Dr. Meg Says – 6 Infant Nutrition Questions

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Dr. Meg Meeker answers six infant nutrition questions and provides tips, tricks and things you might not know about feeding your newborn. Whether you’re a new parent or this is your second or third go-around, there are things you simply need to know when it comes to infant nutrition. Dr. Meg Meeker answers six infant nutrition questions and provides tips, tricks and things you might not know about feeding your newborn.

Question #1:

My baby is 4 months old, when can I begin giving her cow’s milk and water?

Dr. Meg Says:

Breast milk, infant formula, or combinations of the two are the only healthy foods you need to give her for about the first 6 months. Babies younger than six months should not receive water, cow’s milk, or juice. No baby should be given homemade formula or breast milk obtained from another source.

Speak to your pediatrician about the milestones that help to tell you when to introduce solid foods into your child’s diet. Do not introduce cow’s milk before one year of age. Until then, give your baby breast milk or formula along with her solids.

Question #2:

I breastfed my first two children and now I’m pregnant with my third child. Because of work, the little ones, and life in general, breastfeeding may not be an option this time around. What are some choices that I have?

Dr. Meg Says:

Choose a feeding method that works for you and your family’s lifestyle. From exclusively feeding formula, to formula feeding during the day and breastfeeding at night, to pumping and storing at work, there is a spectrum of options for modern parents. Speak to your pediatrician about other choices you have.

Question #3: 

How can I be sure my baby is getting all of the nutrients and vitamins he needs?

Dr. Meg Says:

If you are feeding formula, there is no need to add vitamins because formulas contain them. If you’re breastfeeding, the CDC recommends supplementing with Vitamin D beginning at 2 months of age. Your physician may also recommend you take vitamins while breastfeeding.

Question #4:

I just gave birth to my first baby girl and I’ve been looking forward to breastfeeding but I can’t seem to produce enough milk. I want to continue to breastfeed, but I also want my baby to be healthy. What should I do?

Dr. Meg Says:

Dr. Meg says… Many of my patients run into this same issue. Tracking the baby’s growth and making sure that she is latching onto your breast correctly can help identify if this is a problem. If it is, a lactation consultant may be helpful or speak to your pediatrician about supplementing your breastmilk with infant formula.

According to a recent survey, 60% of parents combination feed their babies, using both breast milk and infant formula.

Question #5:

When I’m feeding my baby he doesn’t seem to finish the entire bottle. Is he getting all of the vitamins and nutrients he needs?

Dr. Meg Says:

It’s okay if your baby doesn’t finish his bottle occasionally. Check to see if he makes up for it by eating more during a later feeding.

Note, if your pediatrician says your baby is underweight or if your baby was premature, then your baby should be consuming the recommended amount of formula or breastmilk.

Question #6:

I want to avoid overfeeding my baby, how can I tell if he’s had enough to eat?

Dr. Meg Says:

It’s important for parents to pick-up on their baby’s cues in order to avoid over-feeding and over-eating. The best way to avoid over-feeding is to gradually lengthen the time between meals, which allow infants to have a clearer sense of being full.

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