Newborn Feeding FAQs: Essential Information for New Parents

The first month is a crucial time of adjustment for both you and your baby as you navigate the joys and challenges of parenthood. Feeding them is a major task and a lot of questions arise in our minds.

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Harleen Kaur
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Newborn Feeding FAQs E

Bringing a newborn baby home is an exciting and joyful experience, but it can also be overwhelming for new parents. The first month is a crucial time of adjustment for both you and your baby as you navigate the joys and challenges of parenthood. To help you make the most of this special time, Here are answers to your common feeding concerns and doubts about first-month-old baby

♦ Which Milk is best for the baby: Breast or Bottle?

Breast milk is the perfect food for a baby's digestive system. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for about the first 6 months. Deciding to breastfeed or bottle feed a baby is usually based on the mother's comfort level with breastfeeding and her lifestyle. If breastfeeding isn't possible, use iron-fortified infant formula prescribed by a pediatrician.

Healthy newborns don't need cereal, water, juice, or other fluids and no cow milk till 12 months of age

♦ How often should I feed my newborn?

During the first month, your baby's primary source of nutrition will be breast milk or formula. Follow your baby's hunger cues and feed on demand. At first, babies need to eat about every 2 to 4 hours to help them get enough nutrition and to grow. So sometimes you may need to wake your baby to feed but don't disturb them at night. You can try patting, stroking, undressing, or changing the diaper to help wake your baby.

♦ How long should a newborn sleep without feeding?

Newborn babies need to feed every few hours until the age of 3 months. After this, it is normal for infants to feed once or twice during the night. Most infants can sleep for 6–8 hours without a feed by the age of 6 months. Once they are 9 months old, most infants can sleep for 11–12 hours without a feed.

♦ How many feeds should newborns have per day?

As a very rough guide, your baby should feed at least 8 to 12 times, or more, every 24 hours during the first few weeks. Some babies may feed as often as every hour at times, often called cluster feeding. Or may have a longer sleep interval of 4 to 5 hours. 

♦ How much breastmilk does a newborn need at each feeding?

During the first week, most full-term babies take no more than 1 to 2 ounces (30 to 60ml) at feedings. This is because newborns' stomachs are so small. After 4 to 5 weeks, babies reach their peak feeding volume of about 3 to 4 ounces (90 to 120ml) and peak daily milk intake of about 30 ounces per day (900ml).

♦ How much Fornula milk I can give to my newborns?

​In the first week after birth, babies should be eating no more than about 1 to 2 ounces (30 to 60 ml) per feed. You can start by offering your baby 1 to 2 ounces of infant formula every 2 to 3 hours in the first days of life if your baby is only getting infant formula and no breast milk. Give your baby more if he or she is showing signs of hunger. Most infant formula-fed newborns will feed 8 to 12 times in 24 hours.

♦ How long should I nurse the baby at a time?

Newborns may nurse for up to 20 minutes or longer on one or both breasts. As babies get older and more skilled at breastfeeding, they may take about 5–10 minutes on each side. The child will come off the breast on their own after they are full.

Remember they love to suckle on your nipples, even if they are full. You have to stop them to prevent your sore nipples.

♦ How do I know if my baby is hungry?

Look for the following signs:

  • If her fist moves to her mouth, and she is opening her mouth
  • She is trying to get closer to the breast.
  • If she is sucking her hands and of course, accompanied by crying, that means your child is hungry. Feed her.

Remember, crying is not the only cue for hunger.

♦ How do I know if my baby is getting enough milk?

It is common for breastfeeding mothers to be unsure if their baby is getting enough milk. Your baby is getting enough milk if he or she:

  • has at least 6 to 8 wet cloth nappies or 5 to 7 disposable nappies in 24 hours (after 3 to 4 days old). The color should be a pale yellow
  • and often have runny bowel motions that are mustard-yellow in color. Sometimes this may change to green or orange.
  • Looks content after feeding and her fists are open
  • gaining healthy weight.
  • Alert and happy when awake.

♦ How long do you burp after feeding?

Burping your baby is a key part of your baby's feeding routine. When your baby swallows, air bubbles can become trapped in the stomach and cause discomfort. Burping allows your baby to remove some of that gassiness to relieve the pain. It also helps prevent spitting up. Keep your baby upright after feeding for 10 to 15 minutes, or longer if your baby spits up to burp them. 

♦ Is it OK to not burp a sleeping baby?

Some babies may be more prone to gas and discomfort if they go to sleep without being burped, while others may not have any issues. However, if a baby is already asleep and showing no signs of discomfort, it is generally safe to let them sleep without burping.

if your baby was bottle-fed, and she slept while drinking, prefer keeping your baby upright with your shoulders to avoid any spit-ups while sleeping.

♦ How can I soothe a crying baby?

  • Sing or talk to the baby in a soothing voice or you may try a rattle to distract.
  • Gently rub or stroke the baby's back, chest, or tummy to burp the baby or relieve gas.
  • Offer a pacifier or try rocking the baby to soothe them.
  • Use White noise o relax them.
  • Check for the reason they are crying, it could be hunger, a wet diaper, gas in their tummy, or an urge to sleep.

♦ How do I know if my baby is gassy or colic?

Look for the common signs of gas in babies:

  • If he seems especially grumpy.
  • Having Frequent spit-ups
  • have trouble eating and sleeping.
  • seem uncomfortable after eating.
  • become red in the face or seem like they're in pain when crying.
  • be very squirmy and pull their legs up to their chest.
  • Bloated or swollen belly 

♦ What can I do to relieve infant gas and fussiness?

To help relieve and reduce your baby’s gas, here are six tips to try:

  • Burp twice, during the feeding and once after feedings.
  • Get baby moving, Gently cycle their legs in a peddling motion or place them on tummy time.
  • Give Gripe water or other colic drops prescribed by your doctor.
  • Monitor your diet if you are breastfeeding, or change the formula if your child is being colicky so often.
  • Avoid Swallowing air into the baby while feedings, especially bottle feeding. Don't let your child suckle an empty bottle and choose nipple size wisely.

♦ When should I be concerned about my newborn feeding?

A baby who is fussing, crying, seems hungry, does not appear satisfied after feeding, and has fewer wet diapers may not be getting enough to eat. If you're concerned that your baby isn't getting enough to eat, call your doctor.

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