- Breast milk provides perfect nutrition for growing babies.
- Breastfeeding protects babies from infections and SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome.
- Substances in breast milk help boost babies' brainpower.
- Breastfeeding is free.
- Nursing lowers a mother's risk for breast cancer, diabetes, and thinning bones.
- Breastfeeding can help new moms lose their pregnancy weight by burning an extra 500 calories daily.
Breastfeeding isn't right for every new mother, though. If you're formula feeding, here's what to know:
- Formula provides the basic nutrients that babies need, but it lacks some of the extra nutrition found in breast milk.
- For most babies, an iron-fortified cow's milk formula is best.
- Babies with allergies may need a soy or allergy-free formula.
- Newer formulas contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which may help the brain and eyes develop.
Your Baby's Development This Week
Your baby’s new world is as amazing to him as he is to you! Here's what he can see and hear.
What Baby Sees
- Your baby can see to both sides and is starting to focus on objects in the center of his vision.
- He likes to look at objects held 8 to 15 inches away.
- Your baby's pupils are getting larger, so he can see different shades of light.
- Babies like sharp contrasts, such as bull's-eyes and black-and-white stripes.
What Baby Hears
- Babies prefer the sound of human voices, especially yours.
- Your baby already knows the sound of your voice.
- Your baby can also tell which direction your voice is coming from.
Week 2 Tips
- Most babies this age feed about every two hours. If your baby sleeps more than four or five hours, wake him up and offer breast or bottle.
- To calm a crying baby, gently rub his back, walk with him, or rock him gently in your arms.
- A baby who can't be comforted may be bothered by something in the diet. If you're nursing, try avoiding caffeine and foods that can make your baby gassy -- such as milk, cabbage, or broccoli.
- Keep diapers and changing supplies everywhere you go for on-the-go changes.
- Babies can get diaper rash. To soothe a red bottom, let the diaper area air dry and apply a zinc oxide diaper rash ointment at every changing.
- Stimulate your baby's vision by passing a stuffed animal or toy back and forth a few inches in front of his eyes.
- Your voice has star power! Talk, sing, and read to your baby. Even though he can't say so, he'll love it.