OK mamas this one is just for you! Baby feeding— Take a seat on the couch, cuddle up with that little bunny of yours, and grab your now cold coffee, we’re going to help you get through this because mommas need to stick together. Being a mom is hard (dads we know it’s hard for you too) but this post is for the mamas. Now, everyone knows you have to feed your baby and there are only two options – breastmilk and/or formula. For infant feeding recommendations, I feel strongly that FED IS BEST. Babies need to eat and they need nutrition. Mamas shouldn’t stress over what’s better for another mama, let’s be supportive of each other!
Baby feeding through Breastfeeding 🤱🏻
I will start with breastfeeding. You’ll see lots of infant feeding recommendations online, but here is the summary. Breastfed babies want to eat every hour and a half to two hours ⏰ when they are first home. Eventually, over time (thank goodness) the feedings will spread out till a little bit, maybe every three hours, and one day, even every four to six hours at night 🌙 .
Now, feeding baby with breastfeeding 🤱🏻 is tough because there’s no way to know how much your baby is getting. Here is where you will need to trust in the magic. Boobs have been making milk for hundreds of years. Heck let’s just call it how it is, since the beginning of time, because that’s the truth. Your baby is going to eat more frequently to get your body to make more milk when he needs it and will settle down once your body adjusts. It takes a few days for this to happen. Remember, you’re just learning how to feed an infant, and it takes practice. Hang in there mama!!!
Colostrum’s role in baby feeding
The first days after birth, your body makes small amounts of liquid gold called colostrum. It’s dark yellow and thick filled with lots of antibodies, fat and nutrients. A little of this goes a long way! Feed your baby whenever they show cues of hunger, hands in their mouth, lips searching around for the nipple, crying to name a few. It’s helpful in these first few days to do skin to skin before nursing to help encourage your body to make milk, as breastfed babies want to suck and snuggle to get your body to make milk. Over a few days, your milk will start to come in. When learning how to feed an infant, many new mothers get impatient. Read on and find out what to look for. You’ll do fine!
Once your milk is in, your breasts will likely feel very full and the milk will appear more of a white color. Until then it’s totally fine that your healthy term baby is drinking just colostrum. Don’t panic that they aren’t chugging back many ounces of milk at a time. IT IS OK. Trust in the magic. Wet diapers and a happy baby that wakes to eat is a good sign that he is getting enough. Here is a great article about these tough early days of motherhood.
Those milk makers will never empty– even when they feel empty there’s still a little trickle of milk. The more you are empty the more milk they’ll fill up with. Feed that baby!! Breast milk is very well absorbed. The gut takes it all in. Sometimes breast-fed babies hardly poop and some poop with every feed, no worries!
Now, hang in there, breastfeeding is a lot of work. In the early days your nipples are going to be sore, they’re going to crack, and it’s so so hard to keep going. If you want to feed baby with breastfeeding, you can do this. 🤱🏻 Take a deep breath and get an ice pack. It’s going to be a long few weeks. Gel pads will be your best friend. 🥶 Also, if your nipples are cracked and sore 😳 ask your OB/GYN for APNO which stands for all purpose nipple ointment. This stuff will be a lifesaver! I promise! It helps protect your nipples from growing bacteria, yeast, inflammation and helps keep them soft while they heal from all the trauma your little piranha is causing. Check out kellymom.com for really great breastfeeding advice.
Wet diapers with each feed is a good way to know your child is eating enough when you’re feeding an infant. Good weight gain at your visits is a great way too. Remember, your new baby will lose some weight but should be back to birth weight by 2 weeks of age. Frequent visits after birth are essential to making sure your baby is growing well.
Baby feeding— Bottle-fed babies and formula
Now let’s talk bottle-fed babies. Some babies 👶🏼 will drink formula from a bottle 🍼 and some will drink pumped or donated breast milk from a bottle. Like I said a FED baby is the best baby. Your baby is going to determine how much they want to eat, so don’t stress. Formula is expensive 💰 for baby feeding, so make sure to find all the coupons you can get! Your baby is going to chug that formula and then hopefully take a nice nap😴. Check the temp of the bottle and make sure to burp that baby. Mix according to instructions. Never add extra water, cut the nipple or add cereal to the bottle. Ready made bottles are great too, no mixing there!
In general, in the first few months of life, try to avoid giving your baby just plain old water. It can screw up her perfect little electrolytes. If they are sick and they aren’t tolerating the formula, use Pedialyte instead!
Baby feeding with formula– Formula-fed babies need skin to skin as well. This promotes bonding and helps them feel secure. Look at your baby when you feed them and enjoy this quiet and special time. It goes by fast, and soon that sweet smelling babe will be smearing avocado all over your shirt.
She won’t nap or sleep? Not uncommon. Try and soothe that baby with a swaddle or a binky. Remember, they can’t stay awake for more than 1.5 hours as a newborn no matter what they eat so try and get that baby to take a little nap. A fussy baby is sometimes a tired baby. They aren’t always little piranhas. Try soothing to sleep. While she is at it, you take a nap 💤 too.
Crying fussy babies
If your baby is crying more than cooing, or seems to be in pain, is vomiting 🤮 or is not having wet diapers, it’s time to get checked out.
New kids on the block
Babies are learning how to eat, digest, sleep, soothe and live outside the belly. They are the new kids. The good thing about babies is that THEY HAVE NO IDEA THAT WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WE ARE DOING. 😂🤣. They need time and lots of patience and to be loved ❤️. Remember to put that baby in their crib or pass them to a friend if you need a minute. Never shake a baby! Take care of your basic needs mama! Keeping hydrated, rested, fed and taken care of will help you be a better mom. Use the people around you to lean on and support you.
And if you ever have questions about baby feeding, need infant feeding recommendations, or want to chat about anything to do with your new baby, you can always reach out to the knowledgeable nurses at Nurse-1-1. We can help answer your questions in the middle of the night when you’re not sure what to do, and can even route you to local providers or urgent care clinics when appropriate.
These are the hardest days, the longest days but the quickest days. YOU are an awesome mom!
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