Your Sitter’s developing digestive system

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  • Baby’s stomach is getting slightly larger, requiring fewer daily feedings.
  • Spitting up is not uncommon for babies under one year of age.
  • Burping should be during and after feedings of formula or breastmilk to reduce spitting up.

Your Sitter has probably had his first taste of solid food by now, but he’s still getting the main source of his nutrition from breastmilk or infant formula. Infant cereals and pureed baby foods are helping to develop his eating skills. Previously his digestive system was too immature to digest the proteins and carbohydrates in infant cereals and pureed baby foods. As he matures, your Sitter’s digestive system has begun to produce more of the enzymes and digestive juices needed to properly digest the foods on his expanding menu. 

What else affects digestion?

Fluid
In most cases, breastmilk or formula provides enough fluid so that you don’t need to offer any bottles of water into his diet.
Stomach size
Your baby’s stomach is small. Feedings are less frequent now with six feedings being the daily norm for most infants at the Sitter stage.  

Fewer dirty diapers
As your baby gets older, the number of bowel movements will usually decrease. Between 6 and 12 months of age, your child will eventually get to about two stools a day. If you continue to breastfeed or use a 100% whey-based formula, bowel movements will tend to be softly formed.  

Is spitting up a problem?
A certain amount of spitting up is normal, especially during the first six months. Nearly half of all healthy infants under one year of age spit up two or more times in a day. Formula-fed babies are more likely to spit up than a breastfed baby. This is usually because the person feeding encourages baby to “finish the bottle.” If you suspect overfeeding might be the cause of spitting up, then try more frequent smaller feedings and always watch for fullness cues.

If your baby has a strong tendency to suck, it can cause him to swallow too much air and spit up.  

Burping might help
If your baby is spitting up often, try burping him during and after feedings. Pediatricians often suggest burping over the shoulder or having your baby sit on your lap with head slightly forward and his head resting on one of your hands. With your other hand, gently rub or pat (no heavy movements) his back with your other hand. 

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