On-Demand Bottle Feeding

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Bottle feeding organic European infant formula from Little World Organics

If you’re bottle-feeding your baby, you’ll have likely heard of on-demand feeding. While on-demand feeding has traditionally been associated only with breastfed babies, research is now showing benefits of this style of feeding for both breast and bottle-fed infants.

In the past, health professionals advised parents to feed their baby at a regularly-spaced interval of 3-4 hours between feeds. However, recommendations have now shifted in favor of feeding babies on cue. There are a number of reasons for this shift in approach, but it is primarily because when we allow babies to determine the time and length of their own feeds, they are much more likely to get exactly what they need. Interfering with this process by using a strict feeding schedule doesn’t help babies to develop their own intuitions about food.

As an example, a newborn baby should be fed frequently, usually when they show signs of hunger and ideally before they start to cry. If this doesn’t occur, then a baby has a higher risk of developing dehydration and underfeeding, which can result in poor weight gain. On-demand feeding also helps prevent overfeeding and subsequent gassy symptoms and/or bringing back feeds from an over-distended stomach. While we know that all babies go through growth spurts and will experience fluctuations in their feeding requirements, feeding on-demand makes it easier for babies to increase or decrease their intake as needed.

You can reassure yourself that your baby is getting enough milk by popping by your pediatrician’s office to have them weighed. A baby who is getting enough milk will follow their percentiles on their growth chart, have plenty of wet and dirty diapers and be generally happy and content between feeds.

You’ll soon learn to recognize your baby’s feeding cues and you’ll quickly know your baby’s hunger cry from a cuddle cry. Remember it’s easier to feed a baby before they’re crying! Up to four months of age, your baby might ‘root’, this means they will turn their head and open their mouth towards your chest when picked up, even making sucking motions, putting their hands into their mouth. When you see these signs it’s a good time to offer your baby a feed. When feeding your baby, look out for signs that they have had enough, which will include slowing down the feed, taking long pauses and falling asleep. Don’t force your baby to finish a bottle, even if there’s some left. When your baby shows signs of having had enough, it’s time to stop the feed.

You might find that your little one goes through growth spurts and has times where they are asking for extra feeds for a couple of days. Trust in your baby’s instincts and need for increased feeds and offer them on-demand as needed. They will soon settle down again.

Remember, there are proven benefits to on-demand feeding which go further than focussing on your baby’s hunger and thirst. Research has shown that babies fed on-demand in the longer term have a decreased risk of childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes and might even enjoy a cognitive advantage over their peers. All that said, it seems that the best schedule to follow when feeding your baby is no schedule at all, instead letting your little one tell you exactly when and how much they want to be fed!

If you’d like to learn more about organic infant formula from Europe, which contains no GMOs, no artificial colors or preservatives, and no added sweeteners, visit www.lworganics.com.

This article was adapted from an article posted on www.kendamil.com.

First Month Wardrobe Necessities

When I was pregnant with my son, I relied heavily on my sister’s guidance in the motherhood department. She has three kids under the age of five, and her experience proved invaluable to me.

You see, I was that girl who would turn down holding babies when my proud friends invited me to the hospital to see the newest addition to their family.

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My mom holding my nephew Blaine. Notice who is not holding the baby? 

It wasn’t anything personal… I mean, I’m no baby hater! It was more like fear of the unknown. What if I hurt the baby? What will I do if it cries? And worst of all, what if my baby-loving friends write me off as a mommy failure before I even have the chance to prove them wrong?

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Held this little guy long enough to take a picture. Immediately returned him to his mama.

This is going to sound horrible, but I did not change a single one of Baby J’s diapers until we arrived home from the hospital. It’s not that I didn’t want to, I just really had no idea what the hell I was doing. I had maybe changed three diapers throughout the course of my entire life prior to having a baby, and none of them were particularly messy, if you know what I mean. The nurses would come in to wheel J away to the nursery (which does not make one a bad mommy, might I add), and I would assure them that his diaper was clean and dry. The reality was I hadn’t even thought to check. Thank God for my husband, who despite his complete cluelessness in the baby department, managed to pull his s**t together when I couldn’t. He swaddled, he burped, he soothed, and I cried.

I cried because I was exhausted. I cried because I was terrified. And I cried because that’s simply what you do when you’ve just had a baby… I would have been lost without him.

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First date night post-baby. A much needed night away.

Thanks to my knowledgeable sister and her savvy advice, I was able to get one thing right in the first few weeks of motherhood, and it’s pretty darn important if you ask me.

Newborn wardrobe… Nailed it.

And in the spirit of celebrating the small victories of motherhood, I thought I would share my list of clothing necessities for a newborn baby. It’s easy to get carried away because baby clothes are so stinking adorable, but remember, there is plenty of time to shop after they are born.

J was just over six pounds when he was born, and contrary to what my mother insisted, he wore newborn-sized clothing for a very long time. Of course every baby is different, but this is what worked for us.

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Can one really have too many onesies?

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4-6 pairs of cotton pants

The infamous “old man” pants. God I love them. Baby girls have it slightly better with cute colors and a girlpantsruffled ankle.

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3-4 sleep & plays

Do yourself (and your baby) a favor… Buy the zip-up version. Snaps at three a.m. are never a good idea.

2-3 “other” sleep outfits

Gowns, and sacks, and swaddles! Oh, my! It’s hard to predict what your baby will prefer to sleep in, so it is wise to have an assortment of options. We tried all, and the onesie/Woombie combo was a winner for us.

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3-4 pair of socks

Finding a pair of socks that will stay on your little ones’ feet can prove rather challenging, even more so when they are five months old and sucking on their toes. The only pair of socks that I have had any success with is this pair from Carter’s. Yes, paying fourteen dollars for three pairs of socks seems excessive, but it sure beats the “one sock” syndrome that will otherwise plague your baby. I welcome any less expensive suggestions that have worked for you!socks2

Depending on the weather, you may need other accessories to keep your baby warm. My son was born in July, so this list met all of our needs. And of course I bought a few over the top designer outfits that Baby J never had the opportunity to wear, and you should, too. They are babies only once, after all.

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