When you arrive home, please call the office to schedule a follow-up appointment and your baby's first check-up at five weeks of age. You are encouraged to call us with any medical concerns. Our staff has been trained to answer your questions. If you need to speak with a doctor or nurse during office hours, please be prepared to leave a phone number where you can be reached, and your call will be returned at the earliest opportunity. Please have a pencil and paper handy at your phone for any instructions you may need to write down.
Nutrition will never be more important than during infancy. Babies receive adequate nourishment, love, attention and security, whether breast or bottle fed. Breast feeding offers certain advantages such as convenience, infrequency of allergies and economy. Remember this is your choice and your choice is the right choice.
Breast feeding is the most natural and healthy way to feed your baby. In the hospital you will receive instructions on how to initiate breast feeding from a nurse or lactation consultant. In most cases, breast feeding is more successful if the baby is nursed at both breasts at each feeding; for instance, 5 to 10 minutes on the first side and 5 to10 minutes on the other; reversing the breast sequence on the next feeding. Your baby should have 6 or more wet diapers per day.
Breastfed babies will most likely want to be fed every 1-3 hours (as many as 12 times a day) during the first few weeks. This will become less frequent as your milk supply becomes well established. During the initial weeks your breast may feel tender and engorged. Sometimes it is helpful to pump your breasts or manually express a small quantity of milk before nursing to allow your baby to grasp the nipple more adequately.
Your breast fed baby may also go through periods of time when she want to eat more often. This means your baby is going through a growth spurt and does not mean you do not have enough milk. As long as there are no problems, just feed your baby as often as she seems hungry. Remember all babies lose a few ounces during the first days after birth. They should gain their weight back by the time they are 10 days old.
Babies can grow adequately on a prepared infant formula. You should wash the bottle and nipples the same way you wash your other dishes. Always remember to use hot water with dish soap or put the bottles in the dishwasher.
When preparing your baby's formula make sure to read the directions carefully. The formula only needs to be room temperature. Do not use the microwave to warm formula.
Allow your baby to be fed on a demand schedule and she will generally awaken every 2-5 hours. While feeding, stop to burp your baby every one to two ounces initially, then at longer intervals when she becomes older. Your baby will not necessarily take the same amount of formula at each feeding. Your baby should have 6 or more wet diapers per day. Do not force your baby to complete the bottle. To prevent choking, never prop the bottle.
Breast milk or infant formulas supply all your baby's nutritional needs. In fact, there is evidence that too early introduction of solids contributes to allergy and excessive weight gain in infancy. We will discuss feeding solid foods at your baby's well-baby visits.
For more information, see our Most Commonly Asked Questions About Newborns.