Feeding three month old baby
Feeding Your 1- to 3-Month-Old (for Parents)
During your baby's first 3 months, breast milk or formula will provide all the nutrition needed. Doctors recommend waiting until your baby is about 6 months old to start solid foods. Some babies may be ready for solids sooner than 6 months, but wait until your baby is at least 4 months old.
What Changes Should I Expect?
As your infant grows, feeding will change. Babies will start drinking more milk during each feeding, so they won't need to feed as often and will sleep longer at night.
Your baby's appetite will increase during growth spurts. Continue to feed on demand and increase the number of feedings as needed.
Your infant also will become more alert as the weeks go by, cooing and smiling. So there will be more interaction between you and your baby during feedings.
The following are general guidelines, and your baby may be hungrier more or less often than this. That's why it's important to pay attention to your baby's signals of being hungry or full. A baby who is getting enough might slow down, stop, or turn away from the breast or bottle.
Breastfeeding: How Much and How Often?
As babies get older, they will start to breastfeed less often and sleep for longer periods at night. Your infant probably is eating enough if he or she:
- seems alert, content, and active
- is steadily gaining weight and growing
- feeds six to eight times per day
- is wetting and soiling diapers on a regular basis
Babies might not be eating enough if they:
- don't appear satisfied
- cry constantly
- are irritable, even after feeding
- are not making wet diapers
Call your doctor if you're concerned your baby isn't eating enough.
A few weeks after birth, breastfed babies tend to have fewer bowel movements (BMs, or poop) than they did before. At around 2 months of age, your baby may not poop after each feeding, or even every day. During growth spurts, you may notice that your little one wants to feed more often. This frequent nursing sends a signal to make more milk. Within a couple of days, supply and demand will get into balance.
Babies who get breast milk only should get vitamin D supplements within the first few days of life. Other supplements, water, juice, and solid foods aren't usually needed.
Formula Feeding: How Much and How Often?
Babies digest formula more slowly than breast milk, so if you're bottle-feeding, your baby may have fewer feedings than a breastfed infant.
As babies grow, they can eat more at each feeding and may go for longer stretches between feedings. You'll also notice that your baby is starting to sleep longer at night.
During the second month, infants may take about 4 or 5 ounces at each feeding. By the end of 3 months, your baby may need an additional ounce at each feeding.
It's easy to overfeed a baby when using a bottle because it easier to drink from a bottle than from a breast. Make sure that the hole on the bottle's nipple is the right size. The liquid should drip slowly from the hole and not pour out. Also, resist the urge to finish the bottle when your baby shows signs of being full.
Never prop a bottle. Propping a bottle might cause choking and it increases the chances of getting ear infections and tooth decay.
Should I Worry About Spitting Up?
It's normal for infants to "spit up" after eating or during burping. Spitting up a small amount — usually less than 1 ounce (30 ml) — shouldn't be a concern as long as it happens within an hour of feeding and doesn't bother your baby.
You can reduce spitting up in these early months by:
- feeding before your baby gets very hungry
- keeping your baby in a semi-upright position during the feeding and for an hour after
- burping your baby regularly
- avoiding overfeeding
- not jostling or playing vigorously with your baby right after a feeding
If your baby seems to be spitting up large amounts, is spitting up forcefully, is irritable during or after feedings, or seems to be losing weight or is not gaining weight as expected, call your doctor. And if your child has a fever or shows any signs of dehydration (such as not wetting diapers), call the doctor right away.
Call your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about feeding your infant.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: November 2021
3-Month-Old Baby: Milestones, Weight and Sleep Schedule
Life with a 3-month-old baby is all about settling into this parenting thing by establishing routines and getting to know your little one. There's still some uncharted territory, but you may be feeling more confident in your abilities as a parent and excited about what's to come with each day. Here, we'll highlight some of the developmental milestones to look forward to, answer some common questions about life at this stage, and reassure you that, although you may be short on sleep, you're doing great!
Baby Development Milestones
There's a lot happening this month as your baby grows and becomes more aware of her physical self and the world around her. Here's a look at some of the developments you might be observing.
Growth and Physical Development: Stronger by the Day
Thanks to developing bones and muscles, your baby is now able to stretch herself out, showing you just how long she is. On average, she's probably growing about 1 to 1½ inches per month, and gaining about 1½ to 2 pounds, although every baby is different. Your 3-month-old baby is slowly gaining more control over her body and her movements. As a newborn, many of her movements were involuntary reflexes, but now she may be starting to be more intentional as she moves her head, hands, and feet, for example. With her neck strength increasing, soon she'll be able to hold her head up independently and look at people and things in her field of vision. At the same time, you may notice your baby begin to reach for objects nearby or follow moving objects with her eyes as her vision improves.
Senses: Building Blocks of Communication
There's a lot to discover, and your 3-month-old baby is learning to take it all in, bit by bit. Her vision is improving, and she's more sensitive to circular shapes and patterns now, including spirals and curls. Faces, especially yours, are among her favorite sights.
When it comes to hearing and speech, your baby has already learned to associate your voice with comfort, soothing, and love. Now, she's likely becoming more aware of your tone and emphasis on certain words, and she'll try to mimic those sounds. At 3 months old, she's learning that conversations are a two-way process and picking up other concepts of communication. Watch as she takes in your delighted reaction to her babbles and her own delight in your singing or reading to her, for example.
