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My biggest questions are:
1) How can I help my baby’s digestive problems?? (my poor baby has the worst gas ever!!)
2) When should I start giving my baby a bottle so he will take one when I need him to and what kind of bottle is right for him? (I really want to avoid the mistake I made with baby #2…I didn’t give her a bottle early enough and getting her to take a bottle was near impossible!)
3) How do I introduce my son to baby formula? (My extra milk supply is starting to run low. I need to have a back up plan!!)
Here is what Dr. Sue Hubbard has to say:
1) What can I do to easy my baby’s digestive problems?
A: Many babies are gassy and intermittently fussy during the first two months of life as their GI tract is immature, but over time their tummies mature. Although parents want to “solve the gassy problem” it may take a bit of time and patience to find an answer. Sometimes, a change in what a mother may be eating, if breastfeeding, or change in formula for a few months can be helpful. For extremely fussy and gassy babies there are different formulas to try that are lower in lactose, such as Similac Sensitive. For infants with frequent spit-up, formula with added rice starch, like Similac For Spit-Up, may help thicken the feeding and reduce instances of spit up.
*I love this response because my son is just over 2 months old. The first 2 months has been rough with him being so gassy and crying so much in pain. I have cut dairy out of my diet since I am breastfeeding. That has helped a lot but now that he is two months old I have seen him become less fussy and less gassy. If I need to give him formula, I will definitely be getting the Similac Sensitive to alleviate gas pains!*
2) When should I start giving my baby a bottle so he will take one when I need him to and what kind of bottle is right for him?
A: If you choose to introduce your baby to a bottle, a slow transition will help prevent the uncomfortable engorgement that can result when a mom discontinues breastfeeding or introduces bottle feeding. If a mom is planning to return to work in two weeks, and will miss two feedings a day, she should introduce her baby to formula two weeks in advance. Before offering the first bottle of formula, she should start with breast milk in a bottle. This will help the baby adjust to the shape of an artificial nipple before adjusting to the taste of formula.
Picking a bottle to use can be a daunting fast since there are many options now. Most of my patients use plastic bottles – they should all be BPA free (you can look on the label). Start off with 4-ounce bottles as they are the right size for a newborn. As your baby grows and begins to consume a larger amount of breast milk or formula you may want to get 8-ounce bottles. Testing and learning can be the best way to find a bottle that works best for you and your baby. Find a bottle that is easy for you to use; the less assembly the better. Try one or two in varying shapes and sizes in the beginning and go from there. You may have to try a few bottles or nipples before finding what works best for you baby.
3) How do I introduce my baby to formula?
A: When breastfeeding, some moms may need or want to supplement their baby with formula. This may be due to low milk production, returning to work or just to have the option. There is no right or wrong way to supplement, it’s really what works best for the mom and baby. The first decision you’ll have to make is which formula you want to use: ready-to-feed, concentrated liquid or powder. Also, you may have to help your baby adjust to the taste of formula. One tip is to mix some of your pumped breast milk with the already-prepared formula. Just make sure that you don’t use breast milk in place of water and always follow the package directions when preparing formula. Also, it is perfectly safe to offer breast milk at some feedings and formula at others.
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