If you have recently become a parent, you might be worried about whether your child is getting enough food or not. You might also be worried about the health of your child if you feed him or her baby formula instead of breast milk. Well, your worries and concerns are quite reasonable.
But we can help you by solving your concerns with the correct information. If you feel guilty or embarrassed about feeding baby formula to your child, then you should stop feeling so immediately. A lot of mothers are not able to breastfeed their children due to a variety of issues. Baby formulas were made to make the life of such mothers easier.
You might not be able to produce a sufficient amount of breast milk for your child. It is one of the main reasons why many women around the world avoid breastfeeding. If you produce enough breast milk and stay away from breastfeeding, there must be some other compelling reason.
A feeling of discomfort, diseases encountered by a mother, or by a child, and a lack of confidence are some of the other reasons why women don’t breastfeed. Irrespective of the reason, we are sure that you must not like the fact that you can’t provide your child with breast milk. The major reason behind the same is that breast milk is seen as a sign of motherly love.
However, baby formula is considered the next best alternative for bottle-fed infants who can’t drink breast milk. Several studies and research have shown that baby formulas can benefit a child’s body in the same way as breast milk. So, you should stop feeling guilty about having to feed your children with baby formulas.
Similarly, you should stay relaxed when it comes to the quantity of food your child is consuming. We know that it’s easier said than done. The thought that your child is not getting enough food or is not able to satisfy his or her hunger is daunting. No parent ever wants to get such a thought. Therefore, a solution like a baby feeding chart can help you.
What is a Baby Feeding Chart? How Is It Useful?
As the name suggests, a baby feeding chart is a guide that helps parents schedule the feeding times of their children. Unlike grown-ups, babies cannot say ‘I am hungry’ or ‘I want to eat food’. They cannot demand food or water when they feel hungry or thirsty.
However, they can express their feelings by crying or laughing. Babies spend most of their time crying because they use crying as a means to express their needs. But no parent likes to see their child crying. You would never want your child to start crying whenever he or she feels hungry. A baby feeding chart helps parents in feeding their children a predetermined number of times at pre-scheduled intervals every day.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), newborn babies eat every two to three hours. By the word ‘eat’, we mean drinking breast milk. They consume 1 to 2 ounces of breast milk per feeding. They start drinking 2 to 3 ounces of breast milk when they reach 2 weeks old.
When it comes to newborn babies who are fed baby formula, the amount per feeding is 1 to 2 ounces during the first week after being born. They start consuming 3 to 4 ounces of baby formula per feeding when they become 2 weeks old. The amount of formula consumed by them remains the same until they get one month old. Infants who consume baby formula eat every three to four hours.
Most experts recommend that you should feed your baby 2.5 ounces of baby formula per pound of his or her body weight. It’s also recommended that you should feed your newborn babies even during the night for the first few weeks after birth.
So, you should wake your child up every four to five hours when they are sleeping to feed them. When an infant gets 2 months old, you should feed them 4 to 5 ounces per feeding. The interval between each feeding should be three to four hours. When your infant gets 4 months old, you should feed them 4 to 6 ounces per feeding. You can increase the amount to 8 ounces per feeding when your baby gets 6 months old.
Once your child turns 6 months old, you can start feeding them solid foods. But you should not force them to eat solid food if they are not ready. Each child is different, and so, you should feed your baby solid food when you feel they are ready. When your child is 6 to 9 months old, you can feed them up to 32 ounces of baby formula every day. When a child reaches 9 to 12 months of age, they can consume more than 32 ounces of baby formula.
Why Should You Follow a Baby Feeding Chart?
Breast milk is the only source of food that newborn babies depend on during the first year of their lives. Women produce breast milk after giving birth. It has all the required nutrients that an infant need for the growth of the body and the development of the brain.
But, as we have mentioned earlier in this blog post, some mothers don’t get a chance to feed their children with breast milk. Baby formulas are like a boon for such mothers. The importance of a baby feeding chart increases when it comes to infants who rely on baby formulas for their food. Parents who feed baby formulas to their infants should follow a proper baby feeding chart.
Another point that every parent should remember is that even if your child starts eating solid food, you should continue feeding them with breast milk until they turn one year old. In the case of infants who don’t consume breast milk, baby formulas take the place of breast milk during the first year after birth. If your child is consuming both solid food and baby formula, you should determine the ratio between the two diligently.
While it’s necessary to follow a feeding chart, you should understand the signals your child is giving when you are feeding them to make sure that you don’t underfeed or overfeed them. Even if two infants belong to the same age group and have the same body weight, their appetites might be different.