Proper nutrition for your Baby

Proper nutrition for your Baby

Feeding your newborn:

New parent tips

The eating habits of newborn infants are unpredictable. Here’s what to feed your baby, when to feed it, and how to feed it.

By cheerymom Personnel:

Feeding an infant is a 24-hour commitment. It’s also an opportunity to begin bonding with your family’s newest member. Consider the following guidelines for feeding a newborn:

1. Continue to feed your baby breast milk or formula.

With rare exceptions, breast milk is the optimum meal for infants. Infant formula should be used if breastfeeding is not possible. Cereals, water, juice or other liquids are not required for healthy children.

2. Feed your newborn when he or she is ready.

Most babies need eight to twelve feedings a day, about one every two to three hours.

Early signals of readiness to feed include hand movement toward the mouth, sucking on fists and fingers, and lip smacking. Later indications include fidgeting and weeping.

The sooner each feeding begins, the less likely you will need to calm a distressed baby.

When your baby stops sucking, closes his or her lips, or averts his or her gaze away from the nipple or bottle, he or she may be full—or simply taking a break. Burp your baby or wait a minute before reintroducing your breast or bottle.

As your child gets older, he or she may drink more milk in a shorter amount of time with each feeding.

3. Vitamin D pills .

Consult your baby’s doctor about vitamin D supplements for infants, particularly if you are breastfeeding. Breast milk may be deficient in vitamin D, which aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus—elements important for strong bones—by your infant.

4. Prepare the mother for fluctuations in the eating habits of a newborn.

Your newborn will not always consume the same amount of food on a daily basis. During growth spurts, which typically occur two to three weeks after delivery, your newborn may take more at each feeding or need more frequent feedings. Rather than keeping a rigorous eye on the clock, respond to early symptoms of hunger.

5. Trust your instincts—and those of your newborn.

You may be concerned that your newborn isn’t eating enough, but babies typically understand just how much they require. Concentrate on the quantity, frequency, and consistency of your newborn’s feedings. Rather than that, look for:

Weight gain that is consistent

Satisfaction between feedings:

At least six wet diapers and three or more bowel motions per day by the fifth day after birth.

Consult your doctor if your newborn is not gaining weight, is wetting fewer than six diapers each day, or is uninterested in feedings.

6. Make every feeding an opportunity to bond with your baby.

Maintain close contact with your newborn throughout each feeding. Take the time to look him or her in the eye. Speak in a kind tone of voice. Each time your baby eats, use it to help him or her build a sense of security, trust, and comfort.

7. Maintain a consistent feeding schedule.

If other family members or caregivers will be feeding your baby for a portion of the day, ensure that they follow the same feeding patterns and practices that you use.

8. Recognize when it is necessary to seek assistance.

If you are experiencing difficulty breastfeeding, seek assistance from a lactation consultant or your baby’s doctor, particularly if each feeding is unpleasant or your baby is not gaining weight. If you haven’t worked with a lactation consultant before, ask your baby’s doctor for a referral or contact a local hospital’s obstetrics department.

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