Becoming a new parent is one of the most wonderful experiences in life, but it is also one of the most overwhelming experiences as well. You never really know if what you’re doing is right, and every single person you know is hurling parenting advice towards you. Properly feeding your new baby is crucial, but it can be confusing to know just how often and how much you need to feed your baby. Here’s what you need to know.
You should read what the experts say, Google any questions you have, consult with your doctor, but you should also get to know the indications your baby is giving you. Figure out how many ounces of milk your baby tends to have during the average feeding, and then stick with that amount until your baby outgrows it.
Your baby will be hungrier or less hungry on occasion, and that is absolutely normal. You can also look out for signs of hunger or of being overfed. Here are some feeding cues to know.
Hungry babies will let us know that they want to eat by licking their lips, sticking their tongues out, rooting (moving their jaw and mouth to search for a breast), putting their fist to their mouths, opening their mouths, being fussy, and by sucking on anything nearby.
Babies who are being fussy and cry because they are hungry might be more difficult to settle down and latch. That’s why it can be helpful to feed your baby before they get too hungry, however we know that that is much easier said than done.
Each newborn baby is different, so you need to see what your newborn needs. During the first few days, your newborn might only eat every one to three hours. Even though it might seem like a lot, it’s important to feed them so they can have the nutrition their bodies need to grow and continue getting stronger. Frequent feedings also help with increasing mama’s milk supply.
As time passes and the first few weeks and months pass, babies will go longer in between feedings. Babies will later want to eat every two to four hours. Babies will usually eat however much they want and then stop when they are done eating.
During the first few months of life, babies will need to be fed around the clock. Up to four months old, they will want to eat every two to three hours. At about six months, you can cut back and do one to two nighttime feedings. It’s okay to wake your baby for feedings.
It might seem like your baby is always hungry, but babies are constantly growing and they need to gain weight in order to do so properly. Newborns experience a few growth spurts, so they need a lot of milk and nutrients. It’s the body’s way of getting to the next stages of development.