Top 10 “New Mom” Questions
So you’re this mix of excited, terrified, nervous and anxious to meet this tiny human growing inside you all at once. Whether it’s your first baby or your sixth, having a baby is a rollercoaster of emotions (and you thought high school was bad). So, after going to all the mommy groups and hanging out with all you lovely goddesses, we decided to bring together all the questions we always hear new moms ask so that you’ll know what’s what when it comes to your newborn.
1. How much should I breastfeed?
When babies are first born, they should be fed whenever they are hungry – this usually occurs every 1.5 to 3 hours. By the time they reach 1 or 2 months of age, they’ll likely be breast feeding 7 to 9 times a day.
As they continue to age, they’ll need to be fed less frequently, and they may even eat in a more routine-manner than they did when they were first born. Each parent is different on the scheduling, some parents breastfeed at the same time down to the minute, others are a bit more loose when it comes to timing. Find out what works best for you and your little one and what you feel most comfortable with. Pay attention to your little one’s reactions, we usually hear that keeping some kind of schedule with feeding is helpful but every person has a different experience.
2. How long should I breastfeed?
This is a very personal decision for most parents and depends on your baby, your body, your schedule and a lot of other external factors that you can, and can’t control. In general, pediatricians tend to recommend breastfeeding/ formula feeding for the first six months of their lives and introducing solid foods at 6 months while you continue breastfeeding or formula. This varies from baby to baby – use your best judgment and do your best to pay attention to what your baby seems to want. We’ve seen moms stop earlier and moms continue until their little one is 2 years old, do what works best for you and consult with your pediatrician if your little one has specific needs.
3. What should I feed my baby?
For newborns up to 6 months old, all they need is breast milk and/or formula. However, at around 4 to 6 months of age, most babies start showing the signs that they may be ready for semi-solid food in addition to breast milk and/or formula – they’ll likely continue on this diet until they’re 8 months old. At Amara, we recommend starting solids at 6 months and introducing foods first in a smooth puree and then transitioning to thicker textures. For more information on introducing your baby to solid foods, look here. We also have an introduction to solids variety pack that can be mixed fresh with breastmilk or formula to introduce your baby to solids with the breastmilk and/or formula that your baby is comfortable with.
When they reach 8-10 months, they’ll start checking off the boxes which dictate that they’re ready to add mashed and finger foods into their diet.
By 10 to 12 months of age, you can tack fruit cubes or strips and small, cooked veggies onto your baby’s meal plan.
4. What solid foods do I start feeding my baby?
When your baby first starts having semi-solid food on top of their breast milk and/or formula, pureed vegetables, pureed fruits, pureed meats, semi-liquid, iron-fortified cereal, and tiny amounts of plain, unsweetened yogurt [not made from cow’s milk until they reach their first birthday] are the best choices. Remember that the food choices you make at a young age with your baby shape their preferences when they get older, make sure to include lots of savory vegetables and different tastes and textures when they are babies and toddlers.
5. Should I start with vegetables or fruit for my baby?
At Amara, we recommend starting with vegetables as your baby already has a predisposition to accept sweet tastes. Both are best in pureed form for your baby while they’re getting started on solid foods. At Amara (shameless plug) we make it easy for you to make the best possible alternative to homemade baby food while keeping the fresh taste and texture of homemade. Plus, it saves you the trouble of attempting to prepare them at home.
6. Should I feed my baby cereal or vegetables?
You should feed them both.
It depends on the country, some cultures start off with cereal, others start off with meat, others start off with vegetables. We generally recommend starting with pureed vegetables and meats before going to iron-fortified, semi-liquid baby cereal when they’re about 6 months old, and keep the baby-friendly vegetables (squash, sweet potatoes, etc.) pureed for the first 8 months. Each family is different though here it’s best that you follow your pediatrician’s advice. Regardless of how you start, it’s important to look at the quality of the food you are giving them (make sure it still looks and tastes close to fresh – this can be an indication that the nutrients and vitamins are more intact). The combination of quality and variety will help in creating a well-rounded baby diet.
7. How often should I feed my baby?
Once your baby starts consuming solid food, they should be eating around 2 to 3 times a day.
8. What's the difference between baby foods?
Baby foods are made up of the same core items, but the difference is in where the food comes from and how it is prepared for your baby.
Organic baby food has more particular origins and is cultivated such that your baby can get optimal benefits from their mealtimes. We go into the difference among store bought baby foods in the article here.
9. What's the best healthy baby food?
It’s never too early to get your little one started on a healthy lifestyle. That’s why the healthiest baby foods are nutritious and organic.
Fortunately, Amara is the perfect way to include these hearty factors in your baby’s meals so that they can start off on the right foot. Plus, our unique technique locks in the taste and texture of fresh so it’s never too late to start – try our introduction to solids if your baby prefers pureed textures or our introduction to textures if your baby is starting textures.
10. How important is DHA for my baby? For me?
DHA is extremely important for both of you! It’s one of the most indispensable Omega-3 fatty acids.
Not only do babies need DHA for their growth, but mothers need to be sure that their body’s supply isn’t being entirely depleted during breastfeeding – if the mother has low levels, then both the mother and the newborn will be DHA-deprived. Check out our article here about how you can get DHA from foods.
We hope this helped a bit demystify some of the questions. When it comes to food, we love hearing from you if we haven’t answered your questions. Feel free to reach out here or to try the best organic baby food choice for your baby here:
You’re all ready to go, new mommy!