Tips for breastfeeding your baby
Whether you’re breastfeeding or using infant formula, there can often be challenges to feeding your baby. Sometimes it can be difficult to read the signs, especially when your baby is very young. The following are tips that will help with both feeding methods.
If you’re breastfeeding:
- Allow your baby to suckle at the breast as early as possible after delivery.
- It’s a good idea to try and nurse the baby before they shows signs of hunger, if it has been a while since the last feeding. If the baby starts to cry, sometimes they will swallow a lot of air, which can give them stomach discomfort later, prompting more cries etc. This can create a cycle.
- If the baby sucks their hand or opens their mouth wide when you touch a cheek, that may be a signal that they are hungry.
- Prop the baby up with pillows underneath them when breastfeeding, instead of lowering your breast down to the baby.
- Nurse on demand, which will probably be every 2-3 hours.
If you’re using formula:
- Make sure you use an accredited infant formula which is iron-fortified and contains essential vitamins and nutrients such as DHA , the fatty acid vital for brain development.
- Room temperature formula is fine, you don’t necessarily need to heat it up.
- After the baby has sipped from the prepared formula, you need to toss it (when he/she is done). But if you have unused formula that the baby didn’t sip from, you can put it in the refrigerator and save it for later.
- Formula comes in three forms; powder, which you just spoon in and mix with water, concentrate, which you also mix with water, and ready-to-feed, a liquid that is already prepared and you just open it and put it in the bottle. All forms are nutritionally the same.
- Choose cow’s milk formula over soy to start with.
If you are having any difficulty feeding your baby, or have any questions, don’t hesitate to talk to your GP or pediatric specialist.