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Responsive feeding: Learn about how to feed your baby

Can you identify which of these responsive feeding principles are fact and which ones are fiction?

2 mins to read Jan 4, 2022

1. Your baby needs to eat to a schedule.

Fiction! Let your baby’s signs of hunger and fullness be your guide to when to feed and when to stop. Feeding your baby responsively like this, instead of sticking to a schedule, will help protect their instinctive appetite.

2. Your baby doesn’t need to empty both breasts (or finish a bottle) when feeding.

Fact! It’s OK to not empty both breasts or finish the bottle. Resist urging them to drink ‘just another 30ml / 1oz’ if drinking from a bottle and don’t praise them if they does. Teach them that eating is based on hunger and fullness and that you want them to be in control of how much they eats.

3. When a baby cries, they must be hungry.

Fiction! When your baby is about three months old, you’ll start to know whether their cries mean fussiness, distress, or hunger. They won’t always be hungry! You’ll know if They’re asking for a nap, a new diaper, or a change of scenery.

4. Your two- to four-month old baby should finish the bottle at every feed

Fiction! How much your baby drinks is based on their weight, age, and level of hunger at the time of the feed. Most two- to four-month old babies drink 100-150ml (4-5oz) of milk per feeding. Hold the bottle for your baby every time. Propping it up can cause choking.

5. If you don’t make your baby eat, they won’t gain enough weight.

Fiction! Your baby will eat just as much as they needs. If they don’tdrink much milk during one feed, theirprobably just not hungry. Avoid encouraging them to have more because this can override their ability to regulate their appetite. At the next feeding, theywill probably get back on track.

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