Feeding your baby can be a nerve wracking experience for many new parents. As much as you wish your baby will instinctively know how to feed, they often need help. You may even need to alter the way you wanted to do things to make it easier for them. This might dishearten you a little, especially if you felt like you really wanted to feed them a certain way. However, sometimes you just need to go with the flow and do what’s best for your baby.
Below, you’ll find 10 hacks that you’ll wish you knew sooner:
- Pay Close Attention To Your Baby
You’ll be paying close attention to your baby anyway, but in general, your baby will need to be fed 8-12 times a day. That’s about 1 feed every 2-3 hours. Your baby can give you cues, such as sucking on their hands and crying – although crying is a late cue and you should avoid this if possible.
Remember, just because your baby turns away while being fed doesn’t mean they are done – you may simply need to burp them and try again. Sometimes, they need a rest and this helps them to register how full they are before they carry on.
2. Expect A Variation In Feeding Patterns
Your baby may not eat the exact same amount every day, so don’t panic if there’s a variation in feeding patterns. Make sure you respond to their hunger cues rather than keeping an eye on the clock and feeding them when 2 hours has passed without fail.
- Listen To Your Instincts
Listen to your own instincts, as well as the instincts of your baby. Your baby knows how much they need to eat. You can reassured by looking for things like steady weight gain, contentment between feedings, and 6 wet diapers a day.
- Consider Each Feeding A Bonding Session With Your Newborn
You can make feeding more special for both you and your baby by considering each feeding session a bonding session. This will help you both to build up a sense of trust, security, and comfort. Talk to your baby gently as you feed them and make eye contact with them.
As you do this, make sure you are holding them correctly so that they can easily breathe and swallow. Make sure the teat is full of milk so that your baby doesn’t swallow too much air.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
Many mothers need help when they struggle to feed their babies. You could speak to a lactation consultant if you’re finding it hard, or even if you notice warning signs such as your baby not gaining weight.
- Soothe Them Before Feeding Them
If your baby has gotten to the crying stage of hunger, it’s a good idea to soothe them before you attempt to feed them. If they are wound up when they attempt to feed they may struggle.
- Feed Them Early On
As you notice your baby begin to get hungry, feed them as soon as you can. They will move more as they continue to get agitated, and you should avoid letting them get to crying if possible. Your baby will likely be far more content if you manage to feed them just as they get hungry the majority of the time.
- Choose The Right Formula If You Can’t Breastfeed
If you can’t breastfeed, don’t feel disheartened. Many parents can’t do it for a number of reasons, according to Tastyganics. All you need to do in this instance is ensure you choose the right formula for your baby.
- Pay Attention To Preference
Your baby may prefer their milk cold or warm. It doesn’t really matter which, but you should always test the temperature on your inside wrist to ensure it won’t burn their mouth out when you feed them.
- Look Into Responsive feeding
Responsive feeding is all about trying to respond quickly to your baby’s needs. You need to pay close attention so you can feed them when they get hungry and stop so they don’t overeat when they are full. You shouldn’t force your baby to finish a bottle of milk if they are no longer hungry. Responsive feeding is often the best course of action to take. Throw away unused milk when you are done feeding your baby.
Do you have anything to add to the list? Thanks for reading and enjoy bonding with your baby as you feed them!