Is Your Baby Eating Enough?

Of the long list of things new mothers have to worry about, whether or not the baby is eating enough is one of the more common concerns. Although many women worry about baby’s food intake, most babies are getting enough to eat and it’s rare that this becomes an actual problem. Still, a little reassurance can go a long way towards alleviating this common fear of new moms, so here are the ways you can tell your baby is getting enough to eat, even if he seems to be hungry all the time.

Steady Weight Gain

As long as your baby is gaining weight steadily, he is likely getting enough to eat. Your pediatrician will monitor baby’s weight gain at regular check ups. During the first year of life, your baby will likely gain weight at a fairly rapid pace. There is a great deal of variation in weight gain, however, depending on your baby’s body type and genetic predisposition towards being a smaller or larger person. A small baby may gain weight more slowly or gain smaller amounts of weight each month, but as long as the gain stays within a normal range and the baby stays on his growth curve, there is no cause for worry.

For new moms who just can’t stand waiting in between check ups to keep tabs on baby’s weight, most pediatric offices will arrange simple weight checks, where you can bring the baby in and have a nurse check his weight. If you really need to know, this is a better idea than checking baby’s weight on a home scale. Your scale at home may not be sensitive enough or may not be as accurate as the one at the doctor’s office.

Feeding Regularly

Babies who are bottle fed will normally feed on a schedule, while breastfed babies generally feed on demand. Bottle feeding offers the advantage of knowing exactly how many ounces your baby has consumed in a day, while with a breast fed baby there is no way of knowing.

Although your breastfed baby might seem to be hungry all the time, especially compared to a bottle fed baby, there generally is no reason to worry. Breast milk is easier to digest and is therefore absorbed into baby’s body faster than formula. Because of this, breastfed babies are hungry more often than formula fed babies, and may seem to be eating far more often than you would expect. Because every mother is different in how much milk she can store in the breasts and therefore have available for feeding at any given time, there will be a great deal of variation in how often a breastfed baby will eat. As long as your baby feeds regularly and is gaining weight, things are probably fine.

Check the Diapers

A baby who is getting enough to eat will generally have a wet diaper at least every 6 hours and a dirty diaper about every 24 hours – although babies can go several days in between bowel movements, especially breastfed babies who can go up to two weeks. As long as your baby is going through diapers on a regular schedule, odds are good she is getting plenty to eat.

As long as your baby continues to gain weight and to have plenty of wet and dirty diapers, you probably have no need to worry about food intake, even if she seems to want to eat all the time.

How to Soothe a Fussy Baby

Just like grown ups, some babies are more sensitive than others and may become upset more easily or be more difficult to calm or soothe. A fussy baby is a challenge to a new parent who is already trying to figure out what baby wants and how to soothe and calm him. Random crying, crying that seems out of proportion with the issue, or crying that seems to last longer than it should are all signs of a fussy baby.

There is no real medical diagnosis for fussiness, unlike colic which is a different and more severe problem. You baby may outgrow his fussy ways, or it may be a sign of a personality trait that will later develop – a sensitivity that is not necessarily a bad thing. When your baby is crying, however, and you just want to figure out how to make it stop, it doesn’t much matter what the fussiness represents. Soothing your baby is a top priority.

Try the Top Three

When you hear your baby start to cry, the first things to eliminate from the list of possible solutions are the top three reasons that babies cry. The first is the most obvious – hunger. Try offering baby the breast or bottle to see if he is hungry. If he refuses, you can move on to other possibilities. The second culprit behind a crying baby is a dirty diaper. While some babies don’t seem to notice or care when they are in need of a change, fussy or sensitive babies may become very upset when their diaper is dirty. If the diaper is clean, or you have changed it and the crying hasn’t stopped, the third on the top three list is tiredness. It could be that your baby really just needs a nap, and has reached the point of over-tiredness where he really doesn’t know what to do about this feeling of fatigue, and cries. Take your baby into a quiet dark place and gently rock him, watching for signs of sleepiness. If he falls asleep, you have solved the problem.

When It’s None of the Above

If your baby is crying and you have eliminated the top three possibilities, it’s time to move on. Try some of the classic techniques for soothing a baby. Start by holding your baby and making a “shhhhh” sound close to her ear. Babies are soothed by white noise, and this sound is basically white noise you make yourself. Accompany this with rocking in a chair or in your arms as an additional soothing method.

