State of Illinois
Department of Human Services
Feeding Your Baby
Breastfeeding Your Baby: 0-12 months
Your baby wants to be near you even when he's not hungry. Remember, he was with you for nine months before his delivery and is comforted by the sound of your heart beat and voice. You are the most important person in his life.
When and How Much Should You Feed Your Baby?
Follow your baby's cues to know how much he needs to eat at each stage of his growth.
- Let you know he's hungry by sucking his fist or fingers, making faces, smacking his lips, or fussing and crying (usually the last sign--try not to wait until then).
- Let you know he's full by slowing down on sucking, turning his head away, closing his lips, or by being easily distracted.
- Have 6-8 wet diapers and at least 3 soiled diapers every 24 hours after he is 5 days old. Before then, he may wet and soil his diapers a few times each day.
- Vary in how often he wants to be fed. As your baby grows he will nurse less often.
- Feed your baby often during the first few weeks. This may be 8 - 12 times in 24 hours. While you and your baby are learning how to breastfeed, your baby may nurse often and for long periods.
- Hold your baby tummy to tummy while feeding and try other positions which are comfortable.
- Allow your baby to nurse as long as he wants at the first breast, offer the second breast if baby still seems hungry or at the next feeding.
- Wait to give a pacifier or bottle until you have a good milk supply (usually about week 3 or 4).
- During a "growth spurt" your baby may seem less content and may act fussy. Growth spurts last 1-2 days and usually occur around:
2 weeks 6 weeks 2-1/2 to 3 months 4-1/2 to 6 months
- Nurse often during growth spurts. When your baby eats more your body knows to make more milk.
- Eat a variety of foods and drink to thirst for good health. Your body will make the perfect food for your baby, no matter what foods you eat.
|Will cereal help my baby sleep through the night?
||No, breastmilk has everything your baby needs to grow healthy. Your baby will get hungry during the night because he is growing so fast and his tummy is so small.
|Will honey or corn syrup help constipation?
||No, in fact, honey is dangerous for babies & should not be given until age 1.
|Will holding my baby spoil him?
||No, babies who are held tend to cry less and sleep longer since they know they are loved.
|Does my baby need extra water?
||No, breastmilk provides all the water a young baby needs. Giving water can make your baby full and reduce your milk supply.
Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.
DHS 4369H (R-4-09)
CH&P' Feeding Your Baby - Breastfeeding 0-12 Months
Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois.