Your baby should be growing well on either breast milk or formula. If you are breast- feeding, your infant may be sucking for 10 to 15 minutes each side. If you find your infant wanting to nurse for 30 minutes or more, he may be using you for a pacifier, and you may want to consider an artificial pacifier to meet his sucking needs. Your baby may want to nurse as often as every 2 hours. This is normal, although tiring for the mother. If this is the case, try to take some naps during the daytime when your baby sleeps.
If your baby is formula fed, he should be on an iron containing formula for proper nutrition. Most babies at this age drink 2 to 3 ounces every 2 to 3 hours. If he is growing normally and willing to sleep longer at night, there is no need to wake him up for a nighttime feeding.
When your baby wakes up, try to talk and play with him before you feed him. This interaction is important for his development.
Vitamin D is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for breast fed infants. This can be purchased over the counter as a combination Vitamin ACD drop. Fluoride is started at 6 months of age if it is not in the water.
Babies are learning to focus and listen. Smiles and gentle, pleasant voices help to calm your baby and are helpful for his development. Mothers may need help from fathers, family or friends to prevent fatigue.
Babies may sleep as long as 16 to 18 hours a day. We recommend that babies sleep on their backs to prevent SIDS. Be careful not to put your baby in the same sleep position each time or he may develop flattening of the back of his head. The American Academy of Pediatrics also discourages parents from having their infants sleep in the same bed with them. This may also increase the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The infant should be placed on a firm mattress with no pillows or blankets around his head or face.
Breast fed babies usually have watery yellow stools with small curds in them. They can have as many as 8 to 10 bowel movements a day or as few as one bowel movement every 5 to 6 days. As long as they are soft, they are considered normal. Your baby may strain to pass a bowel movement. This is also normal. Call us if the infant becomes excessively fussy when passing stool or if he has blood in the stool.
Formula fed babies may have mushy to firm stools. That is also normal. Studies have shown that iron is not the cause of constipation and your baby should be on an iron containing formula. If your baby’s stools are extra hard, please call us for advice.
COLIC AND GAS
Many infants have a lot of gas that passes through the rectum. Some infants seem fussy or in pain with the gas and others have no problems with it. We don’t know that the gas necessarily causes the pain. Some infants cry several hours a day for several days out of the week. This is considered “colic.” There are different causes of crying in different babies. Please call us before trying different feedings or medications. Parents can spend a lot of money on treatments that are not effective.
Babies should always be in approved car seats when traveling. They should ideally be in the middle of the back seat facing to the rear. Never leave you baby alone with small children or pets. Do not put your baby’s crib near a heater. Crib slats should be no wider than 2 3/8 inches apart.
CALL US IF:
- Your baby develops a fever over 100.5
- Your baby is extra irritable and you cannot calm him.