Movement: A Full-Body Workout
At around this time, most babies' movements become more deliberate, and you'll probably start to see some exciting developments in your little one's motor skills. Stretching her body out helps to strengthen her leg muscles, and this is just the preparation she needs to be able to roll over. Rolling over probably won't happen for another two or three months, but she's getting ready!
Have you tried placing your baby on her feet while supporting her under her arms? You may notice she's able to flex and straighten her legs on her own, which is great preparation for standing. Try letting her bounce herself in this position and see how proud she is of this new ability.
You can help encourage her movement by providing daily tummy time sessions, handing toys to her, and letting her grasp at objects hanging from an infant gym or playpen. These activities can help your 3-month-old baby with motor development, hand-eye coordination, and other important skills.
And, it's not only your baby's legs that get a workout this month. Your 3-month-old baby can now open and shut her hands to grasp things, like toys or your fingers. By now, she's likely gained slightly better control of her arms, so she can attempt to reach for objects and may try to bat at something that catches her eye. She's probably also gotten more successful at bringing her hands to her mouth, so it's time to be extra careful about what she may be able to get her hands on.
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Personality: Your Baby's First “Conversations”
Watching a baby's personality emerge is one of the many joys of parenthood. Have you noticed she's smiling more and responding to your voice? That's great! It's likely that she really enjoys play time with you and other people, and she's now able to express her enjoyment with her face and whole body. She may even start to imitate some of your movements and facial expressions. If this isn't happening yet, or if you're wondering what to expect from a 3-month-old baby, don't worry: all babies develop in their own way and on their own timeline.
Your little one may now be having “conversations” with you, though these mostly consist of back-and-forth exchanges of sounds, smiles, and gestures. These little “chats” you have with your baby are not just fun, but also help build her trust in you and boost her self-esteem. If you have other children in your household, you may notice your baby is increasingly interested in them. At this age, babies often have favorite people and become quite curious about other little ones.
Babies make their needs known in different ways, and as a parent, you'll get to know your own baby's subtle (and not-so-subtle) cues that she needs something. The ways she communicates with you are important parts of her personality and temperament. For example, you'll get to know her urgent needs by the way she cries or from her body language, and you'll learn to distinguish these cries and gestures from one another. Your baby's cries of hunger will likely sound and look different than her cries of pain. Similarly, you'll get to know when she's simply fussing, and when a change of activity or favorite toy can calm her.
How to Support Your Baby's Development
Your pediatrician will share a variety of ways you can help foster your baby's development. Many of these suggested activities will encourage movement and help your baby master the skills she will need to roll, sit, and hold her head up, while others will promote cognitive and sensory development. Here are some strategies to keep in mind, along with some 3-month-old baby activities to try:
Strengthen back and neck muscles. With you close by, place your baby on her stomach on a play mat or blanket for short stretches of tummy time to gain more control over her legs, arms, and head.
Promote hand-eye coordination. Encourage your baby to grasp for small objects like toys or your fingers. She'll need this skill as she learns to bring her hands to her mouth successfully.
Aid visual development. Her distance vision, color vision, and tracking skills are all improving during this month. Help her along by introducing stimulating colors, patterns, and textures for her to enjoy in the form of toys, books, colorful mobiles, play mats, and other activities.
Feeding Your 3-Month-Old Baby
Three-month-old baby feedings may become less frequent than they were in the early newborn days. Whether their nourishment comes from breast milk alone, or from formula, or from some combination of the two, most babies this age are able to consume more milk at each feeding than they were able to in the previous two months (now five to six ounces on average), so their feedings are less frequent (perhaps six to eight feedings in a 24-hour period).
Tracking wet and dirty diapers: Tracking diapers is a good way to gauge if your baby is getting enough to eat. Her stools may be more solid now, and occur less often. As a newborn, your baby may have passed a bowel movement after every feeding, but your 3-month-old baby may only pass one once per day, or even once every two or three days. In general, you'll know she's feeding well when she produces around six wet diapers per day.
As you’ve no doubt noticed, your baby’s going through lots of diapers. Download the Pampers Club app, if you haven't already, to turn all those diapers into rewards like gift cards, cash back, and more.
How Much Sleep Does a 3-Month-Old Baby Need?
At this point, your baby's sleep habits may be going through some changes. All that growing she's been doing means that she's able to eat more during the day, and so possibly requires fewer or no night feedings. She's now more alert during the day, which in turn makes her sleepier at night. And now, she may take two or three naps during the day, followed by a longer stretch at night. Some babies may be sleeping through the night, but it's important to remember that this doesn't apply to all babies and that “through the night” often means a stretch of about five or six hours.
How to Put Your Baby to Sleep
When putting your baby to bed at night, or for a daytime nap, follow these guidelines for safe, restful sleep and for reducing the risk of SIDS:
Always on her back
Never in bed with you
On a firm crib mattress with no loose bedding
Dressed comfortably for room temperature
With a pacifier.
Tips for a Good Night's Sleep
It's a good idea to aim for a consistent baby sleep schedule that suits you both. Try the following tips for a more restful night:
Establish a routine. Giving her a gentle massage, reading a story, or singing a lullaby are great ways to help your 3-month-old wind down after the day's activities. Our video guide shows you more about how to create a comforting nighttime routine.
