Feeding Your Baby – What New Moms Need to Know
Congratulations on becoming a mom! It's a wonderful, amazing time. There's so much to learn, and it can all feel very daunting. One of the most important things you need to know as a new mom is how to properly feed your baby. This guide will provide you with some important basics that every new mom should know about feeding her baby. From breast milk to formula, we will help guide you on the best ways to keep your little one healthy and well-nourished. Keep reading for more information!
Breastfeeding is Best for Babies, But Formula is Fine, Too
There's no shame in formula-feeding your baby – it's a perfectly valid option, and many mothers choose it for various reasons. However, if you can breastfeed, it's definitely the best option for your baby. Breastmilk is the perfect food for a baby's digestive system. It has all the nutrients a baby needs in the first six months of life. Breast milk has antibodies that help protect babies from bacteria and viruses.
However, not all mothers are able to breastfeed. Some have to go back to work outside the home soon after their baby is born. Others have health conditions that make breastfeeding difficult or impossible. Additionally, some babies have difficulty digesting breast milk. For these families, high-quality European infant formulas are a nutritious alternative to breast milk.
Feed Your Baby on Demand
Babies will let you know when they're hungry and when they're full. It's important to listen to their cues and not try to force them to eat more than they want or need. Every baby is different, so trust your maternal instinct!
How Often Do Babies Need to Feed?
Most newborns need eight to twelve feedings a day. That means about every two to three hours. By 2 months old, they will feed every three to four hours. By month 6, there may feed every five to six hours.
As your baby grows and becomes more efficient at feeding, he or she will take in more milk during each feeding and go longer in between. The length of time between feedings also varies from baby to baby and will depend on whether your infant is exclusively breastfed or formula-fed. Note that breastfed infants tend to eat more frequently than formula-fed infants in the first few weeks of life, as breastmilk is digested more quickly.
Watch for Signs That Your Baby Is Ready to Feed
It can be tough to know when your baby is hungry. They can't exactly tell you, after all. However, there are some signs you can watch for that will clue you in that it might be time for a feeding.
A good way to know if your baby is hungry is by watching for early hunger cues. These can be anything from moving their hands to their mouth or moving their heads from side to side. Other signs include sucking on fists and fingers, lip-smacking, sticking out their tongues, and fussing and crying. If you see any of these signs, it's probably time to start preparing a bottle or sit down for a nursing session.
Make Sure Baby is Getting All Nutrients They Need
Growing babies need plenty of nutrients to develop properly, and there are several ways to ensure they're getting everything they need. If you're breastfeeding, great! Breast milk has the perfect balance of vitamins and minerals to help babies grow. However, if you are a breastfeeding mother who follows a vegetarian diet, you may need to supplement with vitamin B12.
Formula feeding? No problem! Just make sure that you're using a high-quality formula that contains all the nutrients your baby needs. European organic infant formulas are fortified to make them as similar to breast milk as possible—giving babies all the nutrition they need to grow and be healthy.
If you are formula feeding your baby, it is important to choose a formula that is nutrient-rich and free of any harmful substances. European law requires that all baby formulas list all their ingredients on the label. This makes it easy for parents to see exactly what's inside their child's formula. Organic European baby formulas such as HiPP or Holle are made only with organic ingredients and no GMOs, which could potentially be harmful to children's health. These infant formulas don't contain any preservatives, additives, or other chemicals that could be dangerous to your child's safety.
In addition, European baby formulas are more stringently regulated when it comes to nutrition. There are minimum and maximum levels for each nutrient, including carbohydrates (which provide energy), fat content (needed for maintaining skin health), vitamins, and minerals. Consequently, they have a nutritionally superior profile compared to their American counterparts.
Introduce Solid Foods Gradually
Once your baby is around six months old, you can start introducing solid foods into their diet. Start with small amounts and gradually increase the amount as your baby gets used to chewing and swallowing food. You can start with pureed fruits and vegetables and then move on to more textured foods as they get older. It's important to start with small amounts, though, as their tummies are still very delicate. Be sure to introduce new foods one at a time so you can watch for any possible allergies.
Know What to Avoid Feeding Your Baby
It can be so exciting when your baby starts showing interest in solid foods! They may want to try everything you're eating, but there are a few foods that babies shouldn't eat—at least until their little tummies have time to develop. Here's a quick rundown of what to avoid feeding your baby.
Honey is a no-no for babies under 12 months old because it can contain spores of a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. These spores can cause botulism in infants, which is a serious illness that affects the nervous system and can be fatal. So, just to be on the safe side, avoid giving your baby any honey until they're at least a year old.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a choking hazard for babies. They should also be avoided if there's a family history of allergies. If you do decide to introduce nuts into your child's diet, make sure they're in a smooth, spreadable form like almond or peanut butter, and always supervise them when eating.
Raw fish, shellfish, and sushi should be avoided because they may contain harmful bacteria and parasites. These can cause food poisoning, which is especially dangerous for young children. If you want to give your child seafood, make sure it's cooked thoroughly first.
Whole Cow's Milk
It's recommended that babies avoid whole cow's milk until they're at least a year old. Babies' digestive systems are not yet mature enough to handle whole cow's milk, which can cause tummy troubles like diarrhea and constipation. Whole cow's milk also contains too much sodium and potassium and too much protein for babies. Stick with breastmilk or formula until your baby is ready for cow's milk.
Excessive Salt and Sugar
Just like with adults, too much salt and sugar isn't good for babies either. Foods that are high in salt or sugar can cause stomach pain and diarrhea in infants. So, when you're preparing meals for your baby, avoid adding any extra salt or sugar—their little bodies don't need it.
If you or anyone in your family has allergies, there's a chance your baby could be allergic to certain foods as well. It's important to introduce new foods slowly and watch for any signs of an allergic reaction, such as hives or difficulty breathing. If you think your baby is having an allergic reaction, call 911 immediately.
Being a new mom is hard enough, but feeling like you have to learn everything all at once can be downright daunting. One of the most important things you need to know is how and what to feed your baby. Infant nutrition is vital for your baby's development and growth. Luckily, we've got you covered. By following these simple tips, you can be sure you're giving your baby the best possible start in life! Now go get some rest, mama — you deserve it!
At Mommy Formula, we deliver organic baby formula straight from Europe to the United States. These formulas have been trusted by moms for generations, and we're proud to be able to offer them at the best prices. Our online store is open 24/7, and we offer free shipping on all orders.