Feeding information on breast milk intake, how much milk your baby needs,
breastfeeding frequency, information on schedules, latching on properly,
positioning baby at the breast, introducing a bottle, what is BPA,
and starting solids.
BPA Free Bottles - What is Safe?
Recent studies are showing small amounts of
poly-bisphenol A leaching into
Babies under the age of six months will normally nurse every 2-3 hours from
some plastic containers. Manufacturer's are starting to lean towards
polypropylene soft plastic bottles instead of the hard plastic polycarbonate
due to these studies. None have been proven to be detrimental in humans,
but as a nursing mother, you want the very best for your baby.
Therefore food grade polycarbonate is considered safe, BPA-free
polypropylene bottles and bag are considered safer, and as always,
glass bottles are the safest. After 2012 when the FDA banned BPA in
baby bottles, breast pump companies such as Ameda, Medela, Hygeia,
Spectra, Motif and Avent only offer bottles made from BPA free plastic.
If you have abreast pump older than 2012, you will want to replace your
personal accessory kit with one that is made from BPS free plastic.
Feeding Frequency: How often should my baby feed?
the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next which is usually 8-10
times per day. During growth spurts at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months, infants
will increase their feedings to 10-12 times per day. Between 6 and 12 months,
babies will normally feed 4 or 5 times daily. It is best for your milk supply to allow
your baby to feed on demand unless they do not demand often enough.
View our Lactation Help category for sleepy baby techniques and information
on good baby syndrome if your infant does not feed at least 8 times per day.
Introducing a Bottle
Waiting until you baby is three to four weeks old to start a bottle is the best way
to get him/her to learn to optimally nurse at the breast. When you do begin a bottle,
use your own expressed milk as not to interfere with your milk supply and use a
wide mouth silicone nipple. Silicone does not have a potent smell and taste unlike
inferior rubber nipples. Choose a slow flow nipple no matter the age of your nursing
infant as breast fed babies jaw development will allow them to extract milk faster as
they grow without increasing the nipple hole size. To calculate how much to put into
a bottle per feeding, see our breastmilk intake chart under milk intake below.
Make sure to express you milk if you skip a feeding. The rule of thumb for expressing
milk for a baby under six months of age is to pump every three hours with a professional
or hospital grade pump that imitates your baby's suck cycle. After six months, if your
baby is on solids, you only need to pump twice on an eight hour workday instead of
three times which is common for a working mother who has an 8 hour work day.
After positioning the baby properly (see
Positioning Baby at Breast below, make sure
Milk Intake: How much does my baby need?
that your hands are supporting the breast with your thumb above and behind the areola
and that the other fingers are below and near the chest wall, well behind the areola.
If you can't tell where your fingers are, practice your breast hold in front of a mirror.
Once you are supporting the breast properly, use your nipple to tickle down towards
the baby's chin until the baby opens wide like a yawn or a cry. Make sure the baby's
tongue is down and then bring the baby to the breast swiftly.
Breast milk intake depends on the age and weight of that baby, but at any age it takes
approximately 20 minutes of swallowing for the baby to take in enough milk for proper
growth. Below is a chart for babies under six months. Use these numbers if you are
expressing a bottle for work or other times away from baby. Divide the second number
below by the number of feedings your baby takes if it is a number other than 8.
This is only an average amount. You may adjust to the next ounce, but usually
not more than that. Babies over six months who are on solid foods three times
daily still need 24-32 oz per day which is either five and six ounces.
Positioning Baby at the Breast
To position baby at the breast make sure that the baby's body is turned in to mother.
For example, in the cradle hold, the baby would be tummy to tummy with mom so
that he/she doesn't have to turn his/her head to swallow. The baby's ear, shoulder,
and hips should be in a straight line. Use a nursing pillow and stool to make sure
baby is at breast level.
Solids should not be started until the age of six months in most cases. Waiting
until this age greatly reduces the incidence of allergies. Developmental phases
should also be taken into consideration. The baby should not only have doubled
his/her birth weight, but should be sitting alone without support. Readiness signs
include grasping at the parents plate or food. Breast milk is still the main source
of nutrition so always breastfeed immediately before offering solids as to ensure a
healthy milk supply and a healthy appetite for the superior breast milk.