How Much Formula Should My 4 Week Old Be Eating Three Pieces of Breastfeeding Advice to Ignore

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Three Pieces of Breastfeeding Advice to Ignore

“Don’t breastfeed your baby all the time or he will become too dependent. You have to wait and feed your baby every few hours.”

This is possibly the most damaging piece of breastfeeding advice you will ever hear. Not only can following this advice lead to clogged milk ducts and breast infections, it can sabotage your entire breastfeeding relationship.

In short, don’t do it.

Don’t breastfeed your baby like a bottle-feeder. Scheduled feedings apply to formula-fed infants, not breast-fed infants. Unlike formula, breast milk is digested quickly and since babies have small stomachs, expect your baby to “group feed” most of the day and night in the first few weeks. It is normal for newborns to appear hungry every hour or so for part of the day.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, newborns should be nursed whenever they show signs of hunger: fussing, putting hands to mouth, gagging, fussing, or crying, which is actually a late sign of hunger. Listen to them.

Unlike formula, breast milk works on the law of supply-and-demand. The more babies nurse, the more milk you will make and vice versa. Breastfed babies may not breastfeed enough to get an adequate amount of milk.

And as for the line on baby becomes dependent? Babies are supposed to depend on you. After all, there is not much a baby can do for himself. So throw those schedules in the diaper jar.

“Whatever you do, don’t let baby sleep in your bed.”

While co-sleeping may not be the answer for all families, it can make nighttime breastfeeding (and sleep) less of an ordeal for parent and baby. Most families around the world sleep next to their babies. The United States is one of the few countries where this act is considered taboo. But why?

According to the Mother-Infant Behavioral Sleep Lab at the University of Notre Dame, babies and mothers who co-sleep get more sleep than those who sleep separately.

But what about the long-term negative effects of co-sleeping? Research shows there are none. While some parents seem to have an irrational fear of “over-lying”, this simply is not a problem unless a parent is under the influence of mind altering substances – in this case, they should not take care of a baby anyway.

Actually, co-sleeping babies tend to have one thing in common—they thrive—both physically, mentally, and intellectually. And they are breastfeeding well. Co-sleeping babies tend to eat more at night, maintain breast milk supply and encourage natural child space.

Co-sleeping makes night nursing easier and safer, as long as you take some safety precautions and don’t smoke. If the baby wakes up during the night, all you have to do is roll onto your side and let the breastfeeding begin. Then you can continue your sleep while nursing the baby back to sleep.

Ignore those people who say you might roll over your baby (very easy if you’re sober) or that they’re a sap. People talk like sleeping next to your baby is a slippery slope—do it once and you’ll never have a child-free bed until the teenage years roll around. But this is not necessarily true. As with everything, do what works for your family situation.

“Babies should not be breastfed any longer [six months, one year, etc]. Mothers who breastfeed their young children are doing so more for themselves than for their babies.”

There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding small children. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) claims there is no evidence of psychological or developmental harm in babies who are breastfed after age one.

In addition, extended nursing has many advantages. Research shows that babies over one year old still receive a large amount of nutrients from breast milk. Although young children need nutrition from solid foods, breast milk is still an important part of their diet, providing high amounts of vitamin B12, vitamin A, folate, vitamin C and protein. The composition of the milk even changes to fit the needs of the growing baby.

Even though seeing young children breastfed is not forward in society, extended breastfeeding is not extreme. The AAP recommends breastfeeding for at least one year and longer as mutually desired by mother and child and the World Health Organization encourages mothers to breastfeed for at least two years.

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