Feeding tips for new parents
Here is some advice on how and when to feed your baby:
Natural or nothing
Breastmilk is the best food for newborns. It contains all the nutrients the baby needs for a healthy life. No water, no juices or other fluids. There are very rare exceptions when moms can’t feed their babies, so in this case, you should consult the doctor and use infant formula.
Feeding when needed
Most newborns need 12 feedings a day approximately. Every two or three hours. Don’t wait for the baby to start crying for food. Look for the signs: stirring or stretching, sucking motions and lip movements. If you wait for it to cry, you will first need to calm the baby, and that takes a lot of time. When the baby moves away from your breast or the bottle, it might be taking a break. Try offering your breast or the bottle once again before burping. As the baby gets older, it will need more milk in less time.
Consult with your doctor about vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D is needed for absorbing calcium and phosphorus for strong bones. Breast milk might not provide enough vitamin D.
Variations in eating
The amount of food the baby needs after two weeks age and after six weeks age are not the same. Even every day is different. The baby might need to eat small amounts more often, or big amounts a few times a day. Follow the early signs, don’t wait for the baby to cry for food.
Instincts tell everything
Don’t worry if the baby isn’t eating enough, they eat as much as they need. Don’t focus on the quantity, look for other signs: weight gain, the contentment of feedings, a number of diapers change.
Bond with the child while feeding
Hold the baby close and look him in the eye. Use this time to make him feel comfortable, secure, and loved.
Help if needed
It is normal to occur problems while breastfeeding. Consult the doctor if the feeding is painful for you or the baby is gaining too much weight, or if you have a high temperature, you might have an infection and don’t know it. Breastfeeding must be stopped if you are sick.