Let her squirm. Your baby may need a minute to settle down and get comfortable. It's OK to let her wriggle, babble, or even cry just a bit before she nods off.
Minimize stimulation. If you need to attend to your baby during the night, try to minimize distractions. Keep the lights low and don't talk very much during nighttime feedings or other visits to keep her calm and make it easier for her to drift back to sleep.
Don’t miss these must-watch sleep tips from the Smart Sleep Coach pediatric sleep consultant:
A Day in the Life of Your Baby
Life with your 3-month-old baby can be full of surprises. Even if following a set routine is a ways off at this point, you could look at this guideline for feeding, sleeping, bathing, and playing to add a little structure and fun to each day:
Your Baby's Health: Infant Massage
You may be wondering if there is anything you can do to promote health and wellness beyond your baby’s regular playtime activities. Some babies enjoy the relaxation and bonding that comes from an infant massage. By applying the right techniques, you can strengthen your bond with your baby while reducing his stress levels, and possibly decrease the amount of crying.
It's a good idea to check with your pediatrician first, and you may even be able to find local classes in infant massages to show you the ropes, but here are some basic techniques to try:
Create a relaxing environment. You can use your baby's changing table or your own bed. With your baby on his back, maintain eye contact as you begin to massage him.
Use a gentle touch. Use gentle strokes to massage each part of his body from his head, neck, and shoulders to his waist, thighs, feet, and hands.
Talk or sing to him. He'll feel more relaxed if you talk softly or sing a favorite song while massaging him.
Gauge his reaction. Continue the massage if your baby seems happy. If he seems restless or fussy, tine to stop, as he's probably not enjoying it.
You'll want to wait at least 45 minutes after feeding before beginning a massage. If your little one ends up enjoying this activity, it can continue well into the toddler years, too.
Your Life as a Parent: Dealing With Sleep Deprivation
Missing those pre-baby mornings when you could sleep as long as you wanted? Any new parent can tell you sleep deprivation is a very real concern. Of course, you want to be at your best for your baby, but lack of sleep doesn't make it easy. Here are a few suggestions to try to make things just a little bit easier:
Teamwork - between you and your partner and/or other caregivers, like a grandparent or nanny. For example, you could choose to share the load on your baby’s bedtime routine so that the responsibility to putting baby to bed doesn’t fall solely on you.
Prioritization – don’t try to do everything, think of the one or two things each day that absolutely must get done and let the other tasks go.
Downtime – this may be tough, but if possible, try to get 30-60mins a day just for you, could just be to run a short errand by yourself or to take a walk. It’s amazing how refreshed you can feel after a quick break!
As your baby nears 4-months, talk to their pediatrician about sleep training – a science-backed process in which you teach your baby to fall asleep on their own and stay asleep longer.
If you're considering sleep training but not sure where to start, download the Smart Sleep Coach by Pampers™. This easy-to-use and incredibly effective app walks you through the sleep coaching process, includes a sleep tracking tool that optimizes bedtimes, and offers effective meditations to help you stay present and positive in frustrating moments. You can get a head start on sleep training today by taking their free sleep assessment.
Breastfeeding on demand
You can often hear from a nursing mother: "I feed on demand, my baby requires a breast every 3.5 hours." Or: “I have always fed on demand. In a year, we already had 1 feeding in the evening, and my child calmly refused to breastfeed. Before talking about the demand of the child, it is necessary to find out what modern women mean when they say - "I breastfeed."
Modern mothers consider breastfeeding necessary for feeding their baby. Just for feeding. Breast milk is food, the mother supplies the baby with the nutrients necessary for growth and development. When a baby suckles at the breast, he eats. Breastfeeding makes sense only as a process of supplying proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and microelements.
During suckling, the baby receives the nutrients it needs with mother's milk. This is the absolute truth. There is another unconditional truth, which is not given any importance in modern society, it is not taken into account and is not considered. Breastfeeding for a child is communication with the mother. We need to figure out how the child understands feeding on demand? Can he understand anything at all? Is there any difference for him how he is fed, for 15-20 minutes after 3.5 hours or in some other way?
What is on-demand feeding
On-demand feeding of a newborn baby means putting it to the breast for every squeak or search. Squeak and search movements in newborns, even as early as the second or third day of life, begin to appear much more often than after 3.5 or 2.5 hours. The need for attachments increases rapidly, and by the 10-12th day of life, the need to attach to a child may occur 15-16 or more times a day. Applications vary in duration. The baby can fall asleep and sleep while sucking for, for example, 1.5-2 hours. Can release the breast after 1-2 minutes. And then ask her again. Why does a child need such frequent contact with his mother's breast?
