How can I tell if my baby is getting enough breast milk?
Your baby gains weight steadily after the first two weeks – it’s normal for babies to lose some of their birth weight in the first two weeks. Since it can be difficult to tell just by looking whether an infant is gaining weight, especially in the first few weeks, you might want to pop into your local child health clinic for a weigh-in between if you’re concerned. If your baby’s gaining four to seven ounces a week, he’s probably getting enough milk
If baby appear content and alert when they’re awake.
From the fourth day, they should do at least two soft, yellow poos the size of a £2 coin every day for the first few weeks. By 2 weeks of age, babies who are getting enough hind milk will produce at least three dity nappies of yellow, seedy stools a day.
From day five onward, wet nappies should start to become more frequent, with at least six heavy, wet nappies every 24 hours
I fear I’m not bonding with my baby. Isn't this something that's supposed to happen automatically?
It’s Ok. For some parents and infants, Love at first sight isn’t a guarantee. Bonding refers to that special attachment that forms between a mother and father and their new baby. Bonding can be a slow and gradual process. Studies have found that about 20% of new parents feel no real emotional attachment to their new baby in the hours after delivery. Sometimes, it takes weeks or even months to feel that attachment. If you haven’t begun bonding with your baby, don’t feel anxious or guilty — it should come with time.
Keep in mind that you’re adjusting to the most intense physical and emotional changes in your whole life. Give it time, and those feelings of attachment will develop.
Is it true that I could spoil my baby by picking him up every time he cries?
As a mother of four and a Specialist public Health practitioner, who’s been in practice for years, I can tell you definitely that babies cry to communicate their needs but not to control. Many parents ask if they should pick up their crying baby, concerned that they will spoil the baby if they do. My simple answer is
“Yes, pick up and attend to your baby if he is crying”. Of course, babies cry to communicate – so you need to check your baby isn’t hungry or wet or dirty or hot or cold. Picking up and attending to your baby when he is crying can’t and won’t spoil him. Know that in the first few months, you are getting to know your baby and he is getting used to being in your world. By being responsive to his crying, you are letting your baby know that he is loved and cared for and that will give him security. Of course, babies cry to communicate – so you need to check your baby isn’t hungry or wet or dirty or hot or cold. All the usual things. All babies cry and particularly over the first few weeks to months
However, not every cry should be viewed as a signal for you to run to pick up your baby, the mother’s anxiety to quickly pick baby to settle can stimulate anxiety in the baby, which in turn can make him become even more fussy. Instead as a parent, as soon as the baby begins to cry, offer gentle words of reassurance calmly even if you are anxious, . This sends an important message — that there’s no problem and that YOU are there for him. In time, you’ll learn babies have own ways of soothing themselves and you will learn which cries require immediate attention and which are less urgent. Until then, create a caring and supportive environment that diminishes your baby’s need to cry, and let him know that you’ll be there for him when he’s distressed.
Spoiling a baby means teaching him ‘poor/bad ’ habits. But there is still time to teach your baby the “good” habits.. Enjoy your new baby and don’t leave him to cry. Attend to your crying baby when he needs you.
I'm going back to work and I'd like to continue breastfeeding. What's the best way to do this?
Many moms think they have to throw in the breastfeeding towel when it’s time to return to work. Not so! With just a little planning and commitment, plus our step-by-step primer, you’ll be prepared to tackle the logistics of continued nursing.
How do I know when to start feeding my baby solids, and which foods should I start with?
As long as your baby shows signs of readiness, your child’s doctor may say you can start solids any time around 4 to 6 months. Until then, breast milk or formula provides all the calories and nourishment your baby needs – and can handle. Infants don’t yet have the physical skills to swallow solid foods safely, and their digestive system simply isn’t ready for solids until they’re about 4 months old.
Which solid foods should I feed my baby first?
Each baby is different, so talk to your child’s doctor about which solids to introduce and when. Most infants can start with any pureed single-ingredient food with no added salt or sugar. Although it’s customary in many families to start babies on infant cereal, there’s no medical evidence showing that this offers any advantages or health benefits.
How can I tell when my baby's ready for solid food?
our baby will give you clear signs when he’s ready to move beyond a liquid diet. Cues to look for include:
Head control. Your baby needs to be able to keep his head in a steady, upright position.
Sitting well when supported. Your baby needs to be able to sit up righting an infant feeding seat or highchair to swallow well.
Losing the “extrusion reflex.” Your baby’s mouth and tongue develop in sync with his digestive system. To start solids, he should be able to move food to the back of his mouth and swallow it, instead of using his tongue to push food out of his mouth.
Significant weight gain. He may be ready to eat solids if he’s doubled his birth weight, weighs at least 13 pounds, and is at least 4 months old.
Curiosity about food. Your baby may begin eyeing or reaching for your food or may open his mouth if you offer him a spoonful.
My baby is one year old and not walking. Should I be worried?
Yes, he’s probably just fine. Over the course of his first year your baby has gradually developed coordination and muscle strength throughout his body, learning to sit, roll over, and crawl. Many children move on to pulling up and standing by about 9 months old.
From then on, it’s a matter of gaining confidence and balance. Babies usually take their first steps sometime between 9 and 12 months, but it’s okay if your child takes a little longer.
Some children don’t walk until they’re 16 or 17 months old, and that’s still perfectly normal. If your baby was a little late learning to roll over and crawl, chances are he’ll need a few extra weeks or months for walking as well.
The important thing is the progression of skills: As long as he keeps learning new things, you don’t have to be too concerned about exactly when he reaches each milestone. (And if your baby was premature, use his adjusted age when gauging developmental milestones.)
