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Why Formula Instead of Cow’s Milk?

You might question why you can not simply feed your baby regular cow’s milk. The answer is simple: Young infants cannot digest cow’s milk as fully or simply as they digest formula. Also, cow’s milk contains high concentrations of protein and minerals, which may stress a newborn’s immature kidneys and cause severe health problems every now and then of heat stress, fever, or diarrhea. In addition, cow’s milk lacks the correct amounts of iron, vitamin C, and other nutrients that infants need. It may even cause iron-deficiency anemia in some babies, since cow’s milk protein will irritate the lining of the abdomen and bowel, leading to loss of blood into the stools. Cow’s milk additionally doesn’t contain the healthiest forms of fat for growing babies. For these reasons, your baby shouldn’t receive any regular cow’s milk for the initial twelve months of life.

Once your baby is past one year of age, You can offer him whole cow’s milk or reduced-fat (2 percent) milk, provided he has a balanced diet of solid foods (cereals, vegetables, fruits, and meats). But limit his intake of milk to one quart (about 32–36 oz.) per day. More than this will give too many calories and will decrease his craving for any other foods he wants. If your baby isn’t however consuming a broad variety of solid foods, check with your baby doctor regarding the simplest nutrition for him.

At this age, youngsters still require better fat content, that is why whole vitamin D milk is suggested for many infants once one year older. If your child is overweight or at risk for being overweight, or if there is a family history of obesity, high blood pressure, or heart disease, your pediatrician may recommend 2 percent milk (reduced-fat) instead.

Do not offer your baby one % (low-fat) or fat-free (skimmed) milk before his second birthday. Also, nonfat, or skimmed, milk provides too high an amount of protein and minerals and should not be given to infants or toddlers earlier than age 2. After 2 years of age, you must discuss your child’s nutritionary desires, including choice of low-fat or nonfat milk products, with your pediatrician.

How much formula does my baby need?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life, if possible. But certain medical reasons may prevent breastfeeding from being the best or only option. Commercially available iron-fortified infant formulas are the safest and most effective alternatives to breast milk.

Learn the hunger signals:
On average, babies need 2½ ounces of formula a day for every pound of body weight. But if your baby was born full-term at a healthy weight, it’s best to observe “on demand” or responsive feeding. Learning your baby’s hunger signals can facilitate each of you to understand his individual desires. If he becomes fidgety or easily distracted during a feeding, he’s probably done. If he drains the bottle and keeps smacking his lips, he may still be hungry. As long as your baby is growing and gaining weight, is happy most of the time, and is not spitting up too much, then he is taking the right amount for him.

A few days after they’re born, formula-fed newborns usually drink 2 to 3 ounces of formula per feeding and will want to eat every three to four hours. By the end of her first month, she’ll likely be up to at least four ounces per feeding, often with a fairly regular schedule of feedings about every four hours.

Wake a sleeping baby?

If your baby sleeps longer than four to five hours throughout the primary month and starts missing feedings, wake her up and offer a bottle. Between two and four months old, or when the baby weighs at least 12 pounds, most formula-fed babies no longer need a middle-of-the-night feeding.

Growing needs:
As your baby becomes more active, her calorie needs will go up and she may not be satisfied with the same amount of formula. If she still acts hungry once finishing a bottle or desires to eat additional, usually than she sometimes will, this could mean she is prepared for larger feedings. Try increasing feedings by one ounce at a time.

Don’t overfeed:
Most babies will increase the amount of formula they drink by an average of 1 ounce per month before leveling off at about 7 to 8 ounces per feeding. In general, babies don’t need more than 32 ounces of formula in 24 hours. If your baby seems to always want more or less than this, discuss it with your pediatrician. Unhealthy eating patterns that can lead to obesity sometimes begin during infancy, so it is important not to overfeed your baby.

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