Breast Milk as the First 6 Month Baby Food
Breast milk is baby food the first 6 months of life the most important. The nutritional content in breast milk is very good for growth and endurance of your baby’s body. Therefore, Busui is recommended to only give exclusive breastfeeding to Little One for the first 6 months.
Mother may have heard the advice to give baby food the first 6 months besides breast milk? This is not justified, because breastfeeding alone is sufficient to meet the nutritional and energy needs in the first 6 months of your baby’s age.
Then, what are the virtues and how much milk should you give to your child?
Advantages of ASI for Babies
Breast milk is the best first 6-month baby food. This is because ASI has the following advantages:
Breast milk protects babies from bacterial and viral infections that cause infection, so that babies do not get sick easily.
Breast milk contains all the nutrients needed for growth and development of infants, such as protein, fat, calories, vitamins, and immune-forming substances (antibodies).
Breast milk decreases the risk of an infant getting an infection, diarrhea, vomiting and sudden death (SIDS). Some studies also show that breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life can reduce the risk of infants becoming obese later in life.
Exclusive breastfeeding without formula milk in the first 6 months can reduce the risk of ear, gastrointestinal, and respiratory infections.
Studies show that babies who drink breast milk have a higher IQ and cognitive abilities better than babies who are given formula milk.
The volume and composition of breast milk depends on the needs of the baby during lactation. The nutritional content is also different when newborns, transitional breast milk, mature breast milk, and breast milk at weaning.
For example, breast milk produced on days 1-5 of lactation is rich in nutrients, especially protein, while transition milk contains a lot of fat and milk sugar (lactose).
Breast milk from mothers who deliver premature babies contains more fat and protein and less lactose than breast milk from mothers who give birth to term babies. The content of ASI has been biologically adjusted to meet the nutritional needs of each baby.
Amount of Breastmilk a Baby Needs
Newborns up to 6 months of age do not need water, juice, or other fluids. Never give your child solid food at this age, because the digestive tract is still in the developmental stage and has not been able to digest other foods besides breast milk and formula milk.
Newborns need to be breastfed 8-12 times a day or every 2-3 hours. As you age, the frequency of feeding your baby will be 7-9 times a day, but the amount of milk you drink will increase.
If breast milk is given in the form of milk, then the amount is adjusted to the needs and age of the baby. Here are the references:
|Baby age||Amount of breast milk||Frequency|
|1 Mounth||60 ml – 120 ml||6-8 Times a day|
|2 Mounth||150 ml – 180 ml||5-6 Times a day|
|3 Mounth||180 ml – 210 ml||5-6 Times a day|
Step 6 months, in addition to drinking breast milk, your little one can be introduced to solid foods or complementary foods for breast milk.
If your child has started to move his arms, legs, body, and mouth, and began to fuss and cry, it was a sign that he was hungry. The sooner you breastfeed your little one, the better.
If your child closes his mouth, stops sucking, or turns away from his nipple or bottle of milk, that is a sign that he is full or wants to stop breastfeeding for a while. Wait one minute before giving him more milk. Finally, don’t forget to make the baby burp after he is given milk.
Signs of a Baby Ready for Complementary Food for Mother’s Milk
Mother has been allowed to introduce solid food to Little One after the age of 6 months. However, Mother must ensure in advance that the Little One is ready to be given solid food. To find out if your child is ready or not, Mother can see it from the following signs:
Little weight has reached twice the body weight at birth (minimum 5.8 – 6 kg).
Little can already hold (support) his head and sit upright in a baby’s chair.
Little can cover his lips when given food.
Little has been able to move his mouth and chew food well.
When starting to give complementary foods to breastmilk, make sure the amount and texture of MPASI matches the stage of growth and development.
Sometimes, babies may want to suckle or eat more often with more volume or portions than usual. This happens when the baby experiences growth spurt. Growth spurt generally occurs at the age of 7-14 days, 3-6 weeks, around 4 months, and about 6 months.
Mother is not sure whether the needs of your little breast milk are met? Pay attention to the signs. If your child urinates at least 5-6 times a day, defecates regularly, and his weight increases, then this means his milk needs are met. If your child does not show these signs, consult your pediatrician.