Many fussy babies are easily over-stimulated, so when your baby becomes upset, try calming her environment. Turn down the lights, turn off anything that might be making noise such as a television or radio, and ask anyone who can to leave the room – or leave the room yourself for a quieter spot. Something simply removing sources of overstimulation can do the trick.

Motion is a wonderful trick for soothing fussy babies. Aside from rocking, try an infant swing or put baby in her car seat and go for a drive. A walk in the stroller may work equally well.

It may seem obvious, but offering a pacifier can sometimes do the trick. Babies find sucking soothing, but may not always be hungry. A pacifier can help to calm her down and may even help her fall asleep.

If you can’t soothe your baby by any method, it’s a good idea to rule out medical causes for the crying. Put in a call to your pediatrician if the crying lasts for more than three hours and nothing can soothe your baby, to make sure there isn’t another reason for the crying.

Your Feeding Issues Solved

If you are struggling with feeding problems, you aren’t alone. Many new moms run into at least one if not more feeding issues early on in their baby’s life. Fortunately, there are solutions for every problem, and your feeding issues will soon be a thing of the past. Before you go off the deep end dealing with your baby’s feeding problems, try some of these easy solutions.

Solutions to Common Breastfeeding Problems

Although it’s the way nature intended your baby to be fed, breastfeeding doesn’t always come entirely naturally. When your baby doesn’t quite take to the breast with the skill and avidity you expected, it can be disappointing and frustrating. The good news is that most breastfeeding problems can be easily solved with a few minor adjustments.

Problems latching on are one of the most common issues new breastfeeding mothers encounter. Babies who can’t seem to latch on or can’t manage to get a proper latch that doesn’t result in pain for the mother might need a little help. Silicone nipple shields are available that can be very helpful to some babies, especially preemies learning to latch on. In some cases, a different hold or more support is all that is needed to get baby at the right angle. Buy a nursing pillow, or try stacking an extra pillow or a rolled up towel under baby’s head to bring it to the right position for easier latching. Football holds work very well for some babies, while others prefer to nurse with mom lying down. Trial and error are required to get it all just right, but the payoff is well worth it.

If your baby latches on fine but then pulls off the breast suddenly, a strong let-down may be to blame. This may become evident if the milk sprays strongly even though baby stopped sucking! To avoid a strong let-down pushing your baby off the breast, try to feed baby before you become too full. Alternatively, you can try pumping a little before nursing to take the extra pressure off. Don’t do too much though, as it may affect the proper mix of foremilk and hindmilk your baby needs.

Most breastfeeding problems can be solved at home with a little practice, but in some cases you might need help. Don’t hesitate to contact a lactation consultant to give you some expert advice.

Solutions to Common Bottle-feeding Problems

Many of the problems bottle-feeding moms encountered can be resolved either by changing the bottle or changing what’s inside. Bottle-fed babies often encounter more problems with gas than breast-fed babies, and this is true whether the bottle contains breast milk or formula. Babies swallow more air when feeding from a bottle, causing gas problems. Switch to a bottle that is designed to reduce swallowed air, and be sure to burp your baby properly after every feeding. The more of that swallowed air that you can get out through burping, the less will remain in baby’s tummy to cause gas pain.

If your baby is on formula and experiencing tummy problems that aren’t resolved through burping or a different bottle, you might need to consider changing formulas. Your baby could be having trouble digesting cow’s milk formula, or could have an allergy.

When adding a bottle to a breastfed baby’s eating routine, you might find baby is very resistant at first. The nipple on a bottle is very different from the breast, and babies often have trouble adjusting. Look for a wide nipple that is designed to feel more like the breast, and try to warm milk to a temperature similar to breast milk. Put a little milk on the nipple for baby to taste and realize that what’s in there is the same stuff that was provided by the breast.

Most feeding problems can be resolved easily – but if feeding issues persist, talk to your baby’s doctor. Sometimes a little extra help is needed to find out what’s going on!

Dealing with a Picky Eater

Around two years old, most children will enter a picker phase of eating than their previous habits. As their taste buds develop and they begin to discover their independence, toddlers start to become very picky eaters who can leave their mothers feeling like short order cooks while trying to please them.

Picky eaters can be frustrating for anyone charged with attempting to get a balanced and varied selection of foods into their diet. The pickiness can continue well past toddlerhood as well, leaving parents at a loss. Take on your picky eater with a few tricks and tips to bring him to the table.

