An Overview of Feeding Your Baby
If you’re welcoming a new baby into your family, you are going to have some decisions to make about feeding. And while it might feel overwhelming or even intimidating at first, the fact that there are so many options when it comes to feeding your baby is a wonderful thing. It’s exciting to know you can nourish your baby, no matter what feeding choice works best for your family.
Breastfeeding is a complicated topic. While studies have shown that breastfeeding has many health benefits for babies, it’s not always a simple decision to make. Breastfeeding, although very beneficial for babies and a powerful bonding tool between mother and baby, also requires time, resources, and support.
Breastfeeding is a wonderful choice for many families, if possible. You will need to educate yourself on the benefits of breastfeeding, how to get started breastfeeding, and how to handle any special circumstances you might encounter.
- Breastfeeding Basics
- An Overview of Breastfeeding
- An Overview of Exclusive Breastfeeding
- Formula Feeding vs. Breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding Questions and Answers
- Where to Get Breastfeeding Help for Nursing Mothers
- What Are the Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding?
If you’re planning on formula feeding your baby, here are some resources to help you get started:
- Bottle Feeding Your Infant Formula
- What Is Cow Milk Formula?
- Choosing a Baby Formula: Similac, Enfamil & More
- Baby Bottle Feeding Problems
Some people may not be aware that mixed feeding is an option, but it is a very valid choice that works for many families. Mixed feedings can work differently for every family and that’s why they can be so convenient.
You can mix any variety of feeding, such as breastfeeding your baby and supplementing with formula or using a mixture of donor breast milk and formula or pumped milk and formula. Breastfeeding is very adaptable and your body will adjust to the schedule that you choose. You could breastfeed your baby in the morning, but use formula later in the day—mixed feedings means mixing rules that work for you.
- Can You Breastfeed and Give Your Baby Formula?
- How to Combine Breast and Formula Feeding
- Can You Mix Breast Milk and Infant Formula?
There are many different special circumstances that you might encounter when feeding your baby, from allergies to health needs your little one might have.
- Does Your Infant Need AR Formula?
- Formula Options for Little Ones With Allergies
- Breastfeeding and Special Needs for Baby and Mom
- What Is Enteral Nutrition or Tube Feeding?
- Donor Breast Milk for Preemies
- Breastfeeding an Adopted Baby
Once your baby is ready to incorporate solids and other liquids into his or her diet, infant feeding becomes a whole other world. But it’s an exciting one! You can explore all the ways to introduce new foods and drinks into your baby’s diet, such as:
- What Do I Need to Know About Beginning Infant Cereal?
- When Is It OK for Your Baby to Drink Juice?
- Best First Foods for Babies
- When Can Your Baby Drink Water?
- When Can You Start Feeding Your Baby Solid Foods?
- 7 Tips for Starting Your Baby on Solids
Making the Right Decision
Feeding your baby should not be stressful, but it might be a time when you have to learn to make decisions that are best for you, your baby, and your entire family. It also might mean learning to field questions or judgments from others outside of your family situation who may have opinions on what you should do. But it’s important to keep in mind that there is no “best” choice for feeding a baby—only the best choice for your baby.
Whether you realize it or not, feeding choices can affect the whole family, so it is helpful to take all of your family’s needs into the decision-making process. For example, if you choose to breastfeed, how will it impact the rest of your family’s schedule? Will formula feeding work into your family budget? Do you have the support necessary to make the feeding choice you think is best?
Don’t be afraid to look at the big picture when making your ultimate decision. And even when you do make a decision, it’s nice to remember that nothing is ever set in stone. You can always change your mind or revisit the situation if something changes.
A Word From Tips For Healthy Living
Your feeding journey with your baby is an exciting time. Who doesn’t love food, right? Look at this as an opportunity to figure out a feeding solution that works best for you, your baby, and your family.