New mom survival guide - Feeding Your New Born Baby
After giving birth you will either breastfeed your baby or feed it on formula. Though breastfeeding is most natural and breast milk is the best for your baby, you still have a choice on how you want to feed your baby.
Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding is natural for baby. As soon as the baby is born it starts looking for the breast and if you give it the breast it sucks very strongly.
After giving birth you will be shown how to hold the baby properly and how to support the breast so that it does not put pressure on the baby’s chin. If you have caesarian birth, it will be sore to hold the baby across your belly in order to breastfeed it. The lactation consultant will show you how to hold the baby to avoid putting its weight on your cut. In most cases you can hold the baby like a football, under your arm, with the head to the front and the feet behind you.
If this is your first baby the nipples will be sore for a few days until they harden and get used to being sucked. Apply olive oil or coconut oil to keep the nipples soft.
At first you will not produce enough milk but the colostrum that comes out in the beginning is highly nutritious. It may not have high volumes but it contains a high concentration of nutrients so the baby will not lack anything. As baby continues to suckle the breasts will produce what is required. If your baby is gaining weight then you are producing enough milk. If the baby keeps crying for more and there is nothing left in the breast then maybe you are not producing enough milk. You will need to supplement with formula.
If by any chance you do not produce enough milk you simply have to supplement the baby’s diet with baby formula. Alternatively you may choose not to breastfeed and simply start your baby on formula from day one. All the major brands, and the generic formulas, are very good for the baby. Ask your pediatrician to recommend a brand that will suit your baby.
The key with formula is cleanliness. The bottle has to be cleaned properly and sterilized before being used again. Cleaning and sterilizing the bottles is very important because if you do not do it right the baby will get infected and it will suffer from diarrhea and vomiting. You may have a sterilizing kit but if you don’t, good old boiling will do the trick.
Most baby bottles and kits are made of plastic these days. Make sure the plastic is BPA-free. Bisphenol A or BPA is a chemical found in plastic that mimics estrogen. Researchers have found that even small amounts of BPA are harmful to humans and animals, causing diabetes, cancers, and early puberty. Babies are particularly vulnerable because they are still tiny. So when you buy any plastic products make sure they are all BPA-free.
Baby formula is easy because the container will show you how to prepare the milk for your baby. As the baby grows you will increase the amounts. In the first month the baby will drink 2 oz to 3 oz (60-90ml) every 3 to 4 hours. It is difficult to set a timetable so at first you will feed on demand until the baby settles to a certain timetable. By the end of the month he/she might need up to 4 oz (120ml) per feed every 4 hours. The amount will increase gradually and this is different from baby to baby but by the end of 6 months he/she will drink 6oz to 8 oz (180-240ml) per feed every 4 or 5 hours. It is difficult to be exact because each baby is unique but simply expect the amount to increase as the baby grows and adjust accordingly. You will end up knowing when to feed the baby and how much.
From 4 to 6 months – introduce single-grain cereals. These are good for the baby because they are fortified with iron. At some point the iron that the baby had from the uterus is not enough for the baby’s needs and more iron is required from the diet which is why cereals are fortified with iron. Start with one teaspoon of single-grain cereal mixed with four to five teaspoons of breast milk or formula. Once your baby is used to swallowing the runny cereal, thicken it by adding more cereal and increase the amount depending on the needs of the baby.
Between 4 and 8 months introduce pureed veggies, fruits, and meats. It does not really matter whether you start with fruits or vegetables but start with one food, e.g. a banana or carrot. As the baby gets used to it you can add other foods.
Between 9 and 12 months introduce chopped, ground, or mashed foods. If you find that your baby is not yet ready for chunky foods, you can continue with pureed foods a little longer. When he is ready, offer him some finely chopped or mashed finger foods like soft fruits and vegetables, and ground meats. By the end of 12 months the baby can enjoy most of the foods that the family eats, chopped or mashed to meet its needs.
If your baby reacts to any foods, take it to the pediatrician and explain what foods you introduced.
Being a new mom is quite a challenge. All mothers have to learn what to do by consulting the pediatrician or the nurse at the clinic or the elders in the family. Other things mothers learn on their own as they adjust to their babies’ needs. Try not to be a perfectionist and take each challenge as it comes. Best of all, enjoy your baby as it grows and learns to do everything on its own.
Keep Your Records at Jinga Life
You will see a lot of changes as your baby grows and you want to keep a record of all the developmental stages. Your baby will start to smile, then to bubble and say its first words. You want to record that. Your baby will at some point raise its head, then sit up, crawl, stand and walk. Again you want to record those milestones. The baby will graduate from milk to pureed solid foods, to chunks and then to complete foods, and also it will change from being fed to feeding itself. It will also react to certain foods and substances in the house. You will want to keep an accurate record of all that.
As a mother, you are the custodian of the baby’s health, and the health of everyone in your household as a matter of fact. You have become a jinga, the protector of your loved ones. Join Jinga Life, where you can become part of the Jinga Tribe which is made up of members from all over the world. On Jinga Life you can keep a record of your baby’s development and health problems. In fact you can keep the record of each member of your household. You can share your concerns and your knowledge with the Jinga Tribe. With Jinga Life, you are never alone.
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