Don’t Give In

If your toddler knows that you are going to offer an alternative when he rejects what you have prepared for dinner, he will more likely to hold his ground and refuse to even try what’s on his plate. Your toddler isn’t going to starve himself – if he’s really hungry, he will eat what’s in front of him. Stick to your guns even if it means that your little one goes to bed a bit hungry for a few nights. Eventually he will realize that you aren’t going to bow to his picky eating ways anymore, and will start eating what is offered.

This is a very difficult task for most parents, who can’t stand the thought of their child going to bed without a good meal in his tummy. However, if you continue to give in and provide an alternate meal, you will encourage him to continue demanding something else and leave you cooking several meals to please everyone. It isn’t easy, but it will teach your child a valuable lesson.

There is Room for Compromise

Even with your stance on no longer playing the short order cook for your toddler, you can still make some concessions to provide meals she is more likely to find appetizing. Before you prepare dinner, talk to your toddler about what she would like to eat. The answer might consistently be “macaroni and cheese”, but there are even ways to work with that. Try serving a baked casserole of cauliflower and cheese or mixing a vegetable in with a homemade batch of macaroni and cheese for a healthier version than what comes from a box. You can also serve the requested food as a side dish. Once your toddler starts eating, she will be more likely to move on to the other foods on her plate after she has satisfied her craving for the cheesy stuff. It won’t always work, but at least it will get her to the table and eating without demanding something else.

Casseroles are a good option for picky eaters because they combine healthier foods with the ones toddlers love, such as pasta and cheese. Mix one up in a tomato sauce and she might not even notice the vegetables.

The most important thing to remember when dealing with a picky eater is to keep offering healthy foods. If you remove those foods from the menu, you encourage the picky eating habits to continue and set your child up for a lifetime of poor nutrition.

By finding some common ground but continuing to offer a balanced children diet, you give your child the message that healthy eating is important to you and you aren’t going to give up. Even if it takes her a long time to give those foods a try, at least you will know you didn’t give up, or give in.

Giving Rejected Foods Another Try

When your baby starts to reject baby foods, it might seem like you are never going to be able to serve up a healthy and balanced baby food diet. But giving up too soon on rejected baby foods is a mistake many new moms make. If your baby refuses a food the first, or even the second and third time, it doesn’t mean it has to be off the menu forever. Trying a rejected food repeatedly will help you to provide your child with all the nutrition she needs while helping to develop a wider palate and appreciation for different tastes and textures.

How Many Times Should I Try?

It can take a baby up to ten tries to really decide if she likes a certain food. Trying only a few times and then removing it from the menu will mean she misses out on a lot of foods she might eventually really come to enjoy. It is frustrating to a parent to have a food rejected over and over again, but your persistence will be rewarded. Not every food will eventually be accepted, but a good portion of the foods that you might have crossed off your list are likely to wind up on your child’s regular menu.

Trying Again Later

If you have tried repeatedly without success, it might be a good idea to put the food aside – but don’t give up on it altogether! If you stop offering the food for a few weeks and then bring it back, you might be surprised at the results. As your child’s experience with tastes and textures grows and changes over time, she might find that a food she previously refused is suddenly more appetizing.

Early on, your baby will have an affinity for baby foods that are a little sweeter and very smooth. Some foods simply can’t be pureed to the same level of smoothness as others, and some are much more bitter than the sweet taste a baby is naturally predisposed to like. As she tries more foods and expands her taste buds a little more, those baby foods that seems too chunky or not sweet enough will come back into the running.

Never Give Up

Even if you have tried over and over again with no success, there is never a reason to take a baby foods entirely off your list unless your child has an allergic reaction to it. You might need to wait a long time between attempts, but keep the food in mind to try again even a few months down the road. When your child moves on to table foods, he will be more likely to try things he might not have enjoyed in pureed form.

This is especially true if you make a point of letting your child see you eat and enjoy the food in question. Seeing the food in it’s whole form and realizing that mommy and daddy are eating it can completely change your child’s opinion. This is a great time to reintroduce foods your child repeatedly rejected earlier. These foods might be a lot more appetizing when served on a plate as part of a big kid meal than they ever were when pureed on a spoon!

