When you get home, feed your baby on demand. Most babies, after the first few weeks, fall into their own 2 to 4 hour schedule, depending upon whether they are breast or bottle fed. Remember that every cry does not indicate hunger in your baby. If it has been 2 hours or less since he began to eat, try other measures of comfort first. He may need to have a diaper change, to be burped or just to be cuddled.
Many babies get their days and nights confused, that is, he may eat every 4 hours during the day and every 2 hours at night. If your baby falls into this pattern, there are a couple measures that may help. First, if your baby sleeps longer than 4 hours at a stretch during the day, wake him so he will have his long stretch at night. Secondly, a bath in the latter part of the day may help him sleep longer at night. The addition of cereal at night has been proven not to be effective.
Burping is necessary for all babies because they all swallow air, whether they are breast or bottle fed. Usually, burping midway through and at the end of the feeding is adequate; five minutes of burping is usually enough time
Most bottle fed newborns work up to taking 2 to 4 ounces every 3 to 4 hours during their first weeks at home. Your baby's appetite will determine how much and how often he will eat. It is important to hold and cuddle your baby while feeding to convey the feelings of warmth and love. Do not prop the bottle! There is too much danger of choking and it cheats your baby out of the important cuddling time.
Never put your baby to bed with a bottle. Not only does that decrease his being held but you run the risk of severe cavities in his baby teeth. The sugars in juice and/or formula will bathe the teeth enamel which then causes the cavities. Some babies have had to have their baby teeth pulled or "capped" because of the extensive cavities. It is best to give your baby his bottle before putting baby to bed.
There are three forms for Similac® Advance®: Ready To Feed, Concentrate and Powdered. Do not use low iron formulas. Follow the directions on the can of formula to make that form. Two types (concentrate and powdered) require that you add water, and one form (ready-to-feed) does not require any dilution. Once the ready-to-feed or concentrate formula has been opened, it needs to be refrigerated and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Years ago, it was believed that formula needed to be "body temperature" to be accepted by the baby. On the contrary, many babies generally do better with cool formula. You may want to warm the formula to take the "cold" out of it. We advise you not to warm the formula in the microwave but instead warm the bottle in a bottle warmer or in a pan of hot water. There have been cases of babies being severely burned by formula heated in a microwave, especially with the cover on, since the bottle or bag felt cool, but the formula was very hot in the center. If you do use the microwave, take the cover off the bottle, warm on a low setting, put the lid back on and shake, wait a minute and "test" the formula for the temperature. Once the bottle has been prepared for a feeding, it is
"good" for 2 hours at room temperature. If it has been longer than 2 hours, discard the formula and prepare a new bottle.
Sterilizing the bottle or water is totally unnecessary even though formula cans will instruct you to sterilize. It is a good idea to sterilize bottles and nipples after taking them home from the store or out of storage, but after that, thoroughly washing them with a bottle/nipple brush in hot soapy water is all that is necessary. You can also wash them in a dishwasher.
There are many different types of bottles and nipples on the market, with not one kind significantly superior to another regardless of what the advertisements say. Most families experiment with several types and then choose whichever type the baby takes and prefers
The best and only nutrition for your baby is breast milk or formula for the first 4 to 6 months of his life. "Solids" (baby foods) and "cow's milk" are not appropriate for the young infant. He does not need solids for 4 to 6 months since breast milk and/or formula have all the nutrients a baby needs and since his digestive system is not mature enough to digest solid foods. Some people may tell you that your baby will get bored on just milk, or cereal will make him sleep through the night. Neither one of these notions is true.
Cow's milk lacks many of the vitamins and minerals babies need. Also, cow's milk has a high level of protein and sodium which can put a heavy demand on your infant's system. Researchers and experts in nutrition, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that infants ideally remain on breast milk or formula until they are 12 months of age. Introduce rice cereal at 4-6 months and gradually increase the amount based on baby's appetite and preferences. Introduce single ingredient vegetable baby food at 6 months followed by fruits at 7-8 months. Each type of purred baby food should be introduced one at a time. Introducing multiple new foods at the same time will lead to confusion if your baby develops a reaction to the food (vomiting, diarrhea, rash).
Table foods that are the consistency of baby food can be introduced between 9-12 months. Apple, white grape, or pear juice are best introduced around 9 months in a cup rather than a bottle. "Mixed dinner" baby foods and meat containing baby foods can also be introduced after 9 months of age but are optional. Breast milk or formula should be viewed as the "main course" for the first twelve months.. View cereals, baby food/jar food, and juices as "side-dishes". Table foods may be introduced once a child is able to chew and swallow other similar textures without difficulty. We specifically recommend against "baby led weaning". Baby led weaning advocates for the innapropriate introduction to infants of complex foods that require significant chewing. Introducing these hard to swallow foods before a developmentally appropriate age is dangerous and puts children at risk for choking. This is an internet driven fad without any scientific merit and is not supported by the medical community.
The latest data on food allergies no longer supports delaying introduction of eggs, nut products (such as peanut butter), or seafood. There is no increased risk of developing food allergies by introducing these foods.
Babies should not be given honey during the first year of life because this can cause infant botulism.
Your child's diet will be reviewed at each well-child visit, and recommendations for any changes will be made by your baby's doctor.
The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends extra vitamin D supplements for all breast fed babies to prevent a rare condition known as rickets. Infants should receive at least 400 IU of Vitamin D daily. This amount is provided by one(1) mL of most of the over-the-counter liquid vitamin D preparations including: Polyvisol®, Enfamil Trivisol®, Vi-Daylin ADC®, or Gerber Infant Vitamins®. Alternatively, a more concentrated preparation is available from Carlson® that contains 400 IU of vitamin D in one(1) drop. If your baby does not tolerate the taste of the standard over-the-counter vitamins, you may want to consider this as an option. Carlson drops are available in several strengths so make sure that your baby only receives 400 IU per day. If your child is only formula fed or receives at least seventeen (17) ounces of formula per day, then he/she already gets all the required Vitamin D.
After 6 months it is also recommend that all children receive fluoride supplementation to decrease the risk of dental cavities. Almost all communities in Ohio, including Franklin and Delaware County, add fluoride to the municipal water supply. The Ohio Department of Health maintains a list of the few communities that do not fluoridate water on their website at www.odh.ohio.gov. If your home water supply does not contain fluoride or your baby is exclusively breastfed and your child does not drink any other water source with fluoride, then your infant/child will need fluoride supplementation beginning at age 6 months. Please discuss this topic with your pediatrician