About This Pathfinder

Your child’s first year of life holds thousands of decisions about what and how you should feed him or her.  You’re faced with some big ones before the baby is even born.  Are you going to breastfeed or use formula?  If you breastfeed, where will you turn for instruction or help if things don’t go well?  And if you work, will you pump to supplement?  If you choose formula, how do you know what brand and type are right for your baby?

After the baby arrives, you’re faced with everyday decisions.  How do you know if your baby is full?  How long can you store breastmilk in the refrigerator?  Is that bottle the right temperature?  What do you do if you’re not producing enough milk–or if you’re making too much?  Or if  you get mastitis or thrush or a plugged duct?  And how do you sterilize the baby’s bottles and nipples?

As your baby gets older, the decisions don’t decrease, but they do change in nature.  When should you start your baby on solid foods?  What foods should you start with, and where should you go from there?  Should you buy jarred food at the grocery store or make your own, and should you consider organics?  How do you choose the right bowls, spoons, and highchair?  What do you do when your baby starts teething, and when is he ready for finger foods?

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by advice from well-meaning friends and family, and it’s often hard to tell who’s “right.”  Doctors’ recommendations have changed drastically in some cases since our parents and grandparents were raising children, so it’s wise to seek more updated information.  With reports about pesticides and formula recalls in the news, it’s certainly reasonable to worry about what your baby is eating.

If you’ve ever asked any of these questions or had any of these worries, this pathfinder is for you.  It’s filled with print, electronic, and audio-visual resources that you can use to formulate your own plan of the best method for feeding your own baby up to one year of age.  Topics are divided by subject into Breastfeeding, Formula-Feeding, and Introducing Solid Foods, so you can research just what interests you.  All resources come from medical professionals, experienced parents, and other trusted sources.  Feel free to consult the Works Cited for more information.