Now when your baby is gradually growing up, it is time to think about how to feed it correctly, how to feed, what to feed it, and most importantly, how often, so that your little one can get the utmost nutrition and can thus be capable of building up a strong immune system against all kinds of harmful diseases and have good health and proper physiological functions.
Most new mothers do not know how many times they need to feed their baby and what is the exact amount of milk their baby needs. Some babies are breastfeeding, while some feed on bottles. But the mothers need to know what the correct frequency is and the correct schedule for feeding their babies. So, it is to be discussed thoroughly, so that the new mothers and those women who are planning for a child can get a clear idea about the correct schedule, frequency, and quantity for feeding their little ones.
What Should Be the Feeding Schedule For Your Baby?
Many new mothers are often worried about what should be the perfect feeding schedule for the baby so that it gets all the essential nutrients together that are essential to grow up faster and to boost the immune system to prevent the occurrence of any harmful disease. According to recent studies and experiments it has been found that the feeding schedule differs from one baby to the other. But the one common thing is that the mother needs to feed the baby whenever it is hungry- whether by using a feeding bottle or by breastfeeding. It is often prescribed by experts and many pediatricians that do not set up a strict routine for your baby. Just feed it when the baby is hungry- a process also known as ‘demand- feeding’ or ‘feeding- on- demand’.
But sometimes it becomes quite difficult for the mother to understand whether the baby is hungry or not. Apart from crying loudly, the baby will give certain indications to the mother to let her know that he or she is hungry. Some such distinct signals are as follows:
- The baby gradually moves towards the mother’s breasts or wants the feeding bottle, letting you know that it is hungry.
- Sucking on their hands or fingers
- Licks its thumbs and fingers
- It is irritating and you want to get milk
- Opens their mouth and licks and puckers up the lips with a tongue
- Crying out loudly
Frequency Of Feeding Your Baby:
Your baby’s feeding schedule will depend upon the number of times your baby gets hungry, and this frequency will differ from one baby to the other. But babies who are breastfeeding in their first year feel their hunger much more frequently than those who are feeding on bottles, because those who are consuming their mother’s milk can digest the milk faster and it is emptied through urine or excreta, than those who have their milk in feeding bottles.
Babies who are breastfeeding:
According to recent studies and a lot of experimental research, it has been found that those babies who are fed with their mother’s milk can build up a stronger immune system and can grow up healthier than those who feed on bottles. So, research studies say that a mother who is breastfeeding her baby needs to feed the baby at least about 8 to 12 times each day.
There is a specific system of breastfeeding your baby in the first year of its birth. In the first case, the baby should be fed with the mother’s milk within four hours. This schedule of feeding is necessary when you are breastfeeding your baby to gain weight, for healthy growth and development, and to boost up the immune system. For the first three after, just after your baby’s birth, you will have to breastfeed your baby almost 7 to 9 times each day. After three months, this frequency can lower down to 6 to 8 times daily. Now, after 6 months the number of times you need to feed your baby will become 6 and as the baby’s first year ends, you may need to breastfeed about 4 times a day.
But the new mother needs to remember that the frequency of feeding her baby might be different than the other. The above frequency mentioned is a common method of feeding your baby in its first year after birth. But if your baby is hungry, it is necessary to feed.
Babies who are fed with feeding- bottles:
The frequency of feeding the newborns that feed by the bottle is comparatively lesser than that of those who consume their mother’s milk. These babies feed according to their hunger. So, if the mother is unable to feed the baby with her breast milk, then the newborn should be fed every two hours, at least for up to 2 months from its birth. After two months, the bottle-feeding interval might increase up to every 3 to 4 hours, which will eventually increase to an interval of 4 to 5 hours after 4 to 6 months and after 6 months it can be 4 to 5 hours.
What if your baby is still hungry after feeding?
If it seems to the mother that the baby is hungry, then it will be wise to feed it until it is finished. This is because, as your baby is in the growing stage, it requires more food and nutrition for its overall growth and development. This increase in hunger will therefore continue for up to 6 months from its birth since this is the cream period of its growth.
How much should be fed to the baby?
Your baby should be fed based on its growth rate and the frequency of its hunger. Whenever your baby is hungry, it is important to feed it and the baby requires an ample amount of essential nutrients and substances that are derived from the milk which is necessary for its healthy weight gain and overall growth and development.
Every time new mothers are worried about how much will be enough while feeding their babies in case of breastfeeding, feeding through the bottle, or both. So, here are some of the easy techniques that will effectively help you to know that the baby has got enough milk and its hunger has been satisfied.
Just after birth to 2 months:
When the baby is just born, it will need approximately only a half-ounce of milk when it is fed, particularly if they are breastfed. As the baby ages to almost 2 months, this quantity gradually increases to about 1 to 2 ounces of milk. At the end of two months, this quantity of milk consumption should increase to 2 or 3 ounces of milk, each time it is fed.
- 2 to 4 months of age: After 2 months the baby should consume almost 4 to 5 ounces of milk each time it is fed in a day.
- 4-6 months. After 4 months, the baby should consume almost 4 to 6 ounces of milk each time. After 6 months, this quantity of milk consumption should increase to 8 ounces.
The above measurement is the standard for most babies. If your baby is hungry, you can feed it more. If necessary, you can get the help of your health care expert or an expert pediatrician, who will let you know what the correct quantity of milk is for your child.
Should You Start Solids? Here Is How It Is Done:
According to recent studies and experiments it has been found that it is okay to start solid or mashed foods for your baby when he or she becomes 4 to 6 months old. Besides, your baby needs to have good control of its head and should be reached for the food it is given. Moreover, the baby should have a body weight of at least 13 to 14 pounds and the baby should be interested in and contended with the nutritional food that it is given.
When your baby grows a bit, you can feed it mashed rice and baby food, mashed and boiled potatoes, vegetable or chicken broths, or scrambled eggs. But it will be helpful if you stick to one food that is rich in all essential nutrients and which the baby is interested in. Because, you may not know that your child might have an allergy to any kind of food substance, and consumption of those food substances may lead to health issues for the baby such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or skin rashes and irritations.
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