2 Things to Know About Newborn Feeding

0-4 Months

As a new mom, you’re probably getting a lot of advice, some of it unwanted. In fact, all you really want is a nap. Instead, your Facebook friends are dishing out different opinions on how to raise a baby—and in particular, your baby. While it might seem like you have to listen to everyone, rest assured that when it comes to feeding your baby, you’ll be ahead of the game if you know these two things.

1

All your baby needs is breastmilk or iron-fortified formula

Ever heard the saying “all you need is love”? Just add breastmilk or iron-fortified formula to that little phrase, and you have a baby’s complete feeding guide for the first 4 to 6 months. Yep, that’s it! It’s really that simple.

When you’re at the grocery store, unless you’re buying formula, there’s no need to wander down the baby food aisle—not just yet, at least. Providing foods other than breastmilk or formula can harm your baby’s developing body both now and in the future, and here’s why.

And just when you thought you knew how much breastmilk or formula to give your baby, he’ll probably go through a growth spurt a few days later. When this does happen (and it definitely will), keep in mind that as your baby grows, so will his need for more breastmilk or formula. Here’s a quick guide to help you remember how much breastmilk or formula your baby needs.

2

Crying doesn’t always mean your baby is hungry

There is no sound more frustrating and heartbreaking than your baby’s cry. We get it. All you want is to make her happy, and you will do anything you can to get her to stop. While your other mom-friends and loved ones might tell you differently, more milk is not always the answer. In fact, there are lots of other reasons babies cry. Maybe she is tired, or too hot or cold. Or maybe she just wants your tender loving care. For a full list, check out this article for ways to soothe your baby besides feeding.

When it comes to hunger, babies will show you when it’s time to eat in more subtle ways—sometimes long before the floodgates open. In fact, crying is often the last hunger cue your baby will give you, usually when she’s hit that “hunger wall” and needs to feed—right this minute. Learning the signs your baby is hungry will help you prevent getting to that point.

Not only will paying attention to your baby's hunger and fullness cues mean less fussing, it can also have a positive impact on her feeding habits for life. Remember: It's never too early to start feeding baby the right way.