Are you a new parent? Do questions like what to feed the baby, when to feed the baby and how much to feed the baby arise in your mind frequently? Read on to find answers to your queries on your newborn baby’s diet and feeding.
Feeding a newborn can be challenging initially. An experienced parent will find it much easier to handle a second or a third child as compared to a first time parent. Here are a few things which parents, both experienced as well as first time ones must be aware of while feeding a newborn.;;
What to Feed a Newborn?
Breast milk is the best feed for all newborn babies. In case it is not possible to breast feed, infant formula can be used. Newborn babies must not be given water, juice or other fluids. In fact research has indicated that introducing these liquids before an infant is 6 months old is actually not necessary. Intake of such liquids can interfere with a baby’s desire for breast milk or formula which may eventually lead to malnourishment.
When to Feed a Baby?
Most newborns breast-feed every two to three hours. Effectively this means 9-12 times a day. Gradually as a baby grows her frequency of feeding will reduce. For example, when she is around three months old 6 to 8 feedings may suffice. Formula milk digests slowly as compared to breast milk. Hence if your baby is on formula milk you may need to feed her a little less often.
What Signs Indicate that Baby is Hungry?
Stirring, stretching, sucking motions and lip movements are all early indications of hunger. If these are ignored the baby may start crying and fussing. The earlier you catch the signs of your baby being hungry the sooner you can soothe her. It is important to remember that sometimes babies cry because they need a change of diaper or simply a cuddle time. Hence, you should be able to differentiate between indications of hunger and other things and react accordingly.
How to Find if Your Baby is Full?
When a baby stops sucking, closes her mouth, or turns away from the nipple or bottle, she may be full. Whenever you notice these signs try to burp the baby. You can try to feed again after taking a minute’s break to be doubly sure that you baby is in fact full.
What is the Importance of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is essential to ensure absorption of calcium and phosphorus in our body. Breast milk and formula milk may not be able to meet the Vitamin D requirements in a newborn. Hence it would be worthwhile to talk to your doctor about vitamin D supplements for your baby. Inadequate intake of Vitamin D may also cause rickets, softening and weakening of bones.
Is it Ok to Wake Your Baby to Feed Her?
Unless your child is gaining weight poorly or she is younger than 3 months old, do not wake your baby up to feed her. This will make her cranky and miserable. Most babies after the age of three months do not need any feed during the night.
Most babies will be able to consume enough food on a regular basis. Hence when they have a bad feeding they easily bounce back during the next meal and eat more.
As long as your baby is growing normally you must teach her to trust her body. Feed her when she cries in hunger. At the same time remember it is important to let her be when she turns away after a feed.
Do not be over-anxious in your efforts to feed your baby. Overanxious parents get stressed easily. In case you have any doubts or problems about your baby’s feeding habits consult a doctor.
You can also get a dietician to evaluate your infant’s diet. Many parents worry that their infant is not eating enough. But all babies usually know how much they require. Instead of focusing on the quantity of a baby’s feed it is important to look for contentment between feedings. Look out for other factors which indicate that a baby is being fed adequately. These include change of 6-8 diapers during a day, good skin tone and steady gain of weight.