The primary source of nutrition for Your Child in the first three months of life is breast milk or infant formula. During this period, as Your Child grows, the feeding pattern will change.
What you should expect
You will notice an increase in appetite, making your baby feed longer in each session. So, Your Child won’t need to feed as often, and at night, the little one will sleep longer.
As your baby grows and you observe these changes in the appetite, keep feeding the little one whenever demanded and increase the frequency as needed.
How do you know when your baby is hungry or full?
Generally, when a baby is full, they will stop feeding, turn away from the breast or bottle, or slow down the suckling. Although appetite may not be the same for all babies, here are general guidelines for feeding your baby with breast milk or infant formula:
Breastfeeding: As babies grow, they will feed longer per session but less frequently. To know if your baby is well-fed, check for the following signs:
- Appears active, alert, and content
- Feeds six to eight times per day
- Is growing, gaining weight, and developing steadily
- Regularly soils or wets their diapers
If your baby is always irritable, cries a lot, or appears unsatisfied after feeding, it could be a sign that the little one did not feed enough. Please call your pediatrician if you are concerned.
A few weeks after birth, most breastfed babies start to have fewer bowel movements. At about two months old, your baby may not poo after each feeding and may not even poo every day. If you are planning to exclusively breastfeed your baby, doctors often recommend giving vitamin D supplements for the first few days after birth.
Formula Feeding: Formula milk takes longer to digest, so formula-fed babies may feed less frequently than breastfed babies. Generally, babies drink 3 – 5 oz (120 ml – 150 ml) per feeding during the 2nd month and an additional 1 oz (30 ml) by the end of the 3rd month.
Because drinking from the bottle requires less suckling effort, babies can easily get overfed. To prevent this, ensure that the holes on the bottle’s nipple are the right size- milk should be dripping out slowly. And stop feeding when your child shows signs of being full.
Spitting up: Any reason to worry?
A small spitting up within an hour after the baby is fed is no cause for concern if the content is slowly dripping from the mouth, possibly comes with a burp.
To reduce spitting up, you can try these:
- Avoid overfeeding
- Burp your baby at every feeding
- Feed your baby before they get very hungry
- Avoid intense physical plays immediately after feeding
- Keep a semi-upright position during feeding and maintain it for an hour after
However, you should call your doctor if you notice that your baby does any of the following:
- Spits up in large quantity
- Is irritable during and after feeding
- Spits up forcefully
- Appears to be losing weight or not gaining weight as expected
Always contact your doctor if you have doubts or concerns about your baby’s feeding.
Dr. Piyawut Kreetapirom, MD. (8 July 2021)