That's why. Being in the mother's belly, in a calm, familiar environment, listening to the noises of the mother's body, being in a warm, cramped, confined space, the baby sucked his fist, fingers, loops of the umbilical cord, swallowed amniotic fluid. Learned to suck and swallow. After birth, experiencing discomfort for any, the most insignificant reason, the baby tries to get rid of it. You can get rid of discomfort by getting into the usual conditions of a comfortable stay. The only place where the baby after birth can feel the sensations familiar to him is in the arms of the mother. The only familiar action is sucking. The only familiar taste and smell is the taste and smell of milk and lube in the areola. Milk and lubricant have an odor and taste similar to the taste and smell of amniotic fluid. Therefore, experiencing discomfort, the baby squeaks, or begins to look for an object to suck with his mouth. Ideally, it is immediately applied to the chest. The baby becomes warm, cramped, he hears the beating of his mother's heart, breathing, grumbling in the intestines, he sucks and feels the familiar taste and smell. If such an action happens constantly, the baby gains confidence, no matter what happens, he will solve all his problems with his mother. The place of comfort is now under the breast, and you can suck on the breast.
This whole process is biologically justified. A newborn child does not feel the feeling of hunger, this feeling is not formed in him. It will begin to form at about two months of age. How to feed a creature that does not experience hunger ?! How to encourage him to take some action to get food? This can be done only at the expense of some other incentives. This stimulus for the newborn is constant bodily discomfort, thanks to which he wants to suckle all the time! The most intense, frequent and prolonged sucking in infants is observed in the first two or three months of life. It is in these first months that the main weight gain of the baby occurs.
Feeding in the first month
Baby falls asleep with breast in mouth, sleeps sucking for a while. Falling asleep deeply, lets go of the chest. After sleeping for a while, he wakes up, and is applied on waking. After sleep, he can stay awake for some time, for example, an hour and a half. During wakefulness, he may feel discomfort 2-3 times, for example, from a completely natural desire to pee, and having called his mother for help, having kissed for a couple of minutes, he will do his deeds. Then he will want to sleep, feel discomfort and, kissing his chest, will again fall asleep sucking. After some time, he will wake up and attach again. Then again a little "walk". And after some time, he will fall asleep at the chest again.
The daytime naps of a one-month-old infant feeding on demand vary in duration and number. There can be 4-6 dreams during the day, and they can last from 5-15 minutes to 2-2. 5 sometimes 3 hours. "Around" each dream, the baby is applied to the chest, and applied between dreams several times. At night, the child falls asleep at the breast. Usually in the early morning hours, he begins to fuss and apply. In the morning, he almost never fully wakes up. The baby sleeps, from time to time, sucking on his mother's breast. Waking up in the morning, the baby is again applied to the chest. If you count all the attachments that have happened in a baby of one month of age, then approximately 16-20 attachments are obtained. This is how a newborn human cub behaves if it is given the opportunity to behave in accordance with physiological and psychological needs, which, by the way, are genetically determined. The child of the first months of life does not separate his personality from the personality of the mother and from her breast. Mom and her breasts, and everything connected with them, are the universe of the baby and himself.
In most cases, a modern woman, being afraid to “accustom a child to hands”, strives to limit his requests for sucking. A pacifier and a bottle of tea or water come to her aid in this matter. They, too, can be sucked ... The need for sucking seems to be satisfied. But only the need for communication with the mother during suckling is not satisfied, the peculiar chain of mutual assistance and cooperation between mother and baby is destroyed, the formation of maternal affection and concentration is disrupted. Is the difference in the two actions noticeable to the reader: the baby cried, the mother took him, put him to her chest and started rocking him, or gave him a pacifier and started rocking the stroller, even with the words “Why are you crying, my sun?”
The modern woman who gives a pacifier and pumps a stroller is not a bad person deliberately harming an infant. She is simply in captivity of prejudices regarding the relationship between mother and baby. She does not know how to behave correctly, does not know what to do in accordance with the natural needs of the child. If you tell her what the child really needs, she will exclaim in horror: “What is it, don’t let him get away with?!” Indeed, the child of the first months of life must not be let off the hook. For a woman who does not know how to comfortably carry a baby, and who does not know how to feed him in various positions (sitting, lying, standing and even moving), this can be very difficult. Especially if she is not sure of the correctness of her actions.
An action that should become automatic for the mother of a newborn: when the baby cries or shows other signs of anxiety, put the baby to the breast.
The baby is growing. A fairly stable rhythm of daytime sleep begins to form in him, and a 3-4-month-old baby behaves quite differently from a newborn. Feeding on demand at this age looks something like this...
- At three months, the baby has 10-12 feeds during the day and 2-4 at night. There are frequent applications for a short time, but their number is reduced. There may be a long night break in feedings, about 5 hours, but this is very rare. Much more often the night break is 2.5-3.5 hours. By this age, the baby's body is noticeably rounded.
- At four months, the baby begins to breastfeed noticeably less frequently. The main feedings are associated with sleep: the baby suckles before bedtime, during awakening and during sleep, both daytime and nighttime. In this regard, he has a fairly accurate feeding regimen. And many babies stop breastfeeding when they wake up after daytime sleep, sometimes as early as 2.5-3 months.
- At five months, the baby has 8-10 daytime feedings and 2-3 nighttime, attachments as well as in the fourth month of life, are organized around dreams - the baby eats when going to bed and some babies suck during awakening.
- At six months, the feeding regimen changes. The most active sucking shifts to the last 2-3 hours before waking up from a night's sleep. The period of daytime wakefulness can be divided into two periods: in the morning, when the baby sucked during the night is rarely applied to the breast, and in the evening, when attachments become very frequent. In total, there can be 7-10 day applications and 3-4 night applications. At this age, the baby begins a period of acquaintance with new food - pedagogical complementary foods. Sometimes there are attachments associated with the introduction of complementary foods, the baby “washes down” samples of new food with mother's milk. But many children do not want to drink complementary foods. When complementary foods are introduced to an on-demand baby, it is never meant to replace feedings with complementary foods. This is practically impossible, because the main feedings of the baby are associated with sleep, and mother's breakfasts, lunches and dinners, during which the baby gets acquainted with new food, are located between the baby's dreams, during his wakefulness.
- At seven months, the frequency of application is about the same.
- At eight months, the feeding regimen changes. Since the baby shows high motor activity and is very busy exploring the surrounding space, in the daytime he forgets to breastfeed. In this regard, the number of daily feedings can be reduced to 6-8 times. The baby compensates for the reduction in daytime feedings by increasing the frequency and duration of nighttime feedings up to 6 times.
- In the second half of the year, babies who stopped breastfeeding when waking up after daytime naps recall this habit again. The baby’s daytime sleep in the second half of life, as well as in the region of a year and older, looks something like this: the baby falls asleep sucking, sleeps quietly for a while, for example 1-1.5 hours, then starts tossing and turning, fiddling, worrying, at this moment the mother lies down next to , gives him a breast and the baby can fill up 10-15-30 minutes sucking. Mom may well use this time for her own rest - lie down, read, while the baby sleeps while sucking. I know my mother, a lover of embroidery, who used this time specifically for embroidery ...
- Breastfeeding becomes more frequent at nine to ten months. In the daytime, this is 4-6 full feedings and about the same number of attachments for various reasons. The baby has new reasons for attachment. If, during active actions to master the world, the baby fills a bump or gets scared, he calms down with his mother's breast. There may be situations when you can comfort the baby by sitting next to him and hugging him. At night, 4-6 feedings remain, the baby begins to suckle more actively in the morning between 3 and 8 hours.
- At eleven months, a baby can already have 2-3 complete complementary foods. Initiation to adult food in the mind of a child is not associated with breastfeeding: attachment to the mother's breast is something other than the desire to get enough of the product they like. As a rule, after the baby has eaten, he feels the need to attach himself to the breast. The number of daily feedings remains the same in the child, but the number of short-term attachments increases. There are active mid-morning feedings between 4 and 8 o'clock in the morning.
- At ten or twelve months, the baby, if he is already walking, can sometimes breastfeed every time he comes to his mother, i. e. about every 15-30 minutes. Attachments around dreams and night sucking persist. Therefore, if a mother says that a child suckles once or twice a day, this means that there is no feeding at the request of the child. There are restrictions imposed by the mother, with which the baby has come to terms. He treats breast sucking like food, sucks on a pacifier or a finger to fall asleep or soothe, or falls asleep just like that, without calming down.
- At twelve months, the baby is applied in about the same way.
- At the age of one and a half years, there may already be one daytime nap, so there are fewer attachments associated with sleep. Preserved for morning sucking. The baby is very free with his mother's breasts. Sometimes it happens that he comes up to suck just for pleasure. For example, like this: he comes up, climbs on his knees, looks into his mother’s face, smiles, starts to swarm in his shirt, gets breasts, smiles at his breasts, sucks for 30 seconds and leaves.
As for the number of feedings per day when feeding a child on demand, their number is almost never less than 12. A newborn has 12 or more attachments, mostly they are all associated with dreams. And a child, say 1.5-2 years old, can also have about 12 attachments, only 3-4 are associated with sleep, and the rest are short-term attachments for various reasons. I suggest to all mothers reading this text - do not count the application, do not notice their duration. Breastfeed your baby as often as he asks, when you feel the need to.
Moms who don't think about breastfeeding without looking at the clock may get the impression that when breastfeeding on demand, the mother can do nothing but feed the baby. This is not true. After the birth of a baby, a mother begins another life, she is called life with a baby. That's all. The child is with the mother, not the mother with the child! Feel the difference! You need to be able to organize your life in a different way, in the first months, of course, the help of loved ones is very necessary. In the tradition of many peoples, it was customary for the first 40 days after childbirth to remove a woman from any housework and household chores, she was engaged only in a child. In some nations, objects that the mother of a newborn touched were considered “unclean”, therefore, they preferred to protect the mother from the rest of the household, allocating her a separate “corner” of the house, where no one bothered her and she did not interfere with anyone. Among the Slavs, such a restrictive custom was called a six-week. By 1.5-2 months, the rhythm of daytime dreams begins to form, and the baby has a kind of “regime”, the mother becomes more free.
For a mother who can't imagine breastfeeding without looking back at the clock, and who is sure that the “right” baby is the baby lying quietly in her crib all the time, feeding on demand will be a complete hassle. It will be much easier for such a mother if she stops looking at the clock and ties the baby to herself with a large scarf or uses a patchwork holder (sling). It will become easier for her if she stops running between the nursery and the kitchen, but takes the baby with her to the kitchen and carries him around the house with her, doing housework, in a box, a cradle, a special chair, if she tries not to put him off often, and pick up as soon as possible, postponing the baby only in case of emergency and not for long.
