For the first three months of a child’s life, breast milk or its artificial substitutes provide complete nutrition. The child’s appetite and nutritional needs vary from day to day and month to month. As the child grows, his nutritional needs change. The number of feedings decreases, the amount of milk eaten per feeding increases, and the duration of night sleep increases. During this stage of development, the child’s digestive system is still growing and developing. Therefore, at this stage, it is best to completely rely on milk and avoid introducing food into the child’s diet.
Children’s signs of hunger
In order to determine if a child is hungry, a mother needs to observe a series of signs, some of which are listed below:
There is a tendency for the baby to lean toward the breast or bottle.
A hand or finger is sucked by him.
The man opens his mouth, sticks out his tongue, or sucks his lips.
When a baby cries, it may be a sign that he or she is hungry, but the mother should wait until the baby is very upset before feeding it. He may be difficult to calm down.
The signs of a healthy baby’s diet
A mother can tell if her baby is eating well by observing the following signs:
There is a sense of alertness and energy about him.
Weight gain is evident in him.
His abilities grow and develop as he grows.
Six to eight times a day, he is breastfed.
Improper infant feeding signs
There are several symptoms that indicate that the child is not getting enough nutrition. The child will notice the following things:
Even after feeding, he does not feel comfortable.
There is constant shouting and he is upset all the time.
Children often spit up after eating or burping, but they should not vomit after eating. Besides overfeeding, vomiting after each feeding could be a symptom of allergies, digestive issues, or other problems that require medical attention.
Breast milk production naturally increases or decreases depending on the baby’s needs in the third month (7-9) daily feedings every two and a half to three and a half hours. These signs can assist the mother to determine whether the child is receiving adequate breastfeeding, and we mention them here:
After feeding, the breast becomes softer. It is because the milk is being emptied by the baby.
After feeding, the baby seems calm and comfortable.
Weight gain continues for the baby. It is normal for a child to gain between 170 and 226 grams per week in the first four months of life.
A child changes at least six diapers a day.
Formula feeding a baby
If the child is fed formula at this age, he needs 74 ml per day for every 0.45 kg of his weight, but these numbers are not fixed. Provides an average of the child’s needs, which vary based on his needs. Some days it increases, some days it decreases. The child finishes the milk quickly if he is hungry and looks around for more. A baby can receive extra milk (30-60 ml) in one feeding in this case. However, the child should not be fed more than 945 ml of powdered milk per day. Due to overfeeding, formula-fed babies tend to weigh more than their peers. To prevent overfeeding, the milk must be slowly dripped into the bottle.
The best nutrition for babies is breast milk. For the first six months of a child’s life, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends complete and safe breastfeeding, followed by the introduction of solid foods and continued breastfeeding for the first year or two. During the first six months of a baby’s life, exclusive breastfeeding is very common. In addition to the benefits for both mother and child, the following can be mentioned:
A baby’s best food is breast milk. Children (6 to 23 months) benefit from it because it is easy to digest and a good source of energy and nutrients. Breast milk meets all the needs of a child up to six months, more than half of the energy needed between six and twelve months, and a third of the energy needed between twelve and 24 months.
Antibodies in it help protect the child against a wide range of infectious diseases. The most common of these are diarrhea, respiratory infections, and gastrointestinal infections.
Breastfed babies are less likely to develop diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma, and allergies, according to research.
Children who are breastfed are less likely to be overweight or obese.
The mother’s uterus contracts when she breastfeeds, which burns calories. As a result, breastfeeding mothers regain their normal body weight and shape more quickly.
The risk of ovarian and breast cancer is reduced.
Breastfeeding fulfills a variety of emotional needs for both mother and baby. A direct connection between mother and baby strengthens their emotional bond and helps the new mother feel confident in her ability to care for and nourish the baby.
Breastfeeding is considered a natural form of contraception. In many women, it prevents pregnancy because of its hormonal effect.