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Caring For Your Baby


Choosing how to feed your baby has life-long effects for your child.

Feeding your Baby

Choosing how to feed your baby has life-long effects for your baby and for you.

What you have seen and learned about infant feeding from your family, friends, and teachers is likely to influence your attitude and perceptions. Whether you definitely plan to breastfeed or you are still unsure, consider the fact that your milk is the best milk for your baby. It is the ideal first food for your baby’s first several months.

Mother breastfeeding baby

Breastfeeding Support

Feeding Options

  • Breastfeeding. Nature designed human milk especially for human babies. It has several advantages over any substitute ever developed. Your milk has just the right balance of nutrients, and it has them in a form most easily used by the human baby’s immature body systems. Because it was made for your human baby, your milk is also the most gentle on your baby’s systems.
  • Bottle-feeding. If you decide not to breastfeed, or are unable to breastfeed, commercial iron-fortified formulas can provide adequate nutrition for your infant. Infant formulas have enough protein, calories, fat, vitamins, and minerals for growth. However, formula doesn’t have the immune factors that are in breast milk. The immune factors in breast milk can help prevent infections.

Helpful Hints for Feeding Your Baby

These are some helpful hints for feeding your baby:

  • Breast milk is best for your baby and is beneficial even if you only breastfeed for a short amount of time, or part-time.
  • Offer cow’s milk-based formula with iron as first choice of formula, if you do not breastfeed.
  • Keep your baby on breast milk or baby formula until he or she is 1-year-old.
  • Start solid foods when your baby can hold up his or her head, sit-up with support, and no longer has tongue thrusting (4 to 6 months).
  • When starting solids, start with rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula on a spoon. Do not give solids in the bottle or with an infant feeder.
  • Once your baby is tolerating cereal, offer vegetables, then add fruits, and then meats.
  • Ask your child’s healthcare provider about the best way to add new foods to your baby’s diet.
  • Progress in texture of foods so that your baby is eating table foods by his or her first birthday.
  • Do not give honey & foods that can be easily choked on (like hot dogs, peanuts, grapes, raisins, or popcorn) to your child during his or her first year of life.
  • Unless your child is known to have or has severe allergies (for instance, breaking out in hives, vomiting, or having trouble breathing), recent reports and studies have shown that introducing whole eggs and peanut butter at a young age — even at 4 to 6 months — reduces the chance of your child developing allergies to these foods. Talk to your child’s healthcare provider about whether these foods are appropriate for your child.

Mothers Milk Bank

The oldest operating human milk bank in the United States, ChristianaCare’s Mothers’ Milk Bank stores, tests and distributes donated mothers’ milk to meet the specific needs of infants for whom human milk is prescribed by physicians.

The Milk Bank also stores and dispenses milk that mothers collect for their own hospitalized newborns. Mothers’ milk is often a gift of life. It is a gift that is generously given by nursing mothers who are willing to share breast milk for which their own infants have no need.

Many babies who receive milk from the Mothers’ Milk Bank would be unable to thrive without it. Babies need donor milk because of:

  • Allergies and formula intolerances.
  • Prematurity.
  • Failure to thrive.
  • Immunological deficiencies.
  • Postoperative nutrition.
  • Inborn errors of metabolism.

At ChristianaCare, neonatologists—doctors who are specially trained to care for premature and sick infants—encourage the use of mothers’ milk. Mothers’ milk is the ideal nourishment for a newborn baby because it is easier than formula for the baby to digest, reducing the risk of stomach and intestinal complications. This is most important for any critically ill infant.

Find Your Provider

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Parent and Breastfeeding Education and Resource Center
Parent and Breastfeeding Education and Resource Center View Location

4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road
Room 1L06
Newark, DE 19718

Call 302-301-3360 Get directions

More than 1,400 physicians and surgeons are active members of ChristianaCare’s Medical-Dental staff, and more than one in 10 of them have located at least part of their practices on the Christiana Hospital campus in two Medical Arts Pavilions adjoining the main hospital. The Christiana Hospital campus also includes the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center.
Mothers’ Milk Bank
Mothers’ Milk Bank View Location

4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road,
Room 1922A,
Newark, DE 19718

Call 302-301-4321 Get directions

When you have surgery at the Christiana Surgicenter, you’re back in the comfort of your own home the very same day. Located on the Christiana Hospital campus, this 25,000-square-foot, patient-friendly facility provides outstanding care and the latest technology for a variety of surgical procedures, including:

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