Breastfeeding is not the same as house arrest. In the conditions of modern society, it is possible to organize the exit of a nursing mother to work from about 6 months of age of the baby. If necessary, you can start working from the age of 4 months, but, of course, it is better not every day of the week and not full time. It is the responsibility of a breastfeeding consultant to help a mother organize her return to work.
Sometimes, when I advise mothers on breastfeeding, I suggest that they forget for a second that they are already living in the 21st century. I propose to return, for example, to the cave and ask what they will do if the child woke up at night, how to calm him down? If you are walking through the forest and trying not to attract the attention of predators, how to make the baby silent? If the child is thirsty, what will you give him? What is the baby used to, for thousands of years of its existence? To the fact that he sleeps on his mother while she wanders through the forest with a digging stick in search of roots, and wakes up when mother stops. Since mom stopped, then there is time to wake up and suck. Therefore, even now the child sleeps well, tied to the mother with a patchwork holder, wakes up when the mother, having done a few household chores, sits in a chair to take care of the baby.
Some mother, reading about the cave, will be offended, saying that she is a civilized creature. But please think. Man, mother's breast and mother's milk have been created by evolution over millions of years. They are made for each other. Baby food has created progress and more recently. The skills of motherhood and breastfeeding have also been lost by our society quite recently. A person is not physiologically adapted to artificial feeding and a pacifier. The mother's breast will not produce enough milk at 6-7 feedings per day. Nature did not know, when creating man as a mammal, that the time would come when the need for breastfeeding would be satisfied by some kind of pacifiers and nipples.
Changes that occur during the formation of the personality of a child who did not have full contact with the mother during prolonged breastfeeding are noted by modern research by psychologists and sociologists. These are changes with a minus sign. It would be better if they were not, these changes.
Breastfeeding is not only important for the baby, it is also important for the mother. During on-demand feeding, the woman's feelings change, a stronger attachment to the baby is formed, the woman becomes more sensitive to the needs of the baby. Deeper affection and understanding are not only preserved in infancy. They persist for life. For clarity, imagine what happens to a woman’s feelings if she tries to “withstand” a child, endures his crying, anxiety. What happens to a woman if she uses the recommendation from one very popular parenting book: "Go to the child if he cries for more than 15 minutes"? Speaking in abstract terms, humanity is interested in reviving the practice of breastfeeding. The revival of this practice is impossible without mothers realizing the true reasons for the child's need for attachment to the breast.
Lilia Kazakova, pediatrician,
leader of lactation and childcare counselors
Breastfeeding after 1 month: what to expect
Do you know when breast milk production stabilizes? And how does the frequency and duration of feedings change as the baby grows? You will find answers to these questions in our recommendations for breastfeeding after the first month.
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Congratulations: You made it through the first month of breastfeeding. Your breast milk has reached full maturity 1 , its production is stabilizing, and there is little or no leakage from the breast. Don't worry, it's not getting less milk, it's just that your breasts are better able to produce and store it now. 2 At the age of six weeks, your baby will begin to please you with his charming toothless smiles, and by two months you will already have 500-600 feedings behind you. With a favorable development of events, problems with latch on by this point will already be resolved, and you can simply enjoy the convenience and benefits of breastfeeding.
When does breastfeeding decrease?
The "normal" feeding frequency for babies aged one to six months varies considerably, with some needing four times a day, others asking to be breastfed 13 times a day. 3
“From the age of one month, the amount of milk a baby consumes per feed increases, so that he can go without food for longer,” explains Cathy Garbin, an internationally recognized expert on breastfeeding, “A baby’s stomach grows, so he eat more at one time. In addition, mature milk allows him to stay full longer.”
Feeding can last from 12 minutes to one hour -
the habits of babies vary so much! 3 But if the child is gaining weight and falls within this range, there is no cause for concern.
What is most surprising, no matter how often the baby eats, he consumes approximately the same amount of milk per day - both at one month and at six, when it is time to start complementary foods with solid food. 4
“However, sometimes the baby eats more and sometimes less, especially when he is unwell. It’s better to just listen to his needs,” Katie explains.
Is breastmilk sufficient for the first six months?
Yes. Breast milk contains everything a baby needs for the first 90,079 six months of life—exclusively breastfed babies don't even need to drink more water! 5 Until about six months of age, a child's digestive system is simply not adapted to the digestion of solid food, and he will be able to drink cow's milk only after a year.
In addition, breastfeeding during this period prepares the child for further development. It strengthens the muscles of the mouth, develops the jaw and helps straighten the teeth 6.7 . All this will come in handy when the baby begins to eat and talk. And because what you eat and drink affects how your breast milk tastes, your baby discovers new tastes even before he starts eating solid foods. 8
In addition, when your baby is sick, your body produces breast milk that is
rich in antibodies that help fight infection. 9 In other words, milk continues to protect the baby for many months as he grows and becomes more active.
Breastfeeding is also very comfortable once you get used to it. Claudia, a mother of two from the UK, notes: “No need to sterilize a mountain of bottles, prepare formula, carry it all with you, warm it up - in general, breastfeeding turned out to be very convenient, especially when my babies grew up and we began to leave the house more often. ".
At what age does a breastfed baby start sleeping through the night?