But if your child isn’t walking by 18 months, check in with his doctor so she can evaluate his language, social, and fine motor skills. If these also seem delayed, she may refer you to a developmental pediatrician. If your child seems on track with other milestones, the doctor may examine him for orthopedic, neurological, or other problems.
If your baby is not pooping as easily as they should, you may be one of the many parents who are anxious about watching their newborn suffering from constipation. This can leave you feeling helpless, but unfortunately, you just have to let nature take its course. However, there are a few things that can help your baby go through it or avoid experiencing difficulty in passing stools in the future.
Your baby may be constipated if she has difficulty passing out poop and if they are dry and hard. However, if your baby is not colicky, bloated or straining to move her bowels, less frequent bowel movements may mean that it is just her normal pattern. If several days pass and your baby is not pooping, start tracking her feeding patterns and take the following measures to encourage bowel movements:
1. Offer Her Extra Water
Formula-fed babies may need to take extra water daily because they may lack fluids, which is a common cause of constipation. If your baby is not drinking enough water, the water in her colon goes to the body and the stools become dry and hard. However, breastfed babies do not usually need extra water.
2. Consider Changing Her Formula
Ask your pediatrician about trying a different formula to help your child have softer stools every two or three days. At the age of three months, most babies have bowel movements daily or at least every other day.
3. Delay Solid Foods
Switching to solid foods can cause some babies to become constipated. Delaying solid foods will allow maturation of your baby’s digestive system. When starting to introduce solid foods, it is best to choose foods that can help soften stools, such as pureed pears peaches, prunes and plums. Barley is also preferable to rice cereals.
4. Ease Stool Passage
Insert a glycerin suppository into the baby’s rectum, then hold her buttocks together until dissolved. Alternatively, squirt some liquid glycerin using a dropper into her rectum if she is straining. These can be done once a day until her stools soften with diet. Liquid glycerin also helps heal rectal tears caused by straining, which causes fresh blood to appear in the diaper.
5. Consider Using Natural Laxatives
Aside from giving extra water to babies who are at least four months old, try giving prune juice diluted in water. Other natural laxatives include flax oil, which contains omega-3 fatty acids. Add a teaspoon of flax oil to just one bottle of milk once daily. Use one tablespoon daily for toddlers.
Whether you should wake a sleeping newborn for feedings depends on the baby’s age, weight and overall health.
Most newborns lose weight in the first few days after birth. Until your newborn regains this lost weight — usually within one week after birth — it’s important to feed him or her frequently. This might mean occasionally waking your baby for a feeding, especially if he or she sleeps for a stretch of more than four hours.
Once your newborn establishes a pattern of weight gain and reaches the birth-weight milestone, however, it’s generally OK to wait for feedings until he or she wakes up.
Most newborns need eight to 12 feedings a day — about one feeding every two to three hours. While waking up a sleeping baby might seem like a bad idea, frequent feedings early on are important for a couple of reasons:
Crying is a late sign of hunger. The sooner you begin each feeding, the less likely you’ll need to soothe a frantic baby. Look for early signs of hunger, such as stirring, restlessness, sucking motions and lip movements.
Frequent feedings support early breast-feeding. If you breast-feed, frequent feedings will help you establish your milk supply. Babies also are more likely to nurse repeatedly in a short period of time (cluster feed) if they have gone longer stretches between feedings.
Keep in mind that premature babies often have special nutritional needs. They also might not reliably show signs of hunger until they are older.If your baby was born prematurely or you’re concerned about your baby’s feeding patterns or weight gain, consult his or her doctor for specific recommendations.
Do your baby’s sleep habits (or lack thereof) have you feeling like a zombie? Be patient. A full night’s sleep is on its way. Learn when babies start sleeping through the night and what it means for your baby’s physical and cognitive development.
As much as you enjoy spending time with your little one, it’s very likely you have had one of those “Argh, why won’t he let me get more than two hours of sleep?” moments. “Babies need good ‘sleep nutrition’ — both the right amount and the right quality of sleep — for optimal physical, cognitive, and emotional development,” says Jennifer Waldburger, M.S.W., co-creator of The Sleepeasy Solution book and DVD. When and how your baby will achieve good sleep nutrition depends on a lot-his age, weight, temperament, and environment, and your family’s routine. The good news is, with a little work and a lot of patience on your part, your baby will eventually snooze the night away.
If you’re enjoying breastfeeding, you can continue for as long as you and your baby want to. That could mean until she’s a year, or even two years old. There’s no need to stop before you’re both ready.
Before having a baby, most women have an idea of how long they aim to breastfeed their baby for. In the UK, experts advise exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. In many parts of the world, it’s usual to breastfeed for two years or even longer.
How long you keep breastfeeding for is your decision. It will depend on how you feel emotionally, as well as your personal circumstances.
Whatever you decide, try to give your baby nothing but breast milk until she’s six months old (exclusive breastfeeding). This will give your baby a healthy start in life.
When your baby is ready to try her first solid food at six months, you can still carry on breastfeeding her.
The support of your partner, in particular, and your friends and family, will make it much easier for you to continue breastfeeding for as long as you want to. Sometimes, mums come under pressure from friends and family to stop breastfeeding before they’re ready. But the decision is yours, so try not to be pressured into anything.
Your baby may be feeding around the clock in the early days, but she’ll start cutting back as she gets older. Many mums find the first few weeks of breastfeeding tough, but those who stick with it are usually glad that they did.
As breastfeeding continues, you may find that friends who are breastfeeding are an invaluable source of support.
Returning to work doesn’t mean that breastfeeding has to end. Lots of women successfully express breast milk and combine breast and bottle-feeding, though it does take a little planning. Continuing to breastfeed can be a great way to maintain that close, nurturing bond with your baby, and may even help both of you to cope with the daytime separation.