Coffee & Breastfeeding

Are you worried that you’ll have to give up your morning cup of joe habit while breastfeeding?  Yesterday I told you about why coffee can be good for you.  I’ve also told you about coffee safety during pregnancy.  But what about while nursing?

A cup of coffee while breastfeeding is fine!  In fact it’s probably very welcomed after sleepless nights.

Some babies might react negatively to the caffeine so watch out for these signs:

  • irritability
  • not sleeping well or for long periods
  • overly active

As babies age they might be able to tolerate it better.  So if you try having a cup of coffee and you know right away tht your newborn is not tolerating it, try again in a few months.

Remember moderate intake is considered 300 mg/day.  Try to limit yourself to one cup each day.

I love my morning cup of coffee.  I have it right after I feed my daughter in the morning.

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Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Baby!

Feeding your baby can be a very exciting time.  Before you start giving him or her everything in your kitchen, know which foods you should avoid for at least the first year.

  • Nuts & Peanuts (some doctors recommend waiting until 2 years if you have a strong family history of food allergies)
  • Honey (risk of botulism)
  • Cow’s Milk (stick with breast milk and formula for up to 12 months)

Choking Hazards

  • Popcorn
  • Peanuts
  • Raisins
  • Whole grapes
  • Meats that are uncut and stringy
  • Hot dogs
  • Raw fruits or vegetables that are hard
  • Hard to chew foods
  • Nut butter and other sticky foods
  • Be careful with anything round and firm!

High Allergen Foods: These foods are still slightly controversial

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Tree Nuts
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Wheat

These foods are the most likely to cause allergies.  Many people recommend waiting till your baby is 12 months of age to introduce these foods (egg yolks are fine to be introduced earlier).  However, studies have shown that waiting to introduce these foods does not decrease the risk of developing an allergy.  So if you come from a family without food allergies and get the ok from your pediatrician to start these beforehand then go for it!

Remember to always wait 2-3 days after introducing each new food to look out for any allergic reactions.

Moving on From Infant Rice Cereal

So you’ve been feeding your baby rice cereal, but the big question you may be having is:

“When should I move on to other food besides rice cereal?!”

Source

Well I wouldn’t rush it if I were you.  Remember you may be bored with rice cereal, but your baby is not!  He or she has been having the same milk (breast or formula) for the past 4-6 months and hasn’t gotten bored yet!  So do not rush just because you are bored.

This is a huge learning experience and you want to give your baby time to master his or her skills before you move on.

Here’s How to Progress with Rice Cereal

  • Start with one feeding per day and make it very thin
  • As you progress add less and less breast milk or formula so it becomes thicker
  • Continue until baby is having 2-3 feedings per day and consuming a total of 1/2 cup of prepared cereal
  • This will give the baby his or her iron needs
  • Spoon feeding is a huge adjustment for the baby, don’t rush it!
  • This process may take 3-4 weeks
  • As you progress make the cereal lumpier

Look out for posts in the coming weeks about feeding your baby fruits & veggies!

Baby’s First Food: When to Start & Stop

When you introduce solids to your baby it’s not about the nutrition that he or she will be getting, but rather the explorative process of eating and having a spoon in his or her mouth.  So don’t worry if the baby eats very little.  The last thing you want to do is force your baby to eat and end up with an unhappy baby.

The best results in feeding will happen if you follow your baby’s queues!

You want your baby to be interested in the food, to look at the food and open his or her mouth.  Here are some examples from my first feeding experience.  These photos show you that Hannah was interested and wanted to take part in the new situation:

 

But soon after these initial first bites, she had enough.  And she told me so!

Even though Hannah doesn’t speak words, her actions were very clear.  She did not want anymore!  So we stopped.  If I had continued she probably would have started to get very fussy and maybe cry.  Not what you want to accomplish.  Remember this is completely new to them.  As I mentioned earlier it’s fine that she only got the tiniest bit of food into her belly.  She is getting adequate nutrition at this point through breast milk (formula is more than adequate too).  It’s good to experiment for about a month with baby rice cereal until they’ve mastered it.

Next up: When to move on from baby rice cereal

Baby’s First Food!

Sorry I’ve been MIA recently…I promise to start blogging more regularly again!  In addition to posts about healthy eating, nutrition tips, and easy meals I’m also going to be doing some posts about feeding babies!

This past weekend, our now 5 month old Hannah ate her first solids!

The current recommendation is to give your baby solids between 4-6 months.  Talk to your pediatrician before doing so.  Why did we decide to give Hannah her solids at 5 months?  Here were the queues that she was ready:

  • She can sit up with support
  • She does not thrust out her tongue anymore when something goes in her mouth
  • She is interested in food (she watches me eat and reaches for my plate when I have her on my lap).

What to give baby first?

  • Baby rice cereal is recommended as the baby’s first solid food.
  • Baby rice cereal is a very low allergy food.

How to Feed Baby:

  • Choose to feed your baby when he or she is happy and not starving or very full.  Usually halfway between feedings is a good time to do so.
  • Take 1 Tablespoon of baby rice cereal and mix with a few Tablespoons of breast milk or formula.
  • Use a soft spoon so you don’t harm baby’s gum.
  • Take a tiny bit of the cereal on the end of the spoon and touch to baby’s lips.
  • This is totally new to the baby and she or he might be very apprehensive at first.  Some babies eat with gusto at first, while others shy away.
  • Be very patient with the baby and continue to give him or her tiny bits more.
  • When he or she starts turning her head away and closing his or her mouth when you bring the spoon close, then consider the feeding done!
  • You can start off once or twice a day.
  • The first feedings are meant to get your baby used to the spoon and food, and getting used to eating rather than drinking.
  • Don’t be concerned if they only take a couple tiny bites.  This is a learning process!

 

I’m Back with a Baby!

Sorry I’ve been MIA this past month – things have been quite busy!

On Friday May 21st at 5:40 in the morning I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Hannah at 7lbs 4oz.  She is amazing and makes us so incredibly happy.  But at the same time, I’ve never felt busier and more tired in my life!  You’ll have to bear with me as I slowly ease my way back into blogging.  Free time is very hard to come by these days – and I haven’t mastered typing and holding a baby at the same time.   The little free time I do have has been spent going for walks, attending mommy groups, and attempting to cook or clean!  Meals have been super simple.  One thing I will cover in the coming weeks will be how to maximize the little free time you have and still manage to eat healthy when you don’t think you can!

Here’s a photo of us from when she was a few days old:

This photo is from when she was 9 days old:

And I’ll leave you with a photo of me the day before I gave birth, make-up free heading to the hospital:

Thanks for being patient!