Your tiny bundles of joy are sure to occupy a lot of space in your heart, house, and of course, they consume a lot of your time. The only thing that you worry about is them and want the best of everything for them.
It is a common practice of parents to prepare for the babies before their arrival. They invest in good furniture, clean and organize the house, set up a nursery, buy clothes and other baby essential items for the baby. It is a very good practice to keep everything available for your baby. It helps the parents to stay relaxed and spend time with the baby instead of running to the store to grab the items they had forgotten to purchase.
However, there is one thing that cannot be bought or prepared in advance, yet it is the most important thing for the baby; food. Just like adults, the babies need to be fed too, and it must be fresh. Unlike our food, we cannot order baby food online, or order a takeaway.
Nature is extremely kind and benevolent to arrange the source of food for the babies. It is from their mothers, the same person who carried them in her womb for nine months. However, if breastfeeding is not an option, there are myriad formula milk available in the market for newborns.
Feeding your newborn is a special moment for many parents. It helps them to connect with their babies and to look forward to watching their babies grow up physically and mentally strong.
The first three months of a baby’s life are of utmost importance for his physical and mental development. Therefore, it is very important for parents that the baby’s first foods should be nutritious and free from contamination.
The decision of breastfeeding the baby or giving him formula milk is completely up to the parents. However, if you can breastfeed for your baby, then we would highly recommend not to let go of this opportunity. There are numerous benefits that are not only for your baby, but also for yourself.
Keep reading to discover the amazing benefits of breastfeeding your baby.
Benefits Of Breastfeeding
1. Powerhouse Of Nutrients
Breast Milk contains all the essential nutrients that are needed by the baby during the first 6 months of his life.
After a few days of the baby’s arrival, a yellowish fluid with thick consistency known as colostrum is produced from the breast. Colostrum is rich in protein and has other beneficial compounds to load your baby with nothing but the best.
It strengthens the immune system of the baby.
2. Enriched With Antibodies
Breastmilk doesn’t only provide nutrients to help your baby grow strong but it is also loaded with antibodies to protect your babies from viruses and other harmful bacteria.
Colostrum; the first milk, provides high amounts of IgA i.e. immunoglobulin A. These are the antibodies that protect your baby from getting sick.
3. Promotes Healthy Weight
Breast Milk provides essential nutrients and antibodies to protect and strengthen the immune system of the baby. Unlike formula milk, breastmilk doesn’t make the babies obese.
Babies who consume more formula milk tend to gain unhealthy weight and become obese.
4. Helps In Bonding With The Babies
Another benefit of breastfeeding babies is that it helps you to connect with your babies and make an unbreakable bond with your baby.
When a baby is breastfeeding, he stays close to his mother, senses her warmth, touches her skin, etc. all these things help the babies to get attached to their mother and he develops the instinct of trust.
5. Helps In Reducing Weight
It is normal for mothers to gain weight after the delivery. They get worried about their increased size and will do almost everything to go back to their previous shape.
Exercising and following a diet can be quite tough for new mothers. However, if the mothers start breastfeeding their newborns they can burn up to 500 calories a day.
6. It's Free
Last but not least. Nursing the baby helps you to save money. Formula milk is not cheap. They are pretty expensive and they can put a strain on your monthly budget.
Breast Milk is free. You don’t have to worry about it finishing up or preparing it during the day or in the middle of the night.
The advantages of nursing your baby are not only limited to the ones mentioned above. Numerous other benefits can be reaped out of it.
Handling, feeding, and taking care of newborns of their every tiny need should be done with great care and vigilance. These munchkins are physically and internally fragile. Any mistake from the parents’ side can prove to be fatal for the baby.
Below we have tailored a list of 13 Dos and Don'ts for Baby's First Foods. It will help you to adopt the best practices and avoid the ones which can be harmful to the baby.
13 Dos And Don'ts New Moms Should Know
1. Start Early
The first tip for feeding your newborn is to start early. Try breastfeeding your newborn after every 2 hours. If you are feeling that the supply of your breastmilk is slow or stuck, even then, do not give up.
The sooner you start, the earlier you’ll get the hang of it. Keep trying and it will become easy for you in just a week or two.
2. Stay Relaxed
If you are outside of your house, or in a public place, make sure to find some privacy to feed your child.
Although this is not mandatory, feeding your child when you are relaxed helps you to stay comfortable which helps you to feed your baby calmly. Nursing in public may invite some unwanted advice, noise, and stares. It may make you uncomfortable.
Remember, the babies can sense the feelings of their mother and they reciprocate the same. If you are not relaxed or comfortable, your baby will sense it and he will most likely become fussy and start crying.
3. Establish A Routine
The importance of setting up a routine cannot be emphasized enough. Just as the experience of parenting is new for parents, the experience of being in this world is new for a baby.
