NutritionYour infant will get all of his nutrition from breast milk or an iron fortified infant formula until he is about four to six months old. There is no need to supplement with water, juice or cereal at this time. He will likely now be on a more predictable schedule and will probably be nursing or drinking 5-6 ounces of formula every 3-4 hours.
Feeding practices to avoid include putting the bottle in bed or propping the bottle while feeding, putting cereal in the bottle, feeding honey, introducing solids before 4-6 months, or heating bottles in the microwave.
Also, avoid the use of low iron formulas, which are nutritionally inadequate to meet the needs of a growing infant. These types of infant formula do not contain enough iron and will put your child at risk for developing iron deficiency anemia (which has been strongly associated with poor growth and development and with learning disabilities). Iron fortified formulas do not cause colic, constipation or reflux and you should not switch to a low iron formula if your baby has one of these problems.
For more information on your baby's nutrition:
- Pumping and Storing Breast Milk
- Breastfeeding Goals
- Breastfeeding Tips
- Breastfeeding Time
- Infant Formula
- Frequent Feedings and Fussy Babies
- When to Give a Baby Juice
- Water for Babies and How Advice Changes Over Time
- Breastfeeding Quiz
- Is My Baby Getting Enough Breastmilk?
- Vitamin D Update
- Starting Solids
- Baby Food
- Fruit Juice
- Infant Feeding Guidelines
- Infants, Honey and Botulism
Growth and DevelopmentAt this age you can expect your baby to smile, laugh and make noises, lift his head and chest up while lying on his stomach, turn toward sounds and to follow you around with his eyes. Over the next few months, developmental milestones will include rolling over, bearing weight on his legs, sitting with support and holding on to a rattle.
If using a pacifier, try and restrict its use to when your baby seems to need the self-comforting behavior of sucking. Avoid using it every time your baby cries (it is usually better to pick and hold your baby to comfort him when he is crying) and to be safe, use a one-piece commercial pacifier and do not hang it around your baby's neck. After six months of age, you should restrict pacifier use to only when your baby is in his crib.
Remember that all babies are unique and they have different temperaments. Many are quite and calm, while others are very active and some are very sensitive and get fussy easily (and may need less stimulating environments to stay calm). Try and keep your babies temperament in mind as you react to his needs.
For more information on your infant's growth and development: