Non plastic baby feeding
Best Non-Toxic Baby Utensils, Spoons & More
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Has your tot reached the magical milestone of starting solids? Non-toxic Expert, Aida Garcia-Toldedo shares her insights on how to avoid potentially toxic chemicals lurking in your family’s kitchen and baby’s feeding products.
When feeding their little ones, many parents understand the importance of choosing organic baby food to avoid exposure to pesticides and added hormones, but many might not realize that the tools used to cook and serve a child’s food can also be a source of harmful chemicals.
Many parents limit themselves to lower quality plastic dishware for children, not realizing that there are many safe, non-toxic and stylish alternatives that are widely available to serve food in.
In this article, we’ll go over:
- Baby & toddler feeding: toxic chemicals & materials to avoid
- Safer baby & toddler feeding product materials
- Cooking tools: what to avoid
- Safer cookware options
- Our non-toxic baby & toddler feeding product picks
Scroll down to learn more.
Just because something says ‘BPA-Free’ does not mean that it doesn’t contain a whole slew other other potentially harmful chemicals.
At The Tot, we never use or recommend anything that hasn’t passed the Tot Safety Test. This means I’ve reviewed third-party testing, certifications, ingredients and the composition of every product on the site and deemed it safe.
When it comes to food storage containers, drink bottles, dinnerware, utensils and cookware, it’s EXTRA important to consider what something is made of because the materials are coming in direct contact with food and liquid.
Generally speaking, for hot or acidic meals, you should avoid plastic or melamine plates, as the heat (from the baby food itself, as well as from reheating or even from the dishwasher) can cause the plastic to leach chemicals like phthalates, BPA, and other endocrine disrupting chemicals.
Here’s a list of chemicals we avoid in baby feeding products and why:
PVC, also known as polyvinyl chloride, or vinyl, is an incredibly toxic chemical that is harmful to our bodies and to the environment right from the production phase through to disposal. It contains additives like phthalates, lead, cadmium, organotin that are quite toxic and have been linked to asthma, allergies, reproductive problems and cancer.
Many phthalates are known endocrine disruptors associated with asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity, type II diabetes, neurodevelopmental issues, behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development and male fertility issues.
BPA + BPS (bisphenols)
Bisphenols mimic the hormone estrogen and have been linked to prostate cancer, breast cancer, female infertility, and obesity. BPA is an especially dangerous endocrine disruptor since even small amounts of this chemical have been shown to cause serious reproductive damage, especially when the exposure occurs in utero.
Lead and other heavy metals
Exposure to heavy metals can cause nerve damage, learning and behavioral problems, reproductive damage and irreversible brain damage.
PFAS (poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are a large family of different chemicals that have been shown to cause developmental and other adverse effects in laboratory animals.
Click here to view the full list of ingredients we avoid.
Great alternatives to plastic for baby plates, spoons, sippy cups and storage include:
Food-grade silicone (dishwasher safe)
Wood (with a non-toxic finish)
Stainless steel (dishwasher safe)
Glass (dishwasher safe; for little kids consider a silicon sleeve to protect glass)
- Bamboo fiber with food-grade melamine (not to be confused with the other plastic melamine option.)
Non-stick cookware is a staple in the majority of kitchens across the world today. While the convenience of non-stick is clear, the technology behind it is not so clear.
Non-stick teflon pans: Up until recently, the go-to chemical used to make non-stick pans was the ‘Teflon chemical’ (Perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA for short). This chemical is so toxic that the company that makes it agreed to phase it out of its products. It is a carcinogen (causes cancer), and prenatal exposure to perfluorinated chemicals may affect the immune system in early childhood.
If you have older non-stick pans at home they probably contain PFOA. Stop using these pans to cook or reheat your children’s meals. If you have to use them, make sure you use medium to low heat, since the higher heat temperatures are what cause the chemical to be released into the air and food. Also, make sure the pan has no scratches. Once it is scratched you should throw the pan away immediately.
