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For the first few months of any baby’s life, they have to feed on only milk, be it breast milk or formula. So, parents must learn and know how to feed their babies properly, in a timely manner, and without inducing discomfort. Now, feeding can be done either by direct feeding or by bottle feeding. While direct feeding is self-explanatory, bottle feeding does not necessarily mean formula milk, but can also mean expressed milk.
Let’s take a look at how feeding by both these methods differ and get to know the basics of feeding itself.
Knowing When to Feed and When to Stop
A newborn baby typically needs feeding every two to three hours, one to two ounces each time. However, every baby is different, and the amount of feeding and duration between feedings can be very different from one baby to the next. To know if your baby is being well-fed, diaper content is a good indicator.
Aside from that, look out for signs of hunger and readiness to feed. For example, your baby may make sucking noises, turn his head toward your breast or bottle, move his hands to his mouth, or suck on his fingers. Other cues that are more obvious are fussing or crying, which usually comes after those initial signs and it may take longer to cajole your baby.
As for knowing when your baby has been sufficiently fed, look out for these signs – he turns his head away from your breast or bottle, or stops suckling. However, this might not necessarily mean that feeding time is over. It could just be your baby taking a break. So, before stopping entirely, wait for a minute or two, or try burping him, before trying to feed once more and seeing if he latches back on.
How and What to Prepare
- Always wash your hands before handling or touching your baby and anything that he will come in contact with, e.g.: breast pump, handkerchief, and bottle.
- Clean and sanitise bottles and the area of feeding.
- If you are feeding with expressed breast milk or formula, it is not necessary, but some people prefer to warm up the bottle before feeding, which is not a problem. You may do this by running the bottle under warm water and making sure to not get water into the bottle or on the bottle nipple. Do not microwave the bottle and microwaves heat up unevenly and this may burn your baby’s throat and mouth.
- Prepare a spot where you can hold your baby comfortably whilst feeding.
How to Hold a Baby During a Feed
There are many positions to be in when you nurse. However, there are some general rules that apply to both breastfeeding and bottle feeding together and separately.
- During each feed, you should be tummy-to-tummy with your baby.
- Support your baby’s neck with your palm if you are sitting, or let your baby lie on your tummy if you’re lying down. If you’re just had a C-section, then you may place your baby on your lap.
- Make sure your baby’s ear, shoulder, and hip are in a straight line.
- Place a baby blanket behind your baby as support if you’re lying on your side.
- Ensure your baby’s nose is level with your nipple and gently guide him to it.
- Cradle your baby so his head rests at the crook of your arm and hold him at a slight incline, close to your chest.
- Hold your baby in an upright position rather than lying down.
- Tilt the bottle so that the milk completely fills the bottle nipple before bringing it to your baby’s mouth.
What to do After a Feed
- Burp your baby. When a baby feeds, he may have swallowed some air along with the milk, and this can cause pain and discomfort, which in turn can lead to fussiness. By burping your baby, you can prevent this and provide some air relief.
- Clean and sanitise all the tools used. Not only should they be cleaned before usage, but also after. This is to prevent germs from contaminating the milk.
Feeding a baby can be a messy business, what with the burping and spitting. But it can be a wholesome bonding process between mother and child. And you can further boost the experience if you have a day time confinement nanny Singapore or part time confinement nanny Singapore to help you. Depending on your needs, a full time or part time confinement nanny Singapore would be able to guide you in further details on how to nurse, how to look after your newborn, and even give post natal massage recommendation, such as the ones here at PEM Confinement Nanny Agency, an award-winning agency for hiring confinement nannies, booking postnatal massages and more postpartum care services for mothers.