Your One to Six Month Old

(picture of a baby girl) Some babies become very interested in what is happening around them at 2-3 months. They will stop nursing to look and then want to nurse again very soon. Feed the baby in a quiet room for a few days or use a teddy bear, doll or blanket to block the baby's view. Then your baby will get used to nursing long enough to get full.

Feeding Your Baby

Most young babies need to eat about every three hours during the day and about every four hours at night. Babies also begin to nurse faster, so feedings may not take as long. As your baby grows, the time between feedings gets longer. The baby is usually able to sleep a little longer at night.

Babies need to suck. A baby who sucks on a thumb or pacifier between feedings and is having six wet diapers and regular bowel movements is probably not hungry. Many babies just like to suck. Do not worry if your baby seems to want to suck between feedings.

Night Feedings

During the night, most babies wake up less often than they do during the day. When your baby stirs and makes sounds, it might be time for a feeding. You can wait a few minutes to see if the baby goes back to sleep. If the baby stirs a lot or your breasts feel full and heavy, then it probably is time to feed.

As babies get older, they usually will go for longer times between feedings. Your body gets used to the longer times between feedings.

Starting Solid Foods

(picture of father feeding his infant) Between 4 and 6 months, your baby will show signs that he is ready for cereal. One sign is that your baby will be able to hold his head steady and sit with support. Another sign is up and down tongue movements which allow the baby to take cereal from a spoon and swallow easily. A baby who "spits" the cereal out when spoon-fed may not be ready for solid foods.

Breastfeed your baby before offering solid food. Your milk should still be your baby's main food.

Weight Gain

Your baby is probably getting enough if he is nursing well, is content after feeding, and is gaining weight. Most babies gain 7 ounces every week until they double their birth weight. If your baby gains faster that is okay. If your baby is gaining more slowly, read the section in this book on slow weight gain.

Growth Spurts

Babies need more milk as they grow. Your baby will want to nurse about twice as often as usual during a growth spurt. Growth spurts usually come when the baby is about 7 - 10 days, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months (or a little earlier). A baby who has been feeding about every three hours will want to eat every hour and a half. Even though your breasts do not feel full, let the baby nurse. You will know milk is there when you hear the baby swallow. After a day or two of feeding your baby very often, you will be making more milk at each feeding. Your baby will then go back to nursing less often.

Special Tips


Back to Breastfeeding: A Mother's Gift


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