Newborn Feeding Schedule Help
Adapting to your newborn’s individual needs rather than trying to adapt them to your schedule is the best way to allay frustration and ease the entire family into their new roles.
If you are concerned or worried that your little one is not getting enough nourishment or gaining weight properly, I would strongly suggest getting a baby scale . By weighing both before and after a feed, you will know if the intake is enough.
The following steps will help you identify your newborn’s feeding schedule and make the necessary changes to accommodate their sleeping, feeding, changing and other needs in conjunction with yours:
1. Schedule Needs Written Down
Before you even leave the hospital, start writing down when your little one falls asleep, when they wake, how long they stay awake, when they prefer to be fed and how often they need to be changed. This can seem like a mammoth task to figure out the baby feeding schedule, in the first few days, when you can barely seem to keep your eyes open, but the end results will be rewarding.
Keep the schedule, with a pen, in an easily accessible area so that you don’t have to expend time and energy every time you need to make a notation. Keep in mind that you will be making regular notes as newborns (0-3 months) need to be fed every 2-3 hours.
2. Newborn Feeding Evaluation
After about 3-5 days, you should notice a pattern forming. You will be able to identify how often your baby sleeps and how long they sleep for. A newborn will sleep anywhere from 30 minutes at a time to 4 hours. These periods may vary depending on the time of day. For example, a baby may sleep for only short periods during the day time and longer periods at night or vice versa.
Your newborn feeding routine should be directly related to your baby’s sleeping schedule. Most newborns prefer to be fed at sleeping time. However, if your baby is only sleeping for 30 minutes at a time but only requires feeding every two hours, there is a mismatch in the pattern. You may need to make some adjustments to your own routine to ensure that the feeding and sleeping schedule are synchronized.
If your infant is sleeping for only a short period at a time, there could be factors affecting their rest. These factors could include:
– Not completing a feed. An infant will wake up shortly after falling asleep if they are hungry. Make sure that the infant completes their feed before falling asleep.
– Winds can be very uncomfortable and painful for a newborn which will wake them. Make sure that they burp before sleeping.
– Don’t change a diaper when your baby is already asleep. All this accomplishes is waking them and disrupting their sleep and feeding pattern.
– If your little one sleeps for less than two hours, don’t offer them a feed until their next sleep time according to their schedule.
– If she/he sleeps for longer than 3 hours, they may wake up hungry and require a feed between sleep times.
4. Breast Vs. Bottle
It has been drummed into all mothers that breast is best. However, some mothers simply cannot breast feed. Don’t feel guilty about this but do take the time to ensure that the formula you are using is a healthy one, without poisonous ingredients, chemicals and sugars. Be sure it not causing any digestive problems and is providing the necessary nutrition for your baby.
In addition, hold your little one when bottle feeding, dont just leave her/him in their crib. Consider this bonding time.See this article on how your little one needs lots of physical touch for good mental/emotinal and physical health.
5. Listen Carefully
Listen carefully to your baby’s cries rather than to the advice of those around you. Within a few days or weeks, you should be able to determine different cries for different needs.
If your baby cries for a feed more often than your doctor recommends, instead feed them when they need it. Your newborn will always tell you what they need. You will have a hard time figuring this out unless you take the above steps to figure out your newborn feeding schedule.