New non-stick technology: There are various new chemicals and technologies being used in newer non-stick pans. Because these technologies are so new, proper long-term studies are needed to confirm if they are, indeed, completely safe. When cooking for a younger child, it is a good idea to err on the side of caution and avoid anything that has not been proven to be completely safe.
Due to its physical resemblance to stainless steel, aluminum is often mistaken for a safer cooking material. Unfortunately, pans made of aluminum can release heavy metals into food- aluminum is considered a neurotoxin (high exposures to it has been linked to Alzheimers). Acidic foods, such as tomato sauce, high heat and wear and tear cause more aluminum to leach from this cookware into the food.
Although the amount of aluminum that a pan would give off is actually very low, as always with young children I prefer to err on the side of caution and when possible simply choose a safer option.
Lucky for parents everywhere, there are many tried and tested pots and pans that will not leach chemicals into your family’s food:
Cast iron: When properly seasoned, cast iron is virtually non-stick. An added bonus is that cast iron pans add iron to the food you are cooking and can last decades, making them a great investment.
Stainless steel: Widely available, stainless steel is another great option for cooking that will not leach any chemicals into your tot’s meals. Many stainless steel pan users complain about their food sticking to their pans. However, although it does take a bit of practice, there are easy ways to avoid having your food stick when cooking such as ensuring you are cooking on a high heat to seal the food so it doesn’t stick and ensuring the pan is properly oiled and seasoned just before adding the food. An extra bonus is that stainless steel is dishwasher safe!
Babies are far more susceptible than adults to the dangerous effects of toxins and chemicals. Because they spend so much time exploring their new environment, babies spend a lot of time crawling on the floor and putting all sorts of things in their mouths. As they a result, they will naturally absorb and ingest whatever is around them.
By switching to safer baby products, from clothes and toys to meal time, personal care and cleaning products, you will lessen their exposure some potentially dangerous chemicals that can have serious long-term health effects.
All Tot Safety Test Approved, the below products are all free of:
- Harmful phthalates
- BPA + BPA
- Added formaldehyde
- Heavy metals
Scroll down to see my favorite non-toxic baby & toddler mealtime picks.
The Tot Feeding Sets: Baby-led Weaning (6m +)
The Tot Feeding Sets: Starting Solids Stage 1 & 2 (6 – 9m)
The Tot Feeding Sets: Stage 3 Solids Self Feeding (9 – 12m)
The Tot Feeding Sets: On-The-Go (1 year +)
The Tot Feeding Sets: Mastering Mealtimes (18m +)
Mushie Silicone Baby Bib
Available in more colors
EZPZ Silicone Tiny Spoon Set
Available in more colors
January Moon Bamboo & Silicone Fork & Spoon Set
Available in more colors
EZPZ Silicone Happy Mat
Available in more colors
Avanchy Le Petite Baby Set
Available in more colors
Avanchy Bamboo Classic Plate
Available in more colors
Avanchy Bamboo Stay Put Suction Toddler Plate & Spoon
Available in more colors
Avanchy Stainless Steel Toddler Plate
Available in more colors
Austin Baby Collection Silicone Bento Box Set – Camper
Available in more colors
EKOBO Bamboo Fiber Bambino Baby Feeding Set
Available in more colors
EKOBO Bamboo Fiber Bambino Dinner Set – Coral
EKOBO Bamboo Fiber Bambino Dinner Set – Royal Blue
PlanetBox Stainless Steel Rover Lunchbox
Zip Top Silicone Snack Containers
Thinkbaby Sippy of Steel
- We know that choosing safe and non-toxic baby products can be confusing and overwhelming. There are so many issues to consider – BPA-free, lead-free, toxic dyes, flame retardants, organic cotton vs. regular cotton, so our Tot Expert & Green Living Consultant, Aida Garcia-Toledo has answered some of your pressing questions about choosing safer products for your family in The Tot Q&A on the best non-toxic baby products.
Best Non-Toxic and Plastic Free Baby Bottles
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9 Non-Toxic and Plastic Free Baby Bottles
We always want what’s best for our babies, and that includes making sure what they drink from is safe. Unfortunately, recent research suggests that plastic baby bottles might be leaching harmful chemicals. You can feel better about what you’re giving your baby when you make the switch to these best non-toxic and plastic free baby bottles.
