under 4 to 6 months old, with little nutritional
value except in older babies. Feeding before bed usually
does not help a child sleep though the night (at least in
most babies over two or three months old.) Feeding to sleep
can lead to poor dentition, so called “bottle caries.”
Occasionally, feeding before bed helps a baby under two or
three months old sleep through the night, but it often leads
to problems as listed above. For older babies it rarely
helps them sleep through the night, and often leads to
dependence on feeding before bed that can lead to tooth
decay, obesity, and sleep problems that begin at nine to
twelve months of life. In short, when kids get in the habit
of feeding to sleep, it's very hard to break them of that
habit. Also, feeding with a bottle in bed can lead to
recurrent ear infections.
Q: Which formula is best:
ready-to-feed, concentrate or powder?
They all provide the same nutrition. The choice should
depend upon cost, convenience, and the quality of the local
Back to F.A.Q. index . . .