If you want your child to have the most balanced children diet possible, be sure to continue offering foods that have been rejected. The more often you try, the more likely your child will one day decide it’s not so bad after all.

When Spitting Up Means Something More

All babies spit up. Due to an immature digestive system, liquids often rise back up, especially during burping. Spitting up is generally not something to raise concern, but in some cases, it may signify something more.

Spitting Up and Vomiting

There is a difference between spitting up and vomiting, although many parents aren’t aware of it. Spitting up doesn’t usually involve any heaving, and the liquid that comes up is usually a small amount that doesn’t yet show much sign of digestion. Because spitting up happens most commonly after a feeding, what comes it is generally the food that was just ingested and is thus still undigested.

Vomiting, on the other hand, generally involves a more violent reaction; you may see heaving, and the regurgitated food will often be in a larger amount. Vomited baby food usually shows more sign of digestion; curdling and a more sour smell than spit up. Because the more intense action causes the stomach to empty more thoroughly, you may see food well on its way in the digestion process.

Spitting up generally doesn’t upset a baby, but vomiting may because it can be more painful. Vomiting may be a cause for concern especially if accompanied by fever, diarrhea, and lethargy or if it continues for more than 24 hours. If your young baby is vomiting, watch for any signs of dehydration and contact your pediatrician if the vomiting persists.

More Than a Little Spit-up: Reflux

Reflux is a fairly common problem in babies, and in its mildest form will simply go away with time. It occurs when the immature opening between the stomach and the esophagus allows stomach acid to rise up, causing pain. It is especially common in preemies whose digestive systems are not yet ready to handle food. Most babies will outgrow reflux without requiring any treatment; however, more serious forms of reflux can require intervention.

Signs of reflux include arching of the back and crying, excessive spit up that may be projectile, appearing hungry and then refusing the breast or bottle, and sleep disruptions. In some babies these symptoms will become so severe that medication is required to treat the problem. Prescription antacids that are safe for use in babies are available – don’t try any over the counter antacid medications as they are not meant for children so young.

In addition to medication, there are some actions you can take to prevent and alleviate reflux issues in your child. After a feeding, keep the baby upright for at least 15 minutes, to allow gravity to help keep the recently ingested food down where it belongs. Make sure to burp the baby thoroughly after feedings. If reflux is affecting your baby’s sleep, try elevating the mattress using a crib wedge. Keeping your baby’s head elevated as much as possible will reduce symptoms of reflux. If your child seems to be miserable in a car seat, you might want to consider switching from an infant bucket seat to a convertible style seat that doesn’t cause the baby’s abdomen to be scrunched down.

Luckily, with or without treatment, most babies outgrow reflux by 6-12 months of age. If your baby’s reflux continues beyond a year old, your pediatrician may suggest further testing or treatment.

If you suspect your baby’s spitting up means something more, call your pediatrician. Not all spit-up is normal, so if you think there is a problem, follow your gut and get it checked out by a medical professional.

Identifying Food Allergies

Food allergies have been a growing concern among new parents, as the medical community raises more awareness of how common they are becoming. With frightening stories circulating about sudden and severe reactions to baby foods, many parents are anxious about allergies and taking extra precautions to be prepared.

Recognizing a food allergy isn’t too difficult in most situations, although you might not realize what it is at first. The symptoms can range from mild to severe, and in the case of a truly severe reaction will require immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of a Food Allergy

Common food allergy reactions include difficulty breathing, wheezing, swelling, rashes, itching, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The onset of the symptoms is generally fairly quick, within a few minutes to a few hours after your child eats the allergenic food. In rare, severe cases, a food allergy can result in anaphylaxis, where the throat swells up, blood pressure drops and the child may go into shock and be as risk of death if not treated immediately. This type of reaction requires a 911 call without delay and a visit to the emergency room.

How to Determine Which Food Caused a Reaction

If the reaction occurs early in your child’s introduction to solid foods, it should be fairly easy to tell which food is the culprit. When introducing new foods to a baby, allowing a space of several days in between adding new foods will allow you to tell whether a reaction develops in response to the latest new addition to the menu.

Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy. Some allergies can develop even if the child has tried the same food in the past with no reaction; allergic reactions can happen after several uneventful servings of the food. And in older children, who eat a much more varied diet, it can be very difficult to tell which food is to blame.

