Breastmilk, Formula, or a Combination?
Before feeding a newborn baby, the mother should choose between the available feeding options. Because babies have specific nutritional needs, for at least the first four months, the diet should consist completely of breastmilk or formula.
How Much and How Often Should a Newborn Baby Eat?
Once you have decided your baby's source of nourishment (breastmilk, formula, or a combination), you will need to know how much your infant should eat. A general guide for bottle-fed newborns is about 2-4 ounces to be fed about 6 -8 times in a 24 hour period.
A breastfed baby will likely be feeding 8-12 times in a 24 hour period. However, newborn babies should be fed on demand and some may need more than others. Pay attention to baby's cues to learn hunger cries and other things baby does to signify hunger.
Helpful Hints for Feeding a Newborn Baby
Burping - Don't forget to burp your newborn baby during and after feeding sessions. If a baby is turning away from the breast or bottle, this may signify the need to burp or the baby may be full.
Overfeeding - Do not overfeed a newborn baby. This can lead to gas, excessive spit-up, upset stomach, diarrhea, obesity, or other complications. Paying attention to a baby's cries and cues, as well as the pediatrician's advice can help avoid this issue.
Underfeeding - Do not underfeed a newborn baby. Properly feeding a newborn baby is vital to health. A newborn baby needs a certain amount of nutrition daily. Seeing the pediatrician regularly and following the advice given can help keep this from occurring.
Choosing Bottles - If you are feeding a newborn baby by bottle, be aware that some baby bottles contain BPA (a chemical in some plastics proven to be harmful to infants). Be sure to check labels for BPA-free baby bottles. Also, choose bottles that will keep air bubbles from forming. The less air bubbles created, the less air goes into the baby's stomach. Too many air bubbles can cause gas in babies.
Choosing a Breast Pump - If you will be breast-feeding, you may want to consider choosing a breast pump that is compact. This could be especially helpful to new moms who may be in the care of someone else while the mom is working.
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