The surroundings of this world are foreign to him. The babies feel unprotected for the first few months of their lives. Having a routine gives them a sense of familiarity and it becomes easy for them to adapt to their environment.
By setting a routine your babies know what to expect next. It helps them to stay relaxed and is less likely to give you a tough time.
Fix the time and place to feed them. Do not wait for the baby to scream on the top of his voice to feed him. Look for the signs to check if he is hungry or not. The most common sign is that the babies will keep their mouth open and try to suckle. Another sign is that they will put their hand inside their mouths.
Be a smart mom and observe the signs your baby is conveying to you.
4. Don’t Forget To Clean The Baby
Will you be able to enjoy your meals, if you are not comfortable or if the shirt you are wearing is wet and dirty?
Expect the same answer from the baby. Before feeding him or giving him a bottle, make sure to change his wet and soiled diapers. If the baby is made to feed in a dirty diaper, he will stay uncomfortable and will not feed properly.
Always check their diaper if it needs changing and then feed them.
5. Be Vigilant About Cleanliness
The current global epidemic has made us all understand the importance of proper cleanliness and hygiene. Let’s not forget to implement the same lesson when it comes to the babies.
Either your baby is breastfeeding or taking a bottle, in both cases, you must observe and maintain a high level of cleanliness. Clean and thoroughly wash the feeding bottles.
If your baby is breastfeeding then don’t forget to wash your hands and your body before and after feeding the baby. The milk residue, traces of lotion, cologne, and perfume left on your body can be harmful to the baby if ingested by him.
6. Sterilize The Bottles And Breastfeeding Accessories
Washing the bottles and breastfeeding accessories is not enough. Sterilizing them is also important. The immune system of the baby is weak and can easily get infected if the bottles and accessories are not thoroughly sterilized.
Make sure that after washing the bottles, or breast pump, or breast shield, you sterilize them. Submerge them into boiling water for 5 minutes and then let them dry naturally.
7. Hydrate Yourself
Nursing or not, hydrating yourself is very important for an active mind and body. Drinking less water might not affect your milk supply, but it can make you fatigued, frustrated, and even dizzy.
Make sure to have a glass of water before you feed the baby. It will help you to stay refreshed and active.
If you don’t like to drink plain water, try to drink fresh fruit juices. Munch on cucumbers and oranges to keep you hydrated throughout the day.
8. Take Warm Bath
Before starting the feeding session try to take a warm bath. If that’s not easily possible, then you can massage your breast to increase the flow for your baby.
Try using a hot compress before the massage. It relieves the pain and also helps in increasing the supply.
9. Seek Help
There is no shame in asking for help from others. If you are having problems feeding your baby or have questions about the baby’s first foods, then don’t hesitate to ask a reliable friend or a family member.
Also, breastfeeding can sometimes become painful. Do not ignore the pain and consult a doctor immediately.
10. Take A Healthy Diet
It is extremely important for nursing mothers to watch what they are eating. Their diet directly affects the quality and supply of milk.
Avoid eating foods that are spicy or have a strong smell. Babies can sense flavors and it might suit their bodies. Eat healthy foods. Drink milk, munch on nuts, and devour fruits and green veggies to give your baby all the necessary minerals and vitamins for their strong growth.
Also, make sure not to take any medicines unless the doctor has advised you to. It might affect your supply or alter the nutrients present in the milk.
11. Don’t Feed The Babies Every Time They Cry
One of the most common mistakes by the mother is to feed the baby whenever he starts crying.
Crying is the only way a baby can communicate. Whenever a baby cries, it doesn’t mean that he is hungry. Look for cues for why he is crying. Check his diaper, make sure he is in a comfortable position, check their temperature if they are feeling warm or cold.
Feed them when according to their routines or when they are hungry. Giving the bottles or breastfeeding them every time they cry makes them comfort themselves through food. This leads to an unhealthy relationship with the food.
12. Don’t Forget To Burp The Babies
Babies cannot go for a stroll to digest the food that they have enjoyed. If the baby is made to lie down after the feeding then the gas might accumulate inside their tiny bellies and the experience might be painful for them.
After feeding them, make sure to hold them upright, and pat your baby's back. This allows the air that the baby has sucked in to be released from his stomach.
13. Don’t Feed When You Are Angry Or Upset
Your mood can have a direct effect on the supply of your milk and how you nurse your baby. If you are feeling angry or simply feeling low, try to delay the feeding session.
Take a few minutes for yourself. Have a glass of water and think about the good things that make you happy.
Once the feelings of anger and sadness have gone, you can resume your feeding session.
In A Nutshell...
Feeding your newborn is a special moment. Make sure you do it correctly and avoid the mistakes that can damage your baby’s health. Initially, you might face some trouble feeding your baby, but don’t worry. With a little patience and lots of practice, you will eventually get a hold of it.