In the first three months your focus to a great extent is on the basic necessities of life, like feeds, nappies and sleep!! Feeding your 0-3 month old baby may be challenging at first – breastfeeding takes a while to establish and does not come easily for all people. In addition, you may be faced with having to decide on alternate forms of feeding if your baby is unwell or not thriving.
What to expect from birth to 3 months:
The nutritional priority of the newborn phase is to establish breastfeeding. Breastmilk and its early form (Colostrum) is loaded with many nutrients essential for nourishing your baby. Breastmilk also sets your little one up for lifelong health – immunity, metabolism and development. Breastmilk contains micronutrients that feed a healthy gut, grow the brain and feed the baby.
Tips to make it easier:
- Latch early and feed often on the first day – at least 8 feeds.
- Feed on demand 2-3 hourly in the early days- until your milk supply is established
- Pumping with a good electric breast pump at the end of each feed helps to establish supply
- If you choose to formula feed, follow your healthcare providers advice when you choose a brand of formula
Parents often worry that their newborn isn’t eating enough. But babies usually know just how much they need. Don’t focus on how much, how often and how regularly your baby eats. Instead, look for contentment between feedings, alertness, good skin tone and steady weight gain. Your method of feeding is not something to create guilt about. Love and contact is most important.
If you are considering formula feeds as a solution to help your little one ‘sleep through the night’, it’s important to note that a breastfed baby can sleep just as well as a formula fed baby. Understanding the connection between ‘breastfeeding and sleep’ will help you to avoid the establishment of poor sleep habits.