Are you preparing for your newborn’s arrival? Or maybe your newborn is here and you want to make sure you have all your bases covered? Either way, being a new parent is a fun and exciting time. However, you may hit a bump in the road in your newborn’s feeding routine. We will give you some helpful tips along the way.
You may feel at times your newborn’s feeding pattern is unpredictable. Want to get a better idea of what to expect or how to prepare? First, feeding a newborn is a 24-hour commitment. It is also an opportunity to bond with your new baby. So let the bonding and feeding begin!
Breast milk or formula: Generally breast milk is the ideal food for babies. However, if breastfeeding isn’t possible, use infant formula. Healthy newborns do not need water, juice, cereal, or any other fluids.
Look for cues from your newborn: In most cases, newborns need eight to twelve feedings a day. Approximately one feeding every two to three hours. If your newborn shows any of the following signs – that is your cue that they are hungry: moving hands to their mouth, lip-smacking, sucking on their fists and fingers.
Fussing and crying are later cues that they are hungry. The sooner you begin each feeding, the less likely you will need to soothe an upset baby later.
When your baby stops feeding, closes their mouth, or turns away from the nipple or a bottle – they are probably full. Take a break and try burping them. You can offer them to feed after the break to ensure they are done feeding.
Vitamin D supplements: Ask your pediatrician if your baby should be on vitamin D supplements. Especially if you’re breastfeeding. Breast milk might not provide enough Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your baby to absorb calcium and phosphorus to help them to develop strong bones.
Your newborn’s eating patterns may change: Your baby may not eat the same amount every day and that is okay. Around the two to three week mark, your newborn might take more at each feeding or want to be fed more often. Again, watch for the cues.
Trust your instincts as well as your baby’s: Your baby will know just how much they need. Don’t focus on how much or how often they do eat – rather look for:
- Steady weight gain
- Contentment between each feeding
- About day five, after birth there should be at least six wet diapers and three or more bowel movements per day.
Consult your pediatrician if your newborn is not gaining weight.
Know when to ask for help: If you experience difficulties with breastfeeding, ask a lactation consultant or your baby’s doctor for help. Especially if feeding is painful or your baby is not gaining weight.
We are excited about your journey as a new parent. If you have any questions or concerns do not be afraid to ask. Here at OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch, we can help guide you through all of the stages of life.