Feeding Patterns and Quantities
As the parent of a young baby, you are responsible for providing and monitoring all of their food - up until the age of six months this only involves breast milk, infant formula, or a combination of the two. (Occasionally babies are weaned onto solids sooner than six months but it is not usually recommended.)
To the average bystander, feeding an infant might seem like a pretty simple business. You have breast milk on tap and formula is easy to prepare - you can even buy it ready to drink! In reality, most parents find the task of feeding a little more complicated, and the burden of this responsibility is not to be underestimated. Each method of feeding has its own difficulties - such as pain or discomfort in breastfeeding; or making time for sterilising and preparing formula when bottle feeding. But then you have the questions of how often, and how much? Should your baby have a smaller quantity of formula at more regular intervals? Can you give him too much? How are you supposed to monitor the quantity of milk a breastfed baby gets?
We take a look at a common question from most mothers who worry they under feed or overfeed their newborns?
How to cope with your child wanting to be fed more often than usual and if it means your child is about to have a growth spurt.
We look at what means when your baby refuses feeds and what you should do then it happens.
New parents are bombarded with conflicting advice about 'feeding on demand' and the importance of routines. If you need to feed your baby whenever they seem to want food, which may be at quite random intervals, then how do you get them into a daily pattern? Many women are surprised when their health visitor starts asking them to wake their child in the night for a feed - why would anyone want to wake a sleeping baby at night time? Such advice is likely to be based on a concern about the baby's weight gain, but if you are unsure then always seek a second opinion. There are no hard and fast rules about the quantity and frequency of feeds for a baby, but there are some helpful guidelines, and monitoring your child's weight alongside their feeding habits is an effective way of ensuring your baby is getting what he or she needs. In these articles we offer more detailed guidance on what healthcare professionals are advising today when it comes to feeding patterns, with hints and tips on how to cope with the more difficult aspects of monitoring your baby's feeds.