If you have a good idea which baby food caused the reaction, you should immediately remove it from your child’s diet. Even if the initial reaction was mild, a stronger reaction could occur the next time. If you aren’t certain which food is to blame, start by eliminating the most likely culprit – watch for highly allergenic foods such a dairy, strawberries, eggs and nuts as likely choices.

An allergist can perform tests to find out specifically which food your child is allergic too, but you will generally figure it out fairly quickly if you keep track of what your child ate and when reactions occurred.

What to Do If an Allergy is Discovered

First of all, you should of course prevent your child from eating that food. Next, make sure that any caregivers such as grandparents and babysitters are aware of the allergy. In the case of a severe allergy, you might be required to carry a special injectable medication that can be used in case of accidental contact with the food. You should also make sure all caregivers are ready and able to provide the injection should it become necessary.

Allergies can change over time, and your child may outgrow the allergy. Talk to your doctor about this possibility and how to go about re-introducing the food with caution. Some allergies are so severe that it is unlikely they will be outgrown and not worth taking the risk of finding out.

Teach Your Child to Try New Foods

Children aren’t generally known for being adventurous eaters, and once they decide what they like, it can be difficult to convince them to try anything new. Raising a kid who is willing to try new things isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible. It takes some effort on your part and a commitment to teaching your child that different isn’t scary. The good news is, the sense of adventure with new foods can also translate into a child who is open to new experiences in other aspects of life as well.

Make It Personal

Introduce your child to the cuisines of different cultures by using friends as a starting point. Ask friends of different cultural backgrounds to help by inviting them to dinner and asking if they would help you to prepare a meal from their background. Explain to your child ahead of time that your friends are going to share some special food that is important to their culture and heritage.

By bringing friends into the picture, you aren’t asking your child to try something new for no reason; instead you are making a special night of it and sharing something new and exciting with company. The food is no longer something random and strange, but something with personal meaning that your child can relate to people who are friends. After the big night, you might find your child not only amenable to the new food, but actually requesting it!

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Introduce your child to new fruits and vegetables by growing a garden of fresh, healthy choices in your own backyard. Make it a family project and give your child a job to do in every stage of the process, from choosing what to plant to sowing the seeds, watering the plants and harvesting the results. A child who is invested in the process of growing food will be far more interested in eating the food when it reaches the table.

If growing your own fruits and vegetables isn’t possible, you can still reap some of the benefits by taking your child out to select fresh produce at a farmer’s market, or even at a berry picking farm or orchard. Choosing what will wind up on the table from the wide variety available will encourage your child to pick new things and give them a chance.

Serve New Things in Old Ways

Taking a new food and preparing it in a familiar way is a good way to get your child to at least give the new choice a try. Toss vegetables in a cheesy sauce and serve them up just like macaroni and cheese. Make a pizza from flatbread, veggies and a little cheese sprinkled on top, and bake to crispy perfection. Serve pita chips with hummus instead of tortilla chips and salsa. Making simple substitutions with new foods will introduce them to your child without the scariness of something entirely foreign.

Make It a Habit

Try new things regularly so that it becomes part of the routine and doesn’t take your child by surprise. When adventurous eating becomes a part of your family philosophy, it will become easier to get your children on board.

Remember that the more your kids see you trying new things, the more they will want to try them as well. Make it a group effort and you will wind up with a child who is up for anything, and not just at the table. You will also raise a child who is a little more open to new experiences in life.

Kids and Changing Food Favorites

One day, he couldn’t care less about bananas, and then all of a sudden he wants to eat them all day, every day. And then as suddenly as it started, it ends and bananas are no longer welcome. Does this sound familiar? It’s not at all uncommon.

Children often go on short-lived jags where a particular food is their absolute favorite thing in the world. For a while, it seems they just can’t get enough, and then they move on. The same foods may come and go, or it might be a new food every time. While these food jags aren’t normally problematic, there are a few potential issues to be on the lookout for.

Too Much of a Good Thing

If your child has decided that a certain fruit, such as grapes, are the top food of the day, you might be pleased that he is eating something healthy without any sort of prodding whatsoever. Certainly it’s one of the better choices for a food obsession, but it is possible to have too much of even a healthy food.

Certain foods when eaten in large quantities can be detrimental to a child’s health. They may cause diarrhea or the opposite, constipation, or simply gas. On the worse end of the scale, it is actually possible to get too much of certain vitamins, which can wind up causing health problems. There are good reasons why nutrition experts recommend a balanced and varied children diet, and eating too much of one food is only one of them.

