Feeding a New Baby - Tips for Parents
Life with a newborn can be unpredictable, to say the least.
You spend around nine months or so preparing (or so you think!) for their arrival, but once they’re actually here everything you thought you knew is more or less thrown out of the window. There’s nothing quite like the chaos that a new baby brings to life, huh? That said, there are some things you can rely on when it comes to life with a new baby… they all need to eat!
With this in mind, this week’s post is all about feeding a new baby, with tips for parents that we hope might come in handy. Read on to find out more…
* Fed is best *
Chances are, you’ve already given a lot of thought on how to feed your baby, and you’ve probably already waded into a few passional discussions about it too. Whether you decide to breastfeed or bottle feed, there is one thing that the experts will all agree on and it’s quite simple.
However you feed your baby, as long as you are both happy then it’s the right decision for you.
A fed baby is a happy baby.
Some mums decide to do a combination of both breast and bottle- and again, that’s absolutely fine! You find the method that works for you, your family and your lifestyle- it’s nobody else’s business, quite frankly!
And with that out of the way, here are our top tips for feeding a new baby, whether its breast or bottle, or both.
* Our Nimble's Top Tips for breastfeeding *
Most health professionals will agree that your breastmilk is the perfect food for your new baby, and hopefully there is lots of support available for you to access once you begin on this journey. If you do decide to breastfeed, these are the items we recommend you have on hand to make it a little easier:
- Nursing bras and pads
- Nursing nightdress, pyjamas and vest tops
- Breastfeeding pillow
- Muslin cloths
- Nipple cream
Some new mums also find that once their milk supply is established, they can use a breast pump to express milk for a bottle. Experts do recommend waiting at least 6 weeks before trying this, to avoid so-called ‘nipple confusion’- but again, that decision is totally up to you!
Our top tips for breastfeeding success:
- Tell your midwife you plan to breastfeed, so that you can receive support as soon as baby is born
- Feed your baby as soon after birth as possible. This will help to establish your supply, will provide your baby with essential protein and antibodies (in the form of colostrum) and will aid in bonding too
- Use an app to help you remember which side you fed from last. This will keep supply regular in both breasts
- Follow your baby’s cues for feeds- feeding on demand
- Get plenty of rest, eat well and drink lots of fluids. Breastfeeding requires a lot of energy!
If you experience problems breastfeeding, or you’d like help and support, there are services you can access.
Visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/breastfeeding-and-bottle-feeding/breastfeeding/help-and-support/ for more information.
* Our Nimble's Top Tips for bottle feeding *
Preparation is key when it comes to bottle feeding a new baby. Here are the must-haves we recommend you have ready before baby is born:
- Newborn bottles
- Newborn bottle teats
- Bottle brush
- Bottle cleaning equipment- try our range Milk Buster Baby Bottle Cleaner for a gentle and natural clean.
- Newborn formula
Some new parents also like invest in a bottle warmer and there are formula preparation machines out there too that are great for making up a feed quickly.
Tips for successful bottle feeding:
- Always follow the instructions on the formula pack to make up your baby’s bottle
- Make each feed as you need it; don’t prepare bottles in advance
- When warming feeds, make sure you test the temperature to ensure it’s not too hot
- Hold your baby in a semi-upright position for feeds, supporting their head properly
- Keep the bottle horizontal with a slight tip so that the milk flows steadily
- Feed on demand
- Throw away unused milk
After feeds, whether breast or bottle fed, its important to wind your baby to help ease discomfort or pain. Gently pat your baby’s back, keeping them upright and still. Avoid lying your baby down for at least 30 minutes after feeds to help the milk settle. Expect your baby to wake around every 2-4 hours for a feed, especially when newborn.
Good luck… and enjoy!