Are Plastic Baby Bottles Safe?
When researchers discovered a link between the industrial chemical BPA and the health effects it had on the brain, prostate glands, and behavior of infants and children, the FDA banned the compound in baby bottles, sippy cups, and infant formula packaging.
Unfortunately, new research is beginning to show that even BPA-free baby bottles can release a chemical that acts like estrogen and can disrupt the health of babies and young children.
Related: Why All Parents Should Avoid Plastic Baby Toys
The good news is it’s easy to reduce your plastic use and prevent harmful chemicals from leaching into your baby’s milk when you make the switch to one of these top non-toxic and plastic free baby bottles.
Plus, don’t forget that as your babies get older and transition away from a bottle, you can also get them non-toxic and plastic free sippy cups.
You can also find everything from the best eco-friendly diapers and the best non-toxic baby wipes to the best plastic-free toys and awesome eco-friendly feeding utensils when you check out this list of the best plastic-free baby essentials.
Olababy specializes in making baby products that are safe and sustainable. The Olababy Gentle Bottle is made of sustainably produced medical-grade silicone, which means it’s free of BPA, BPS, PVC, phthalates, lead, and latex.
The soft, smooth texture of the bottle makes it safe and easy to hold.
It has a unique off-centered nipple design that mimics a natural breast to help encourage your baby to latch and reduce bottle rejection. This is perfect for babies who are transitioning from breastfeeding to bottle feeding.
It also has an integrated dual-venting anti-colic system to help making feeding more comfortable for everyone.
As your baby gets older, you can then pick up the Bottle Transition Set. This dishwasher safe set includes a teether handle and straw lid you can use with the Gentle Bottle to help babies wean from the bottle and begin the transition to self-feeding.
Related: 11 Ways to Safely and Naturally Clean and Sanitize Toys
2. Kid Kanteen Baby Bottle
The Kid Kanteen baby bottle is a stainless steel bottle that offers safe, healthy, and non-toxic drinking. The contoured shape of the bottle is easy for small hands to hold, and the tapered design promotes natural and relaxed feedings.
You’ll also appreciate the wide mouth that makes it easy to fill and clean these dishwasher safe bottles. Additionally, the plastic free baby bottles come with soft, medical grade silicone nipples that promote healthy teeth and proper oral development.
Best of all, this baby bottle comes from one of the best online zero waste shops, so you can feel better knowing you’re choosing a truly sustainable option.
Related: The Best Sustainable Maternity Clothes
3. Lifefactory Glass Baby Bottle
I use a Lifefactory water bottle to help me easily reduce waste around the house. It comes with a silicone sleeve to protect the glass bottle. I can attest to just how durable the silicone sleeve is. I once accidentally dropped this bottle on concrete and the silicone sleeve kept the glass from breaking.
Since I love my Lifefactory water bottle so much, I didn’t have to think twice about getting this Lifefactory glass baby bottle for my son. The bottle comes in 4-ounce and 9-ounce options.
It’s made from thermal shock resistant borosilicate glass that makes it possible to safely transition the bottle from cold to warm temperatures.
Plus, not only is the protective silicone sleeve durable, but it also makes it easy for babies to hold the bottle. Everything is dishwasher safe, and you don’t have to remove the silicone sleeve for washing unless you want to.
Related: Protect Your Baby’s Skin With These Top Reusable Cloth Baby Wipes
4. Philips Glass Baby Bottle
If you’re combining breastfeeding and bottle feeding, these Philips glass baby bottles are the perfect option. They’re available in two sizes: 4-ounces and 8-ounces. This makes it easy to get the size you need for your baby.
The bottles are made using premium borosilicate glass that’s heat and thermal shock resistant and easy to wash and sterilize.
The reason these bottles are great for combining with breastfeeding is because they come with wide breast-shaped silicone nipples that help promote a natural latch. These nipples also have a special design that reduces feeding issues by venting air away from your baby’s stomach.
