“Proper nutrition is essential for a growing baby’s health and development. Learn about the nutritional needs of infants aged 0-6 months, including recommended feeding schedules, types of formula and breast milk, and introducing solid foods. Get expert tips and advice on how to ensure your baby is getting the nutrients they need to thrive.”
0-6 Months (Newborn) Baby Nutrition
Breast milk, which perfectly meets the physiological and psychosocial needs of the baby during the first six months after birth, plays an important role in establishing the bond between mother and baby.
Feeding the baby with breast milk alone for the first six months, continuing breastfeeding with additional nutrients after the sixth month, and continuing breastfeeding until the end of the age of two provide numerous benefits to the baby.
The benefits of breastfeeding are not only limited to the process of breastfeeding, but also have significant positive effects on future health. For this reason , the importance of breastfeeding in laying the foundations of a healthy life cannot be discussed.
Breast milk; It is a unique liquid with high bioavailability and easy to digest, providing growth and development in the baby, which contains all of the energy, protein, fat, carbohydrate and other essential nutrients.
Breast milk is a miracle, even a drop of breast milk is very valuable for your baby.
Cute Info! Every mother’s milk is unique to her baby.
It can show miraculous changes depending on whether your baby was born early or late, its weight, the amount of fat and protein that the digestive system can accept, and even what protein and fat ratio it needs.
Breast milk is the most important and most suitable food for your baby. It is always fresh, clean and ready to be given to the baby; so breastfeeding is a cheap and simple method. Even the healthiest food produced cannot be developed in a way that can imitate breast milk.
Attention! The most ideal food to be given to babies in the first six months is breast milk.
Breast Milk Content
The milk secreted in the first 1–5 days after birth is called colostrum. Its color is yellowish. It contains high amounts of protein, but its fat and carbohydrate content is lower than mature milk.
- It is high in protein, fat-soluble vitamins, minerals and antibodies that protect the baby from bacterial and viral diseases.
- Colostrum coats the infant’s gastrointestinal tract with immunoglobulins, forming a mucosal layer.
- It protects the baby against microorganisms coming from the external environment.
- It clears the meconium (first poop).
- It facilitates the prevention of jaundice .
- It protects the baby from infections and allergies with its antibody content.
It is the milk secreted 6-14 days after birth. It contains more fat, lactose, vitamins and more calories than colostrum . During this period, the breasts become larger and firmer and can be uncomfortably painful. Breastfeeding the baby regularly will reduce the discomfort.
It is the milk secreted from the 15th day after birth until the end of lactation. Mature milk is thinner and contains more water than transitional milk. As your baby grows, the content of milk changes. When your baby starts solid foods, the amount of milk changes.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Baby
- It reduces the risk of acute and chronic diseases in terms of health .
- It strengthens the immune system.
- It strengthens the mother-baby relationship.
- It improves speech.
- Visual acuity becomes greater.
- The taste of breast milk changes from time to time, allowing the baby to recognize flavors.
- It helps the baby’s mental, physical and mental development.
- Breast milk intake gains importance in cases such as attention deficit syndrome and apathy.
- It affects the development of teeth in a good way.
- Breastfed babies are more docile and stress-free.
- Growth factors promote organ and tissue maturation.
Studies have shown that the benefits of breast milk to the baby are not only limited to the active feeding process, but also have positive effects on health in adulthood.
It is stated that breast milk has positive effects in adult cardiovascular diseases (such as hypercholesterolemia, arteriosclerosis, hypertension), obesity, metabolic syndrome, allergic diseases, cancer, autoimmune diseases and cognitive development.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for the Mother
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and breast cancer.
- Breastfeeding protects the mother from future osteoporosis .
- Breastfeeding helps to restore the uterus and protects the mother from excessive blood loss and anaemia.
- The rate of progression of endometriosis is lower in breastfeeding mothers.
- Breastfeeding facilitates weight loss. Breastfeeding increases a woman’s daily energy requirement by about 500-600 calories. A healthy and well-fed mother loses weight more easily as she spends energy during breastfeeding and uses adipose tissue for milk production .
- The uterus grows during pregnancy and requires a miracle to shrink, this miracle is breastfeeding. During breastfeeding, the hormone oxytocin is secreted, and oxytocin helps to shrink the uterus by contracting smooth muscles .
- Iron stores lost at birth with breastfeeding are replenished in a shorter time.
- If the mother has diabetes, her daily insulin requirement will be lower as long as she breastfeeds.
- It helps to develop the sense of motherhood.
- Breastfeeding strengthens the bond between mother and baby.
- Breastfeeding is a natural sedative for the mother .
- Breastfeeding mother does not need to research which brand is more nutritious. Breast milk can never be imitated. That’s why non-breastfeeding mothers get tired by researching which brand is better for their babies, while mothers who choose to breastfeed make sure that their babies are fed with the best nutrients .
What Should the Frequency of Newborn Breastfeeding Be?
Your milk may be low for the first 2-3 days after birth, and it reaches 700-800 ml/day in 4-6 months. As the baby suckles, milk comes in and the receptors on the nipple are stimulated.
For this reason, the baby should be breastfed frequently. The thought that the baby’s discomfort is caused by breast milk prevents milk formation and breastfeeding. Milk secretion depends on the baby’s sucking ability.
Sugar water and formula should not be given to the newborn baby before breast milk .
In the first week, your baby’s stomach capacity is even smaller than a tea cup. For this reason, every time the baby cries, it should be breastfed 8-12 times a day.
- When your baby is one month old, the stomach capacity is 125-150 ml. It should be breastfed 6-10 times a day.
- When your baby is three months old, the stomach capacity is 150-180 ml. It should be breastfed 4-8 times a day.
- When your baby is six months old, the stomach capacity is 180-210 ml. It should be breastfed 4-6 times a day.
The baby should be breastfed on both breasts at a time, for about 20 minutes on each breast. If the baby is satisfied with one breast, the other breast should be given first at the next breastfeeding.
How Should Newborns Gain Weight?
Changes in the baby’s weight should be monitored. If the line goes up when the dots on the growth chart are joined, milk is sufficient. If the baby is trying not to let go, the breast milk may not be enough.When the baby is 20 days old, if he has gained approximately 500 g of weight, breast milk is sufficient.
Newborns lose about 7% of weight in the first week.
This situation should not be interpreted as insufficient breast milk .
Nutrition during the breastfeeding period has a very important place. You might be interested in reading our “Nutritional Recommendations During Breastfeeding” article.
Is It Necessary to Give Water to a Breastfed Baby?
87% of breast milk is water. Breast milk meets all the needs of the baby.
We do not recommend any food other than breast milk for the first 6 months.
How should breast milk be stored?
In some cases, the baby cannot suckle or the mother may experience excess milk accumulation even though she is breastfeeding. In these cases, breast milk should be expressed and stored until the baby suckles. Especially working mothers are especially curious about this issue.
Breast Milk: It can be stored at room temperature (19-26 °C) for 3 hours , in the refrigerator (<4 °C) for 3 days, in the deep freezer (-18 °C) for 3 months.
If you are not sure whether your milk has spoiled or not, you may not be able to tell by the smell that it has gone bad. Sometimes milk may smell different. The easiest way to do this is to boil a small amount of breast milk and see if it stops.
Bags used to store milk must not contain BPA, BPS, and must be specially produced to store breast milk.
It’s Your Turn Now – Write a Comment
Do you have any dietary recommendations? What advice would you give to other mothers about baby nutrition? We look forward to hearing from you.