Waking up at night is normal for babies. Most babies between the ages of one and six months consume a fifth of their daily milk requirement at night, so nighttime feedings should not be neglected if you want your baby to get the required amount of calories. 3
"It really depends on what you mean by 'sleep through the night,'" says Cathy. "And it's better than waking up every two hours anyway! I have met infants who, starting at six weeks old, fell asleep at 19:00 and woke up at 7:00, but most continue to wake up frequently at night after this age. All children are different."
In Wales, a study of over 700 infants found that almost 80% of children aged 6 to 12 months wake up at least once a night, and 25% of them wake up three times or more. And it did not depend on what type of feeding the child is on - breastfeeding or artificial. 10
And if nighttime awakenings are unavoidable anyway, breastfeeding is at least comfortable! Maina, a mother of two from Australia, agrees: “You can even take a nap while feeding in the middle of the night - both the body and the baby do their job on autopilot. No need to plan, measure, sterilize anything - ready-made food at the right temperature is right in your chest. I think it's ideal."
My child wakes up more often. Perhaps he is hungry?
Around four months of age, a baby's sleep patterns change as they develop deep and light sleep phases like an adult. Because of this, he may wake up more often at night. “At four months, sleep is more of a problem than feeding,” Cathy admits. “It can be exhausting, but try to adapt and be patient.”
Some people call this " a four-month sleep regression ", but "progress" is more appropriate here. From the outside it may look like a step back, but in fact the child is approaching an important stage of development. He learns quickly, begins to become aware of the world around him, his perception is sharpened and, perhaps, there is anxiety about being separated from his mother. Crying when waking up and being able to eat milk cuddled up to mommy’s chest is a way for a baby to calm down. 11–13
Resist the urge to “supplement” your baby with formula or start solid foods early
in an attempt to improve his sleep. Breast milk contains
hormones that make you sleepy and help you both relax
. Research shows that breastfeeding mothers actually sleep longer at night than mothers of formula-fed or mixed-fed babies
How does teething affect breastfeeding?
Teething usually begins around four months of age. When a baby has gum pain, he becomes restless, throws his chest and cries. All this, of course, is unpleasant.
However, breastfeeding can be an excellent sedative.
Studies have shown that babies who are breastfed
during the vaccination period cry less and forget pain more quickly. 15 Breastfeeding during teething can have the same calming effect.
An unpleasant side effect may be the child's attempts to try out his new teeth on the mother's breast. “Sometimes children flirt and bite their mother’s nipples. This can be felt in advance by how the behavior of the child changes when feeding: before biting, he removes his tongue, explains Cathy, “Usually this is not a problem and only happens a couple of times. It is enough to stop feeding, affectionately say that biting is not good, and the baby will soon leave this fun.
How to continue feeding if you have to be separated from the baby?
It happens that during the first six months, when the baby is still fully breastfed, the mother needs to be away for several hours - or even longer if she has to go to work or go away on business for a couple of days.
But this does not mean that you should stop breastfeeding. You can still feed your baby healthy breast milk - just express it and have someone give it to your baby when you're away. Here's Katie's advice:
“Start expressing milk a couple of days in advance, in small batches, 40-60 ml at a time. So you will have the necessary supply for the time of your absence, but at the same time the amount of milk produced will remain the same.
If you have to return to work, check with your employer about your daily schedule. Many mothers breastfeed their babies in the morning, evening and night, and pump milk at lunchtime to relieve discomfort and create a reserve for the next day.
This usually turns out to be much easier than one might think, and today in many companies the conditions are in place for this, notes Cathy, “Breast pumps make it easy to solve this problem.”
Natalie, a mother from the USA, shares her experience: “I feed Dylan as soon as he wakes up, and sometimes again before leaving for work, in order to maintain milk production and not lose contact with the child. At work, I pump twice the next day (in my absence, he eats two bottles of breast milk), and after work I rush home for the evening feed. I don't pump on the weekends - we resume regular breastfeeding."
Can breastfeeding continue after the introduction of solid foods?
When your baby begins to show interest in food and can sit up on his own - usually around six months of age - it's time to start solid foods. However, it is not necessary to stop breastfeeding, Cathy explains: “A baby’s iron stores during pregnancy are depleted by six months, so he needs additional sources of this element.
Start complementary foods with solid foods, but remember that breast milk remains a more important source of calories and nutrients until the baby is eight to nine months old. By this time, he will be eating much more solid food, but he will still need to breastfeed four to five times a day. By 12 months, the frequency of feeding may be two to six times a day. All babies are different, and many of them at this age are still getting half their daily calorie intake from breast milk.”
Don't forget that breast milk can be added to solid foods, such as cereals and purees, so that the baby can taste the familiar taste. If possible, use milk expressed just before feeding (not thawed) and add just before serving to keep bacteria and nutrients alive. 16
You may be pressured by others to stop breastfeeding when your baby is six months old, but the longer you breastfeed or pump, the better for you and your baby.
How long can I continue breastfeeding?
“The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding along with solid foods until at least two years of age because it plays an important role in supporting immunity,” says Cathy. feels bad".
At eight months, the baby sometimes breastfeeds four times a day, but by one year old, the frequency of feedings can be reduced to two times a day. You yourself will understand which feeding regimen is more suitable for you and your baby. For example, Jane, a mother of two from the US, breastfed until the age of two: “I breastfed when I was at home - in the evenings and on weekends, when the children wanted to be close to me,” says Jane, “It helped a lot when they were sick . Breastfeeding has become my favorite form of comfort."
