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When I was pregnant, I dreamed that my daughter, Ruby, would calmly empty her bottle in ten minutes flat, and then burp like a frat boy. Reality check: As a 3-month-old, she was more likely to stretch a feeding out to 40 minutes, and then upchuck all over her outfit.
Most new moms know that breast- or bottle-feeding doesn't always go as smoothly as expected, in part because all babies have their own set of mealtime mannerisms. Yours may be slow, squirmy, spitty -- anything but a champion milk guzzler -- and that's completely normal. "Don't expect that you'll get a baby who always drinks eight ounces every four hours. That doesn't happen very often," says Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D.,a pediatrician in Seattle and the mother of two toddlers. However, if you figure out what's at the root of your feeding-time issues, you may be able to make meals less fraught.
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