Inexperienced or new parents always have issues with baby feeding. Typical newborns have active sucking and rooting reflexes and may start feeding immediately. You may start feeding the baby directly after birth or within 4 hours after that. Deciding on child feeding is important, especially in the initial days of their life. The feeding can be done through the bottle or the breast, but it is important to make a decision which is unbiased and totally informed.
Bottle or breast baby feeding
Mother’s milk is undoubtedly the best known food for your little one. According to the World Health Organization, breastfeeding your baby is ideal in the first 6 months, but then there are certain moms who prefer bottle feeding as a result of medical and personal reasons. The ideal combination of child feeding is breastfeeding for 6 months and then alternating it with solid foods until the first year.
Breast milk can be given to the baby as long as the mother and child wants. There are also advantages of formula feeding. For newborns, formula feeding is advantageous as it contains proteins, vitamins, fats and sugars which are important in providing the necessary nutrition to your little one.
While you are giving them breast milk, do not include juice, water and other fluids in your baby feeding. This is because these substances may interfere with the child’s appetite for formula or breast milk and this might lead to malnutrition.
Newborns generally feed 8 to 12 times during a day at an interval of a couple of hours. Babies who are 2 or 3 months old may be satisfied with 6 to 8 times of child feeding in a day. However, formula feeding requires lesser frequency as formula milk is slowly digested than breast milk.
Baby feeding tips
In the initial couple of days, babies do not usually feel hungry and hence the frequency should be minimal. One of the expert recommendations during child feeding is to speak to your little one using a soft tone which acts as a measure of bonding. You should also identify the signals displayed by your baby when they are hungry, like fluttering of the eyes, tongue movements and lip smacking. Crying is often a late indication of hunger.
Vitamin D supplement
Get in touch with your health care provider about the Vitamin D supplements which your baby needs. Formula and breast milk is healthy for your little one, but they may lack sufficient quantities of Vitamin D which the bones require to absorb phosphorous and calcium. These are minerals vitally important for strong bones. Deficiency of Vitamin D in child feeding may cause rickets where the bones are rendered weak and soft.
The needs of weaning depend on the mother and the baby. Bottle or breast feeding should continue for as long as the mother and child want. It is best to go for gradual weaning which is a lot better than stopping abruptly. Weaning in baby feeding may be done initially, replacing a couple of feeding sessions in a day.