Breastfeeding Your Baby
Breastfeeding your baby is healthy for you and your baby.
Here are some reasons why breastfeeding your baby is best:
• Breast milk can help protect your baby against illness. It can protect her from allergies. The American Academy of Pediatrics says it’s good for babies to be breastfed for the first year of life.
• It’s best for mom. Many breastfeeding mothers lose the weight they gained while pregnant faster than mothers who do not breastfeed.
• It creates a bond between mother and baby. You can learn your baby’s signals faster.
• Breast milk is easier to digest than formula and you don’t have to prepare bottles or formula. Breast milk is always ready. Babies do not become constipated from breast milk.
Each baby has her own breastfeeding schedule.
Some babies need to nurse more often than others do. In general, nursing babies need to be fed at least eight to 12 times in a 24-hour period.
That means feedings every two to three hours. If your baby has not fed for several hours and then dozes off after only a few minutes of nursing, gently wake her to encourage her to continue nursing.
Try to help your baby breastfeed until your breasts are emptied of milk or at least 15 minutes from each breast.
Looking for a way for you and baby to be more comfortable while breast feeding? Click on the pink or blue picture below....
If you have any questions or problems with breastfeeding, talk to your doctor, nurse or WIC breastfeeding counselor.
To learn more about breastfeeding your baby, you can call La Leche League at 1-800-LALECHE or visit their Web site at
Follow your baby’s lead. Babies tend to get as much milk as they need when you let them nurse when they want and for as long as they want.
The more your baby nurses, the more milk you will produce. Your milk supply will keep up with your baby’s demand.
How do you know when your baby is hungry? Here are some hunger signs to be aware of:
Early hunger signs:
• Head moves toward voice, mouth opens
• Lips smack, tongue reaches outward
• Hands move "randomly"
• Fists find mouth
• Infant begins fussing
Late hunger signs:
• Brow furrows
• Mouth widens, head moves quickly from side to side
• Fists clench, seeking the mouth
• Baby cries
How you feed your baby is up to you. Breastfeeding is best for you and your baby. But there may be reasons why you will need to feed your baby infant formula.
Remember always to hold your baby while bottle feeding. Never put the bottle in your baby’s mouth and leave her.
Here are the three basic types of formula:
• Powdered formulas that are mixed with water
• Liquid concentrates that are mixed with water
• Pre-mixed formulas ready to put in the bottle or already in ready-to-feed bottles
When you mix powdered formulas or liquid concentrate formulas, follow the package directions exactly and add just the right amount of clean water.
Be sure not to add too much or too little water. If the formula is premixed and ready-to-feed, do not add any water.
Talk to your doctor about the best formula for your baby.
Protect Your Baby’s Future Teeth
Even when your baby is only two months old, you should keep her gums healthy and clean.
Gently wipe her gums with a wet, clean, soft cloth every day. The most important thing to remember is never to put your baby to bed with a bottle. And never prop up the bottle at any time.
Any kind of drink except water can cause a baby’s teeth to decay, even breast milk and infant formula.
Other liquids that cause tooth decay are powdered fruit drinks, soda and juice. Any drink that contains sugar can cause tooth decay when your baby gets older. A two-month-old baby should drink only breast milk, formula or water.
Here are some tips to follow to protect your baby’s teeth:
• Always hold your baby during feedings. Do not prop up the bottle or leave a bottle in your baby’s bed.
• If your baby needs a pacifier at bedtime, make sure it is clean and dry. Do not dip the pacifier in honey or sweet liquids. Your baby might like the sweet taste, but these liquids will cause tooth decay when her teeth come in. Germs in honey can also make a baby sick.
• Help prevent the spread of germs to your baby. You and your family should have regular dental checkups to help keep your own teeth and gums healthy. Clean the nipples of your baby’s pacifiers and bottles by washing with soap and rinsing carefully and thoroughly with clean water.