5. Mason Jar Baby Bottle
If you have 8-ounce mason jars at home, you can transform them into non-toxic and plastic free baby bottles by using this mason jar baby bottle kit.
The kit includes one silicone sleeve to protect the glass mason jar and two silicone nipples. I would like to point out that the kit also includes one plastic cap to cover the nipple. However, your baby’s milk never touches plastic and your baby never actively drinks from any plastic parts.
Related: 50+ Amazing Alternatives to Plastic
6. Pura Kiki Stainless Steel Baby Bottle
Pura Kiki makes some of the best non-toxic and plastic free baby bottles because they offer so many great benefits. First, you can find them in numerous sizes, including these 5-ounce baby bottles, these 9-ounce insulated baby bottles, and these 11-ounce baby bottles.
The stainless steel bottles are dishwasher safe and come with a bright-colored sleeve, silicone nipple with anti-colic vent tube, and soft silicone travel cover.
Plus, since the bottles are compatible with other Pura Kiki silicone components and accessories, you can easily transition them to sippy cups, straw bottles, sport bottles, or snack containers.
7. Evenflo Classic Glass Baby Bottle
If you’re interested in a classic glass baby bottle, you can’t beat these Evenflo bottles. The iconic shape of these bottles includes an ergonomic twist that makes them easy to hold.
The bottles have only three pieces, so they’re simple to assemble for feeding and disassemble for cleaning. They’re also dishwasher safe. Plus, to make your life a little easier, these plastic free baby bottles fit onto most standard neck breast pumps.
8. Dr. Brown’s Wide-Neck Glass Baby Bottle
My son was a colicky baby. So when we were looking for non-toxic and plastic free baby bottles, we wanted to get ones that would help. That’s why we chose these Dr. Brown’s wide-neck glass baby bottles.
The bottles come with breast-like nipples that encourage a proper latch and a vent system that’s clinically proven to help reduce gas, burping, and spit-up from colic.
Plus, like other glass baby bottles, these bottles are made with non-toxic and recyclable borosilicate glass that can handle gradual hot and cold temperature changes.
9. Miracle Bean Glass Baby Bottle
Like a lot of other parents, I wanted to get my son some non-toxic and plastic free baby bottles because I was worried about dangerous chemicals leaching into his milk. But I also worried about the bottles breaking if they were accidentally dropped.
That’s why these 4-ounce Miracle Bean glass baby bottles are such a great option. They come with adjustable neoprene sleeves that wrap around the glass bottle and offer numerous benefits.
In addition to providing drop and shock protection, the sleeves also help maintain proper drink temperatures. Plus, if feeding time gets a little messy, the sleeves are machine washable.
When your baby gets bigger, you can also pick up some 8-ounce Miracle Bean glass baby bottles with sleeves.
Best Non-Toxic and Plastic Free Baby Bottles
New studies are suggesting that even BPA-free plastic can leach harmful chemicals into food and drink when it’s warmed up. Since you frequently warm up milk or formula to give to your baby, doing it in a plastic baby bottle isn’t worth the risk. Fortunately, it’s very easy to find a safer alternative to plastic when you choose one of these best non-toxic and plastic free baby bottles.
More Eco-Friendly Living Tips
Now that you know more about the top non-toxic and plastic free baby bottles, are you ready for even more great eco-friendly living tips? Then be sure to check out some of our other popular posts:
- How to Naturally Ease Eczema on Babies
- Fun Eco-Friendly Indoor Activities for Kids
- Best Children’s Books About Sustainability
- Top Eco-Friendly Summer Activities for Kids
alternative ways.. Articles to help mom
H Non-bottle supplementation occurs in mothers who want to continue breastfeeding but are forced to supplement with formula or expressed milk for various reasons, for example:
- Mom needs to go away, and another adult will feed the baby.
- Mom is ill and is taking medications that are incompatible with GW (breastfeeding).
- It is necessary to give a medicine diluted in milk.
- Mom has a severe cracked nipple and breastfeeding is very painful.
- The baby is not gaining weight, and the pediatrician prescribed supplementary feeding with formula.
- Any other reason why a baby would need to be supplemented from a non-breastfeed.
