Whether you’re breast- or bottle-feeding, these simple steps will help you through those early days
However you feed your baby, feeling him/her snuggling into you in a post-feed slumber is one of the best new- mummy moments. But, as with so many things parenting, it’s something you and your baby learn to do together. Some mums find breastfeeding comes naturally, while others struggle. Every new mum’s experience of feeding is different. Whether you breast- or bottle-feed, this resource will get you off to a great start!
Some important aspects of baby feeding should be known. For more details visit: Important aspects of baby feeding
Tips for breastfeeding your baby
Good for baby and good for breast milk is a perfect, complete food for your little one – with the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins as well as protective antibodies. Breastfeeding also helps your uterus contract and burns up calories, helping you get back in shape.
1. Get comfy: One of the most popular breastfeeding positions is sitting upright, cradling your baby in the crook of your arm. Alternatively, lie your baby on a pillow on your lap to take the strain off your back. Some mums like to breastfeed lying down on their side, particularly at night, but be sure to put your baby back in their cot after a feed.
2. The right latch: To help your baby latch on properly, lie them down on their side, with the tummy close to your body and the mouth directly in front of your nipple. Use one hand to hold the back of the baby’s head and the other to cup your breast. Once your baby opens his/her mouth wide, bring them quickly to your breast. Your baby should take a good portion of the areola (the dark area around the nipple) in his/her mouth. If it feels painful, slip your little finger into the corner of the baby’s mouth to break the latch and try again.
3. Check your baby’s sucking correctly: Signs that your baby is feeding correctly are that the jaw moving and audible swallowing. Lots of babies get sleepy when they’re feeding. so if you notice that your baby is nodding off, blow on the cheeks.
4. Make sure your baby has enough milk: As your baby’s tummy starts to get full, the sucking will slow down. An average feed lasts about 20 minutes, but it can be as quick as 10 minutes, or as long as an hour. Newborns can’t take in much milk at a time, so you may have to feed around six times a day.
Tips for bottle-feeding your baby
The benefits of breast feeding are undisputed, but it doesn’t suit everyone, Formula milk is designed to mimic breast milk and there’s no reason why feeding time shouldn’t be just as cozy. Bottle-feeding also means your partner can be involved and you can see how much your baby is taking at each feed.
1. Get started: Wash your hands and all bottles and teats in clean, hot, soapy water and then sterilize them in on electric or microwave sterilizer, or in a sterilizing solution.
2. Make up a bottle: Boil tap water and leave it to cool, and then pour the required amount into the bottle. Use the scoop provided with the formula to add the right amount of powder, put on the teat and lid and then give the bottle a good shake. Test the temperature of the milk on the inside of your wrist — it should feel just warm.
3. Hold the bottle correctly: Cradle your baby in a semi-upright position on your lap, holding him/her with your arm. Slant the feeding bottle a little so that the edge of the teat is constantly filled with milk and not air. Slightly bend your baby’s bottle to ensure that the end of the teat. Your baby may take short breaks to give time to feel if they are full or not.
4. Make sure your baby has enough in milk: Babies have to be fed in little amounts but frequently, thus provide your baby a feeding bottle after every 2 or 3 hours. As your baby grows, they will be able to manage larger feeds and go for longer between bottles. Your baby will need between 450ml and 600ml in 24 hours.