Missing Out on Other Foods

When your child decides that one particular food is the only thing she is interested in eating, she may give up on eating other important foods in favor of her current pick. Even if she has decided she wants to eat nothing but broccoli, she needs more than what this admittedly very healthy food can provide. Eating all types of different foods from all of the food groups is necessary to keep the body healthy, energetic and strong.

If your child is on a food jag, don’t deny the food, but consider offering it as a secondary choice after she finishes the other foods on her plate. She needs to get the right nutrition, especially when she is growing and developing so rapidly, so make an effort to get around the food jag and get other options into your kid’s diet.

An Unhealthy Obsession

Most kids would rather eat chocolate than vegetables, but going on a junk food jag is never a good idea. While it’s ok to ride out an obsession with a healthier food, if your child suddenly decides she is eating nothing but French fries you will have to step in and put an end to it. Luckily, most food jags tend to involve relatively healthy foods most parents wouldn’t hesitate to allow their child to eat.

Most of these food kicks won’t last for a long enough period of time to do any real damage to your child’s health, and as long as the food in question provides nutrition without a lot of empty calories, it’s generally ok to let it go. Keep an eye out for any signs of a problem, however, and continue to encourage your child to try other foods and move away from the favorite a little bit. It’s likely the jag will end on its own before it can be a problem, but vigilance is always a good idea.

Frequently Occurring Feeding Problems

Since a baby has little else to do in life besides eat and sleep, it would seem logical that eating would be something that presents little difficulty. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Many new moms run into feeding issues that while common, can be extremely frustrating. For an exhausted new mom, feeding problems can escalate into a major issue quickly. Take a look at some of the most frequently encountered feeding issues and how to resolve them.

Baby Won’t Latch On!

Breastfeeding moms are often discouraged and frustrated when what seems like the simplest of baby care tasks just doesn’t seem to be working. Poor latch is responsible for all kinds of problems, from gas in the baby to blocked milk ducts in the mother. Babies are born with the ability to suck, but latching on is just as new to them as it is to mom. It takes some practice, and sometimes requires some help.

First, try a different position, such as a football hold, to see if this helps baby access the nipple better. If you have tried everything and are still struggling, call in a pro. Make an appointment with a lactation consultant who can help you to get it figured out. Your obstetrician or the hospital where you gave birth should be able to direct you to a consultant.

Baby Won’t Take the Bottle!

Especially if you are introducing a bottle after breastfeeding, you might have some difficulty getting your baby to accept the different look and feel of the nipple. This will likely just take time, and some experimentation with different bottles. If your baby has been on the bottle since birth, however, and suddenly starts to refuse the bottle, there may be something else going on.

Refusing a bottle can be a sign of several possible problems, from teething to ear infections, both of which make sucking painful. It could also be a sign of an upset stomach. If a reason doesn’t present itself quickly and your baby continues to refuse the bottle, it’s best to put in a call to the pediatrician. An examination might reveal the reason for the refusal, and avoid potential dehydration from refusing fluids.

Formula Upsets My Baby’s Tummy

From the first day of formula feeding to a later transition from breast milk to formula, there can be problematic responses to some of the ingredients. The proteins in formula are more difficult for a baby to digest than those in breast milk, and can cause problems like gas, constipation and diarrhea. Fortunately, there are many different formulas on the market, and you should be able to find one that works for your child.

It’s possible that the reaction is being caused by an allergy to something in the formula, whether it’s cow’s milk or soy; in this case you may need to try a hypoallergenic formula. If problems persist, see your baby’s doctor.

My Baby Falls Asleep During Feedings!

Babies sleep a lot, and it doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong if your baby is falling asleep during feedings. It could be simple fatigue, or baby has had enough to eat and is satisfied. If you are worried that your baby is falling asleep before ingesting enough, try feeding in a brightly lit room that discourages sleep. Unwrap baby from any blankets or sleep sacks; the cooler air will also encourage wakefulness. It might not be pleasant to have to turn on the lights for a night feeding, but if you don’t think baby is eating enough it might be required.

During the day, try to pick a feeding time when your baby is most alert, generally shortly after waking up. You might also find baby is the hungriest right after a nap and will eat more.

Page 1 of 212