Caring for your babyBirth to 6 Months

Mom Baby

Hello World

I am your baby. You are my everything.

Please help me grow strong in body, heart, and mind. I grow best when you:

Breast milk or baby formula with iron is all I need to grow and develop for my first 6 months.

Breastfeeding

You Have What I Need To Grow​.

Breast milk is the perfect food for me.

Talk with our healthcare provider if we are exclusively breastfeeding to ask if I need extra vitamin D. Ask about an iron supplement when I’m about 6 months old.

Formula Feeding

If I drink formula, it’s important to mix the ingredients the right way. Follow the mixing directions on the can.

Always add water to the bottle first, then the powder formula.

Always use the scoop provided in the can of formula. Make sure it is level.

Use prepared infant formula within 2 hours after taking it out of the refrigerator.

Once I start feeding, throw away any formula left in the bottle after 1 hour.

Paced Bottle Feeding

Whether it’s breast milk or formula in my bottle:

I Need Your Touch

Hold me when you feed me. 

I feel safe with you and love to look at your face.

Sometimes I may take a break from eating, even though I’m not full yet. I just want to rest or share some special time with you.

Help me stay awake while you feed me. Please don’t prop up my bottle. I could choke or get an ear infection.

I Need to Eat Often

My stomach is small.

Remember, all babies are different. I may eat different amounts from one day to the next. As I become older and my stomach grows, I may eat less often, but can eat more at each feeding.

Look for My Signs

I use body movements and make noises to let you know what I need. If you look for these signs, you can respond to me before I start to cry. I am much easier to feed when I am calm.

“I’M HUNGRY”

When I’m starting to get hungry, I might:

“I’M FULL”

When I’m feeling full, I might:

Growth Spurts

As I grow, my routine might change, and I may want to eat and sleep more than usual. These are called growth spurts.

All babies are different, but my growth spurts might happen when I’m around the ages of:

2 to 3 weeks

4 to 6 weeks

3 months

4 months

6 months

9 months

Your body also knows what I need and will make more milk to keep up with my growth spurts. The more often you breastfeed or pump, the more milk you will make.

If I act hungry after I finish a feeding, offer me the breast again. If I am taking a bottle, offer me another ounce or two.

Play with me!

I’m ready to learn about you, me, and the world we live in.

I want to discover what my body can do.

Give me TUMMY TIME when we play.

When I’m alert and relaxed, put me on a blanket on the floor. Watch how I stretch and kick my legs and move my arms. I’m making them stronger.

Playing helps me learn, improve coordination, build strength, explore, and bond with you!

Look what I can do!

I learn best when I feel happy, loved, and safe.

baby_dad

Keep me safe and healthy

DO NOT let me have these foods until I am at least 1 year old:

Cow’s milk or other non-dairy milks (like soy or almond milk). It’s too hard for me to digest and may cause health problems.

Honey and foods made with honey. Honey can contain bacteria that cause infant botulism, or food poisoning. These bacteria are harmless to older kids and adults.

Introducing Peanut Butter

If my healthcare provider says it is ok, let me try peanut butter around 6 months of age. Doing this might help prevent a peanut allergy as I grow older.

In the morning, mix one teaspoon of peanut butter with breast milk or formula. Make it thin and easy to swallow.

Use a spoon to offer a taste of the thinned product. Wait 10 minutes, then offer more. Watch for any reaction for the next 2 hours.

For additional support, contact your local WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for breastfeeding questions.

Feeding a 10-12 Month Old

Breast milk is the most important source of nutrition for your baby, even after you start offering solid foods.

Feeding a 8-9 Month Old

Feed solids with a spoon. Never put cereal in a bottle.

Feeding a 6-7 Month Old

Feed solids with a spoon and from a bowl, never from a bottle.

Tips

Breast milk and formula feeding:

Around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months of age, babies may experience a growth spurt when they feed more often.

As they grow babies can hold more milk, so feedings may become further apart and take less time.

To prevent choking, always hold your baby when feeding. Never prop up a bottle to feed.

Start offering whole milk when your baby is one year old.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months and beyond.

feeding-solid-foods

Feeding solid foods:

Wait to offer solid foods until your baby:

To prevent choking, always hold your baby when feeding. Never prop up a bottle to feed.

Try one new food at a time. Wait 5 days before trying another new food to watch for allergies. Food allergies may include wheezing, rash, or diarrhea.

Introduce peanut butter around 6 months. Spread a small, thin smear of peanut butter or nut butter thinly on a cracker.  Watch your baby for any reaction for the next 2 hours.

Babies under one year should NOT have honey or foods that can cause choking like nuts or whole grapes.

All babies are different. Talk with WIC or your baby’s healthcare provider about your baby’s needs.

Feeding Cues

Feeding a 4-5 Month Old

Before teeth come in, wipe gums with a soft, clean wash cloth after each feeding, especially before bed.

Feeding a 0-3 Month Old

Newborns have tiny tummies and need to be fed often. In the first few weeks, you may need to wake your baby to feed if they sleep longer than 4 hours.

Growth Spurts

Many babies are fussy during a growth spurt and will want to nurse longer and more often. This is called cluster feeding. This is your baby’s way of helping you increase your milk supply so that you can keep up with their needs. Remember, the more your baby nurses, the more milk your body makes.

Growth spurts can happen at any time, and every baby is different.

They often happen at these ages:

2 to 3 Weeks

6 Weeks

3 Months

6 Months

What foods can I get?