Breast milk is the best nutrition and care for babies, but breast-feeding is not always possible. Use an appropriate infant formula if
• You take an informed decision not to breast-feed (review this decision with your pediatrician and lactation consultant).
• You need to discontinue breast-feeding for a problem that you can not solve with your pediatrician and lactation consultant and your infant is less than 1 year of age.
• If you are not successful in augmenting breast milk supply with your lactation consultant and you need to occasionally supplement your infant after breast-feeding is well established.
Note: If you want to breast-feed but feel your milk supply is insufficient, or have other concerns do not discontinue breast-feeding. Instead seek help from your physician or a lactation nurse as early as possible.
Infant formulas are the safest alternative to breast feeding if it is not possible.
They have been manufactured mostly from cow's milk to approximate breast milk nutrients and fulfill the nutritional needs of your infant. A few are derived from soybeans for infants who may be allergic to the protein in cow's milk.
If you use tap water for preparing formula, use only water from the cold water tap. Fresh, cold water is safe. If you make one bottle at a time, you do not need to use boiled water if your infant is more than 3 months of age (even this is controversial). Just heat cold tap water to the preferred temperature. Warmed water should be tested in advance to make sure it is not too hot or cold. The easiest way is to shake a few drops on the inside of the wrist. If you have concerns of your water supply safety, boil it for 1 minute (no longer). If you prefer to prepare a batch of formula, you must use boiled or distilled water and closely follow the directions printed on the side of the formula can. This unserved prepared formula should be stored in the refrigerator and must be used within 48 hours. Prepared formula must be discarded within one hour if warmed or served to your infant. Bottles of infant formula should not be warmed in a microwave oven.
Regular cow's milk should not be given to babies before 12 months of age because of increased risks of iron deficiency anemia and allergies. Skim milk or 2% milk should not be given to babies before 3 years of age because the fat content of regular milk (approximately 3.5% butterfat) is needed for rapid brain growth.
In general, your baby will need six to eight feedings per day for the first month, five to six feedings per day from 1 to 3 months, four to five feedings per day from 3 to 7 months, and three to four feedings per day thereafter. If your baby is not hungry at some of the feedings, the feeding interval should be increased.
A feeding session should not take more than 20 minutes. If it does, you are overfeeding your baby or the nipple is clogged. A clean nipple should drip about 1 drop per second when the bottle of formula is inverted.
Burping is optional. It does not decrease crying. Although it may decrease spitting up. Burping two times during a feeding and for about 1 minute is plenty.
From 6 months to 16 years of age, children need fluoride to prevent dental caries. The regular water supply contains fluoride, if your child drinks at least 500ml each day, this should be adequate. If your are giving your child bottled water you should make sure that the fluoride content of water is more than 0.3mg / l. Otherwise, fluoride drops or tablets should be given separately.
If you have any questions or concerns.
Sleeping with a bottle of milk, juice, or any sweetened liquid in the mouth can cause severe decay of the teeth. Do not use the bottle as a pacifier or allow your child to take it to bed.
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