Milk "Secrets" Just for You...

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Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, the questions of how much, how long, how often, and is your baby getting enough are questions I get a lot from parents. There are so many changes that happen in the first 6 months of life. You want to be prepared and understand what these changes look like. Who wouldn't!

I have here a guideline to help you understand how feeding will change in the first weeks and months to come, and what you can expect to help your baby thrive. And of course the secrets I'll get to too...

 
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Now specifically for bottle feeding, the nipple level is so important! In the first 6 months you will go through 3, maybe 4, different nipple sizes! So stalk up on them, as it creeps up fast and is nice to have on hand. Use this as your guide:

  • Level 1 - Babies 0 to 3 months old.
  • Level 2 - Babies 3 to 6 months old.
  • Level 3 - Babies 6 to 9 months old.
  • Level 4 - Babies 9 to 12 months old.

So, clearly the answer to the questions of how long, how often, how much, and is your baby getting enough is … It depends on your little one's age. But now hopefully the worrying over milk is a little less heavy. Lord knows Worry became your middle name once you became a parent! Who knew!?! 

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ONE MORE THING...

Well, actually it's FIVE.  Those "secrets" you've been wanting to know? Well, they're only "secrets" because most people just don't know about them ... yet! Here ya go:

1. Using a “wide-neck” nipple will help your little one transition back and forth better from breast to bottle. And start giving a bottle (even pumped milk) around 3-4 weeks of age, so when the time comes, someone else can do the feeding for you. Ya know, so maybe you can get a shower in. And this will also help keep you stay clear of your little one ONLY nursing and not taking a bottle at all (something to think about if you're going back to work). 

2. If you notice your little one downing the bottle dry two feedings in a row, she wants more. Increase the amount in the bottle by 1/2 to 1oz for future feedings.

3. If your little one is taking longer than 20 minutes to finish a bottle, it’s time to move up a nipple level. You are making her work too hard, and she’s getting bored (especially if she’s tired!).  

4. Your nighttime breastmilk contains melatonin (that powerful sleep hormone). So, if you've pumped at night, label and save that bottle for nighttime, so your little one can get those yummy sleep hormones from YOU! Psst... Your little one does not fully start producing melatonin on her own until about 4 months of age.

And lastly...

5. Careful if you're feeding on demand... If it's working great for you, then more power to ya! BUT if you're finding your little one is hungry every hour or two and seems supper fussy and uncomfortable, well you might need to space the feedings out. Feeding too frequently can lead to a build up of lactose in the tummy because the milk does not have enough time to fully digest. These 'tummy troubles' lead to uncomfortable gassiness. Also, feeding too frequently can lead to not getting to the hind milk (the fatty good stuff that comes at the end of a feeding) that keeps your baby fuller longer. So, as long as your baby is healthy with no medical concerns, really try to space out the feedings.

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 Susie Menkes, PhD is a Certified Infant + Toddler Sleep Specialist through the Family Sleep Institute (FSI) and is dedicated to helping families get their little ones to be healthy little sleepers. As a mom of two, she knows and understands what you are going through and is here to support, educate, and guide you on all matters related to sleep... and more!

Susie Menkes, PhD is a Certified Infant + Toddler Sleep Specialist through the Family Sleep Institute (FSI) and is dedicated to helping families get their little ones to be healthy little sleepers. As a mom of two, she knows and understands what you are going through and is here to support, educate, and guide you on all matters related to sleep... and more!