Breastfeeding Your Baby
Infant Card 1
MN WIC Program
- Breastfeeding Your Baby
- Bottlefeeding Your Baby
- Your Baby Knows How Much Is Enough
- Starting Solids
- Teaching Your Baby to Use a Cup
- Starting Meats and Textures
- Starting Table and Finger Foods
- Time to Stop Using the Bottle
Breastmilk is the perfect food for your baby.
- Breastmilk is easy for your baby to digest.
- Breastmilk is always warm and ready, anytime and anywhere.
Allow your baby to nurse as often as he wants. The more your baby breastfeeds and removes milk from the breast, the more breastmilk you will make.
- Newborns need to breastfeed often, 8 to 12 or more times in 24 hours (day and night).
- All newborn babies eat often and feed during the night.
- Some babies may feed in “clusters.” That is, they need to breastfeed several times in a 2 to 3 hour period and then sleep for several hours.
- Over time your baby will breastfeed less often, but may breastfeed more often when he is growing fast.
Breastfeeding should be comfortable.
- Bring the baby to your breast, not your breast to the baby.
- Support the baby’s body with a pillow if this is easier for you.
- Turn your baby’s face, tummy and knees toward you. Bring baby’s chest close to your chest. Your nipple should be pointed at baby’s nose.
- Baby’s mouth should open wide (like a big yawn.) To help, open your mouth wide so baby will imitate you, or touch his lower lip with your nipple.
- When baby’s mouth is wide open bring him to the breast, chin first.
- Most of the dark part around the nipple should be in the baby’s mouth.
- Breastfeeding should not be painful.
- Let your baby finish feeding on the first breast; then offer the second.
Your baby is getting enough breastmilk if:
- He is gaining weight steadily.
- He has 2 to 5 or more soft, yellow stools in 24 hours. (It is normal if stools are creamy, seedy or watery in texture.) Older babies stool less often.
- He has about 6 or more wet diapers in 24 hours after 1 week old.
- You can hear him swallow while nursing.
- Your baby has regained up to his birth weight by 7-14 days.
Call a breastfeeding specialist or your doctor if any of these statements are not true for your baby.
Sometimes babies need to breastfeed more often. This is normal and will last a short time. By breastfeeding more often, your baby builds up your milk supply to meet his needs as he grows.
Your body will adjust to your baby’s needs by making more milk when you breastfeed more often. Feed your baby when he is hungry, not by the clock. Watch for hunger cues.
Wait to give a bottle of breastmilk until your baby is at least 4 weeks old. This allows time for you to establish your milk supply and for you and your baby to learn breastfeeding well.
Wait to give foods like cereal until your baby is ready to eat from a spoon, usually about 6 months. Solid foods will not help your baby sleep through the night.
Babies need vitamin D. Ask your doctor about vitamin D drops.