How Often Should You Feed A Newborn? A Comprehensive Guide For New Parents

How Often Should You Feed A Newborn? A Comprehensive Guide For New Parents

Feeding is a critical aspect of caring for a newborn, and it is important to establish a proper feeding schedule. As a new parent, you may be wondering how often should you feed a newborn? This question is crucial for the health and development of your little one. In this article, we will discuss the recommended frequency for feeding a newborn and provide helpful tips to ensure your baby is getting the proper nutrition they need. Keep reading to learn more about how often you should feed your newborn.

How Often Should You Feed a Newborn? A Comprehensive Guide for New Parents
how often should you feed a newborn

Congratulations on the arrival of your precious little one! As a new parent, you may have a lot of questions about caring for your newborn, including how often to feed them. Feeding your baby is not only important for their growth and development, but it also provides them with the necessary nutrients and nourishment they need. In this guide, we will discuss the recommended feeding frequency for newborns and provide tips for successful feeding.

Breastfeeding vs. Bottle-feeding

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life. Breast milk is the perfect source of nutrition for newborns as it contains all the essential nutrients and antibodies to protect them from infections and illnesses. Breastfeeding also has numerous benefits for both the mother and baby, including bonding, promoting healthy weight gain, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

However, if breastfeeding is not an option or a personal choice, formula feeding is a safe and suitable alternative. Formula milk is designed to mimic breast milk and provides all the necessary nutrients for a baby’s growth and development. It is essential to follow the instructions on the formula packaging and prepare it correctly to ensure your baby is getting the right amount of nutrients.

Feeding Frequency for Newborns

Newborns have tiny stomachs and can only consume small amounts of milk at a time. In the first few days of life, a baby’s stomach is about the size of a cherry and can only hold about 5-7 ml of milk per feeding. As a result, they need to feed frequently to meet their nutritional needs and avoid becoming dehydrated.

Breastfed newborns should be fed on demand, which means feeding whenever the baby shows signs of hunger, such as rooting, sucking on their hands or fingers, or crying. This can be as often as 8-12 times a day, which averages to every 2-3 hours. It is important to note that every baby is different, and some may want to feed more frequently than others.

Formula-fed newborns typically consume larger amounts of milk at each feeding compared to breastfed babies. They can go longer between feedings, averaging about 2-3 hours. However, if your baby shows signs of hunger sooner, it is okay to feed them more frequently.

Signs of Hunger

It is essential to recognize the signs of hunger in your newborn to ensure they are getting enough milk. Some common signs of hunger include:

– Lip smacking
– Rooting
– Sucking on hands or fingers
– Crying
– Moving their head from side to side
– Opening their mouth and sticking out their tongue

It is best to feed your baby as soon as you notice these signs to avoid them becoming overly hungry and fussy.

Tips for Successful Feeding

– Hold your baby in a semi-upright position during feedings to prevent milk from flowing too fast and choking.
– Burp your baby after every feeding to release any trapped air and prevent discomfort.
Make sure your baby’s mouth is properly latched onto the breast or bottle to ensure they are getting enough milk.
– If breastfeeding, make sure you are comfortable and relaxed to promote milk flow.
– If formula feeding, follow the instructions on the packaging carefully and prepare the formula correctly.
– Keep track of your baby’s wet and dirty diapers to ensure they are getting enough milk. Newborns should have about 6 wet diapers and 3-4 dirty diapers a day.In conclusion, understanding the feeding needs of your newborn is crucial for their growth and development. As a general guideline, newborns should be fed on demand, every 2-3 hours, or whenever they show signs of hunger. By paying attention to your baby’s cues and consulting with your pediatrician, you can determine the best feeding schedule for your little one. Remember, every baby is unique and may have different feeding needs, so trust your instincts and prioritize your baby’s health and well-being. By following these recommendations, you can ensure that your newborn is getting the nourishment they need to thrive.