The article will be useful to mothers who want to return or maintain breastfeeding after the introduction of supplementary feeding.
Why not a bottle
There is no unequivocal recommendation to give non-bottle supplements. But there is a threat that after the bottle the baby will refuse the breast or stop latching on properly.
For some children, it is enough to kiss the nipple once to start acting up at the breast. After all, milk from the breast does not flow as quickly and not as evenly as from a bottle. It does not mean at all that this will happen to you, but there is such a possibility.
Methods of supplementary feeding by degree of closeness to breastfeeding
Consider the pros and cons of the methods known to us, which are recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and breastfeeding consultants.
Breast feeding systems
You give your baby a breast and bring a soft catheter to the nipple, through which pumped milk or formula is supplied. At the opposite end of the catheter is a container of milk. It can be a syringe or a bottle, or a glass - which is more convenient for mom. Medela has a ready-to-use breastfeeding system. This option is only suitable for babies who can breastfeed. On the Internet you will find videos on how to build such a system yourself or use a ready-made one. Google it.
The undoubted advantage of the breastfeeding system is that the baby suckles at the breast. He not only receives milk "from the breast", but also stimulates the mammary glands.
You have to get used to using it. The container and catheter will have to be washed or changed frequently, interrupt feeding, or prepare milk in advance for supplementary feeding. You will spend some time learning how to secure the catheter to your chest.
Very similar to the previous version, only instead of the breast, the child sucks your finger, to which the catheter is attached. Instead of a catheter, you can give milk to the corner of your mouth from a syringe without a needle. Drop by drop. It is better to choose a larger finger, usually the middle or index finger, so that the baby opens his mouth wide.
The baby has skin contact while suckling and feels the warmth of your finger. In the case of using a catheter, you can hold the baby in your arms, as with breastfeeding.
If you are syringe feeding, some of the milk will spill out at first. Stock up on stock. If a stranger is feeding the child, then it is advisable to use a glove or abandon this method so as not to create an additional burden on the intestines with an unfamiliar microflora.
WHO recommends this method. You pour milk into a small cup. Even a plastic bottle cap will do. Tilt it so that the milk does not spill out, but stands at the edge. And put this edge on the baby's lower lip. He will begin to stick out his tongue and slowly lap up milk. You gradually tilt the cup so that the milk is always available to him. It is important not to pour milk into the child's mouth, otherwise it will choke.
With this method of feeding, you need to keep the baby as upright as possible.
The child eats milk at his own pace. He may take a break from lapping, as well as from breast sucking. At this point, it is important to continue to hold the cup on his lip. The kid will continue when he is ready.
Milk is likely to spill, prepare with a margin.
The principle is the same. Instead of a cup, you use a spoon, which you serve with a thin or wide edge - as you like - on the child's lower lip. The difference is that the spoon will have to be refilled more often. Medela has a special feeding spoon. The principle of its application is the same, but it is filled from the attached container with a light touch. Choose what is more convenient.
Give milk from a syringe without a needle to the baby's cheek. It is important to give it by the cheek and drop by drop so that the child does not choke. Take a syringe of at least 10 ml. Try different manufacturers. The piston should move as easily and without jerks as possible. To make it possible for you to smoothly supply milk, grab the syringe with your little finger and ring finger, and press the plunger with your thumb.
Milk almost does not spill with this method if you are not in a hurry.
The syringe will need to be refilled frequently if the amount of supplementation is significant.
In the minuses of all methods, one important point is deliberately not indicated - such supplementary feeding takes significantly more time than supplementary feeding from a bottle. And this is good. After all, the baby also sucks for a long time. Maybe 20 minutes, maybe an hour. And your supplementation will take the same amount of time. depending on its volume. You have to be ready for this.
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."
Mothers today consider breastfeeding essential 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 on 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 justified from a biological point of view. 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 the breast in his 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 suckling. 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 when waking up.
- Feeding regime changes at six months. 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 applications 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 on waking from 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 fun. 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, basically 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.
Mothers who do not think about breastfeeding without looking back at the clock may get the impression that when feeding 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 important not only 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.