“When my son got a little older and bolder, he still often asked me to breastfeed him - as if to calm down and gain strength,” recalls Amy, a mother of two children from Canada, “When he happened to hit or skin his knee , breastfeeding was a wonderful way to comfort him. ”
If your baby is over a year old and you are still breastfeeding, people around you will probably tell you that this way he will never wean. But if children are not pressured, they usually refuse to breastfeed themselves between the ages of two and four. 17
“I didn’t intend to breastfeed for so long, but as a result, I still breastfeed my four-year-old daughter and 22-month-old son,” says Suzanne, mother of two from the UK, “I breastfeed my youngest before and after work, and in I express milk on business trips. The eldest daughter likes to breastfeed a little before bed or when she is upset - this is a great way to make contact. When I get tired of it, I remind myself what great benefit and comfort it brings them. I now plan to pursue a baby-initiated end breastfeeding strategy — let them decide when to stop.”
For more information on what to expect and lots of tips and tricks, see our guide Breastfeeding Problems After the First Month.
1 Ballard O, Morrow AL. Human milk composition: nutrients and bioactive factors. Pediatr Clin North Am . 2013;60(1):49-74. - Ballard O., Morrow A.L., "Composition of breast milk: nutrients and biologically active factors." Pediatrician Clean North Am. 2013;60(1):49-74.
2 Kent JC et al. Principles for maintaining or increasing breast milk production. 2012;41(1):114-21. - Kent J.S. et al., "Principles for Maintaining and Increasing Milk Production". J Obstet Ginecol and Neonatal Nurse. 2012;41(1):114-121.
3 Kent JC Volume and frequency of breastfeedings and fat content of breast milk throughout the day. Pediatrics. 2006;117(3): e 387-395. - Kent J.S. et al., "Amount and frequency of breastfeeding and fat content of breast milk during the day." Pediatrix (Pediatrics). 2006;117(3):e387-95.
4 Kent JC et al. Longitudinal changes in breastfeeding patterns from 1 to 6 months of lactation. Breast Med . 2013;8(4):401-407. - Kent J.S. et al., Longitudinal changes in breastfeeding patterns from 1 to 6 months of lactation. Brest Med. 2013;8(4):401-407.
5 Almroth S, Bidinger PD. No need for water supplementation for exclusively breast-fed infants under hot and arid conditions. Trans R Soc Trop Med 1990;84(4):602-604. - Elmroth S., Bidinger P.D., "No need for supplementation of exclusively breastfed infants in hot, dry conditions." Trans R Sots Trop Med Hyg. 1990;84(4):602-604.
6 Victora CG et al . Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect. Lancet. 2016;387(10017):475-490. - Victor S.J. et al., "Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms and long-term effects". Lancet 2016;387(10017):475-490.
7 Peres KG et al. Effect of breastfeeding on malocclusions: a systematic review and meta - analysis. Acta Paediatr. 2015;104( S 467):54-61. - Perez K.G. et al., "The impact of breastfeeding on malocclusion: a systematic review and meta-analysis". Akta Pediatr. 2015;104(S467):54-61.
8 Mennella JA, Beauchamp GK. Maternal diet alters the sensory qualities of human milk and the nursling's behavior. Pediatrics. 1991;88(4):737-744. - Mennella, JA, Beauchamp, GK, "Maternal nutrition influences the organoleptic properties of breast milk and infant behavior." Pediatrix (Pediatrics). 1991;88(4):737-744.
9 Hassiotou F et al. Maternal and infant infections stimulate a rapid leukocyte response in breastmilk. Clin Transl immunology. 2013;2(4). - Hassiot F. et al., "Infectious diseases of the mother and child stimulate a rapid leukocyte reaction in breast milk." Clean Transl Immunology. 2013;2(4).
10 Brown A, Harries V. Infant sleep and night feeding patterns during later infancy: Association with breastfeeding frequency, daytime complementary food intake, and infant weight. Breast Med . 2015;10(5):246-252. - Brown A., Harris W., "Night feedings and infant sleep in the first year of life and their association with feeding frequency, daytime supplementation, and infant weight." Brest Med (Breastfeeding Medicine). 2015;10(5):246-252.
11 Infant sleep information source. [Internet]. Normal Infant Sleep Development; December 2017 [cited 2018 Feb] - All about baby sleep. [Internet] "The development of normal sleep in a child", December 2017 [cited February 2018].
12 Baby sleep science. [Internet]. The-Four-Month-Sleep-Regression-What-is-it-and-What-can-be-Done-About-it. March 2014 [ cited 2018 Feb ] - The science of baby sleep. [Internet], "Four-month sleep regression: what it is and what to do about it." March 2014 [cited February 2018].
13 The Myth Of Baby Sleep Regressions – What’s Really Happening To Your Baby’s Sleep? [Internet]. Pinky Mckay ; December 2017 [ cited 2018 Feb ] - "The Myth of Baby Sleep Regression - What's Really Happening to Your Baby?" [Internet]. Pinky McKay, December 2017 [cited February 2018].
14 Kendall - Tackett K ET Al . The effect of feeding method on sleep duration, maternal well-being, and postpartum depression.