First Year Feeding Guide

The hows, whens, and whys of infant nutrition.

Introduction

Before my first child, Nicolas, was born, the prospect of feeding him inspired some of my most blissful daydreams. What could be easier, more natural, more satisfying, than nourishing a child with milk from my own breasts? Plenty, as it turned out. Nick had trouble latching on, but he refused the bottle - leaving me with a nasty case of sore nipples.

In time, we both improved our skills. And I learned another lesson: The only predictable thing about feeding an infant is its unpredictability. Still, all children follow roughly the same path as they develop from suckling newborns into chomping toddlers. Below, you'll find a road map. (Time frames and food quantities are approximate; it's best to follow your baby's lead.) When the going gets bumpy, remember: Despite the spitting up and spaghetti spills, every child eventually learns to eat on his or her own.

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