Within the first hour of birth, newborns are ready to be fed. A woman’s breasts already produce her baby’s first food, a unique substance referred to as colostrum, a yellowish-orange fluid loaded with proteins and immunity-boosting antibodies. Your breast milk then comes in a few days after birth.
Your baby was made to nurse, just as your body was made for breastfeeding. However, this doesn’t mean that you might not need a little help in getting started with the baby feeding process. While still in the hospital, someone helps you put your breast to your baby and also helps the baby latch correctly onto your nipples.
Ideally, breastfeeding after you deliver will help get things started. In the meantime, here are five tips for feeding your new baby:
1. Breastfeed Your Baby for The First Six Months if You Can
Breast milk is essentially baby magic. It is nutritionally perfect for babies, it’s free, and doesn’t come with excess packaging. It is also loaded with antibodies, enzymes, antimicrobial factors, and anti-inflammatory factors. It contains brain-boosting fatty acids that are crucial to a baby’s development during his first six months.
Breastfeeding your baby will keep him developing and growing correctly, as well as healthy enough to fight off diseases like respiratory and gastrointestinal factors.
However, sometimes breastfeeding isn’t a choice for some women due to medications, illnesses, or other issues that could make breastfeeding difficult. While breast milk is the most ideal, the formula can also be effective in feeding new babies. Talk to your doctor and find out the best formula to use in your baby feed bottles.
2. Feed Your Newborn on Cue
Most newborn babies need about one feeding every 2-3 hours, which is equivalent to 8-12 feedings daily. Study your baby and look for his early signs of hunger or readiness to feed like sucking on his fingers and fists, moving the hands to his mouth, and lip-smacking.
Consider later cues like crying and fussing. The sooner you can feed your baby, the less likely you will have to soothe a frantic child. If you notice that he has stopped suckling, or he’s turning away from the nipple or bottle, or he’s closing his mouth, he might be full or just taking a break.
3. Offer Some Solid Foods At Around Six Months
Take your time before you introduce your baby to new foods. We recommend waiting until the baby is six months, but every baby is different.
Offer your baby solids foods in addition to formula or breast milk, and not instead of it. The foods should also be liquid in texture; you can achieve this by blending. You should try vegetables and grains before higher protein foods and fruits. If you start feeding him with fruits, he might expect that all foods should be sweet.
4. Use Feeding Time to Bond with Your Newborn
We recommend holding your baby close every feeding time. Look him in the eye and speak with a calm, gentle voice and use each feeding time as a chance to bond with your baby and build your baby’s sense of trust, security, and comfort.
5. Know When to Ask for Help
Never hesitate to ask for help whenever you need it. For instance, if you’re having a hard time breastfeeding, you should ask your pediatrician or lactation consultant for advice, especially if your baby is not gaining weight or when feeding is painful.
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