The Top 10 Tips for Feeding Your New Baby

The Top 10 Tips for Feeding Your New Baby

Feeding a baby should come naturally, right? Instinct and evolution should just kick right in and guide you through the steps to a happily satiated baby, right? Sure, in a perfect world. But, things don’t always work out quite so seamlessly in reality. And any parent will tell you, kids are unpredictable, each one is unique, and they rarely respond exactly like you read about in the books. So, you’re having troubles feeding your baby. Or troubles after your baby’s been fed. Or you haven’t had your baby yet and you’re just trying to prepare as much as possible. Any which way, we’ve compiled some of the top tips from across the Internet to help you out. Bon appetit, baby!

1. Breast is best. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of a baby's life. We strongly support this recommendation and should you choose to go this route, read, research and get support. We cannot overstate how important it is to be prepared, which includes staying on top of your prenatal vitamins routine in order to get the most nutrients possible for you and your baby.

2. Do whatever works. Breastfeeding may not be an option for you, we understand (and we’re throwing a huge white flag into this particular mommy war). Whatever you choose, when it comes down to it, you have to do whatever works for you and your baby. This is no place for judgment or guilt.

3. Use a safe bottle. Whether you’re filling it with formula or breastmilk, choose a bottle made from safe materials. No toxic plastics like PVC or polycarbonate.

4. Keep equipment clean. There’s typically no need to boil everything like our grandmothers did, but you should still be attentive to all the cracks and crevices in bottles and breast pumps. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and use a safe, non-toxic dish soap.

5. Feed on demand. Most newborns need 8 to 12 feedings a day. If your baby’s stirring and stretching and making sucking motions with her mouth, she’s indicating she’s hungry. The sooner you respond, the less likely you’ll have a crying, fussy baby on your hands.

6. Never wake a sleeping baby. The recommendation used to be to feed your baby every two hours, which inevitably meant waking them up sometimes. But, in most cases, this is uneccessary and babies will naturally wake when they’re hungry. There are exceptions—like if your baby isn’t waking at least every 3-4 hours or if she isn’t gaining weight. Talk to your pediatrician if you have concerns.

7. Find the right position.  There are several different positions to try with breastfed babies—cross cradle, cradle hold, football hold, and more. Experiment to find the right position for you. Bottle-fed babies should always be held upright and one of the easiest, most comfortable places is in the crook of the arm.

8. Burp frequently. After each turn on a breast or every 5 minutes with a bottle.

9. Be prepared. You don’t want to feel rushed or uncomfortable when you’re feeding your baby. Grab some pillows and a blanket, a book, your smart phone, whatever keeps you relaxed and occupied. If you’re breastfeeding, be sure to have a nice, big glass of water nearby.

10. Trust your instincts. Everyone and their brothers will have advice and criticisms of how you parent. At the end of the day, you need to trust your instincts - with feeding and everything else. No one knows your baby better than you.

What are your tips?

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Before undertaking any course of treatment, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.