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Overview of Feeding of Newborns and Infants

By

Deborah M. Consolini

, MD, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Last full review/revision Sep 2019| Content last modified Sep 2019
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Most babies swallow air along with the milk. Babies usually cannot burp on their own, so a parent needs to help. Babies should be held upright, leaning against the parent's chest, with their head against the parent's shoulder, while the parent pats them gently on their back. The combination of patting and pressure against the shoulder usually leads to an audible burp, often accompanied by spitting up of a small amount of milk.

Feeding Problems

Newborns who lose more than 5 to 7% of their birth weight in the first week have undernutrition Undernutrition Undernutrition is a deficiency of calories or of one or more essential nutrients. Undernutrition may develop because people cannot obtain or prepare food, have a disorder that makes eating or... read more Undernutrition . Newborns should return to their birth weight in about 2 weeks if they are breastfed and in about 10 days if they are formula-fed. After that, they should gain about 20 to 30 grams (1 ounce) each day for the first few months. Infants should weigh twice their birth weight by about 5 months of age.

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Test your knowledge

Breastfeeding
When to stop breastfeeding (wean the infant) depends on the needs and desires of both mother and baby. However, it is preferable for a mother to wait until the infant is at least how many months old before completely weaning? 
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