As a new parent, you can often feel overwhelmed with responsibility. Of all that you have to do, though, keeping your baby healthy and well-nourished is a top priority. On the surface, this may seem like a rather simple thing to do. However, infants can be a tad more complicated than you may expect.
Still, it will not take too long for you to become an expert in this department. All you need are the right tips and guidelines. Fortunately, you can find these and a lot more, below:
Breast Milk is Best
If it is possible, provide your baby with breast milk. This is because it is the ideal nutrition source for your baby. It contains all the protein, fat, and vitamins that your little one needs. More importantly, however, breast milk can help to boost your little one’s immune system.
This helps your baby to be stronger and less prone to illness. Naturally, this is something that all parents would want for their children. Of course, it may not be possible for you to breastfeed your little one in some instances. In this instance, you can ask your pediatrician to recommend a suitable formula.
For the first six months of their life, it is unlikely that your baby will need any other kind of supplementation. Therefore, you shouldn’t give them juice or even water. If you have any concerns about how much fluid or nutrition your baby is getting, consult a doctor before making any changes to their diet.
Ask for Help When Needed
It is easy to think that breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world. This isn’t always the case, though. Sometimes, it is a skill that needs to be mastered. This is why you should never feel ashamed you are having trouble breastfeeding. It happens a lot more often than you may imagine.
If you are having any issues at all, reach out to a lactation expert. They will be able to show you the ropes. If you or your baby face any problems, they will be able to help with these as well. If you are a first-time mother, you may want to speak to an expert soon after your baby is born. This way, you will learn all the right techniques from the very beginning.
Take Turns Feeding
If you imagine that only mommy can feed a new baby, think again. Daddies can help out too. When your baby is around 3 or so weeks, she will have gotten used to being breastfed. This means that you can occasionally make the switch to the bottle. This is where daddy’s responsibility comes in.
A breast pump will allow you to pump milk and transfer it to a suitable baby bottle. Then daddy can take over feeding the little one during the night or day. This is a great bonding experience for both baby and daddy. It can also take some of the stress off of mommy as well.
If you haven’t selected a breast pump before, you may be confused by all the different models and features. Since you are going to want a device that is quick and efficient, an electric pump may be in order. As LittleOneMag has found, there are some pumps that even mimic a massage action. As such, these allow you to extract milk faster. In case you prefer something quieter or more affordable, a manual pump may be in order. You should be mindful that the manual devices will take longer to extract milk, however.
Pay Attention to Cues
Believe it or not, even infants have certain cues when they are hungry. If you pay attention to these, you can ready your baby for his or her feedings before they are truly hungry. Doing so could ward off tantrums and help your little one to feed more calmly.
So, what are these signs to watch out for? Well, look for when your baby begins to move their hands to their mouth. They may even begin to suck on their fingers or their fists. Lip-smacking is fairly common too. Now, you don’t need to look for these signs all the time. Most infants need to be fed every two or three hours. Thus, it would be best if you began to look for the signs closer to these intervals.
Know When It is Time to Stop
The next thing parents struggle with is knowing when their baby is full or when the baby just needs a break. Once again, it is all about being attentive. Your little one may release your breast or turn their head away. They may also relax their body and unclench their fists.
Just to make sure to burp your baby when this happens. Then, attempt to place them to your breast once more. If they continue to refuse the breast, then this is a sign that they have had enough. However, if they take to your breast again, they just needed a little break.
Don’t Worry about the Variations
Most parents watch their baby’s intake with an eagle eye. So, any variation in your little one’s drinking patterns may alarm you. However, there’s no need to worry too much. This because babies don’t always stick to their schedule.
Sometimes they drink more than usual, sometimes less. For instance, when your baby is experiencing a growth spurt, they are going to be rather hungry. They may gulp down more per feeding. Or, they may get hungry more quickly than usual.
Also, you shouldn’t be paying attention to just their feeding. It is just as important to look for other signs as well. For instance, is your baby gaining weight at a steady rate? I foster, they are getting enough nourishment. Also, if your changing diapers at least nine times a day (six weeks diapers and around three bowel movements), it is another signal that they are getting enough.
You should also consider how your baby is behaving in between feedings. Do they appear to be happy and content? Then, they are getting enough milk at each feeding. It is only if you notice a discrepancy in these signs that you should head to the doctor.
These are the most important things you need to know about keeping your infant well-nourished. Although it can seem like a rather scary thing to manage, it does get easier as time goes by. Before you know it, you will be an absolute pro. Then, it will be your turn to give other new mothers and fathers this advice when they need it!