Breastfeeding is the easiest way to create a bonding between you and your baby. One of the keys to successful breastfeeding is simply sitting up while you breastfeed-sit up in bed, in a comfortable armchair or in a rocking chair. Use pillows behind your back, under your elbow and on your lap to support the baby. Use a footstool to bring your knees up or use pillows under your knees if you are sitting up in bed. You should be relaxed with none of your muscles straining. Your baby should be lying on his side with his whole body facing you and his knees pulled in close to your body. There are a number of breastfeeding pillows to help, but you don’t necessarily need one of those to succeed. Getting your baby to latch on properly helps promote successful breastfeeding. A poor latch can cause discomfort to you as well as exasperation for your newborn. Get as much help as you can when you are in the hospital after giving birth. Ask for a nurse or lactation consultant.
Having a newborn baby at home for the first time, as a parent, you would want to ensure that your baby is healthy, happy and everything is progressing well. One common concern for new parents is how long and how often their newborn should be sleeping.
Newborn sleeping patterns can be unusual to say the least! Newborn babies can have unique sleeping patterns and on average, you can expect a newborn baby to sleep around 16 hours per day during the first month. Some babies greatly vary from the average and may sleep as little as 12 hours a day or as much as 19 hours a day.
It is common for babies to move around a lot while sleeping and to look like they are struggling to get their rest. This occurs because they have vastly different sleep patterns to adults. Babies can spend 50% of their time sleeping in REM (rapid eye movement) sleeping states. Rest of the 50% of the time the baby is sleeping, having wonderful dreams and may be moving their arms and legs. During this period of their development, their brain is rapidly adapting to their new environment, trying to understand the world around them. Don’t take this constant movement to mean the baby isn’t getting a peaceful sleep.
Newborns feed very, very frequently, but this isn’t a problem to be solved – it’s perfectly natural! Your newborn’s tummy is quite small, so it’s understandable that he needs to eat often. Breastfeeding is and has always been the best nutrition for your baby. It has been proven to be beneficial for mothers and a vital nutritional factor for babies for the first 6 months. Although, under unavoidable circumstances, you may have to switch to formula milk, we always recommend breastfeeding.
Formula-fed newborns may need to eat slightly less often than breast-fed newborns, because it takes a newborn’s tummy longer to digest and break down formula milk, resulting in baby feeling fuller for longer periods of time. Breast milk, on the other hand, is digested fairly quickly.
In general, if you are exclusively nursing, it’s best to nurse on demand in the first few weeks after birth – this will ensure that your milk supply becomes well-established. In the first 12 weeks, your newborn may have one 4-5 hour stretch of sleep during the day or night, but your baby really shouldn’t have more than one (or possibly two, in some cases) – in order to maintain your supply, you’ll need to nurse every 2-3 hours, on average. Once your baby is past 3 months of age, and is in the infant stage, that will slowly stretch into 5-6 hours, and then 7-8, and eventually right up to 10 or 11 hours once your baby is 9 or 10 months old.
|Written By:||Dr. Prabha
Neonatalogist at Milann
|Date:||November 22, 2016|
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