How often should I feed my baby?
Everyone is different, and everyone especially babies feel hungry at different times of the day, but typically babies want to be fed every 2 – 3 hours.
Babies are small, and you don’t want to over feed them, but small amounts of milk, every 3 hours – 12 feeds a day – little and often is normally ideal.
They will let you know when they are full, they will turn their head away and it’s important not to force them to feed when they don’t want to. Remember they can’t burp themselves, so they need a bit of help and it’s important to burp them half way through a feed and after a feed or they may struggle with trapped wind.
Babies will tell you when they are hungry, they will stretch, start to try and make a suckling motion, make lip movements and then cry.
But remember …
It is important that mum and baby are both comfortable when feeding, it is a new thing for both of you and it will take time and practice for you both to understand how to feed and when to feed; practice makes perfect.
Are you comfy? Are you relaxed? If not, try a pillow it is a useful aid to put underneath your baby to help make you and them a little more comfortable during feeding.
Is your baby comfy? Are they relaxed? Do they have plenty of support, is their head and neck straight, are they close enough to you? All these are questions that any new mum will be thinking about. Check to see if their nose is by your breast, this may help them to encourage latching; as well as stroking their lip to help induce the need to feed.
This is the traditional position and its best to ensure you support your baby’s head and your breast, a pillow can help to make you feel more comfortable.
Cross Cradle Hold
This is similar to the traditional hold but it gives you more control of your baby’s head.
The Football or Rugby Hold
This can be more comfortable with mothers who have abdominal pain, have had a cesarean section, or for small babies and babies who struggle to latch.
This is a helpful position; especially at night so you can get some much-needed rest.
All these positions can take time to master but remember practice makes perfect.
If you think your baby is struggling with feeding this may be from a birth trauma as a combination of all the birth stresses can affect the cranial bones of the little one.
During birth the cranial bones move to allow the baby to come through the birth canal. These realign after birth through their first breath but occasionally with a stressful birth there can be extra strains on the cranium. These are usually resolved through the first breath but sometimes they need a bit of help which is where cranial osteopathy can help.
Cranial is very gentle treatment to aim to relax and soothe your baby, help to calm them from the strains and stresses of birth. Cranial Osteopathy can help when there are restrictions within the cranial bones which, like any other joint can become restricted and can leave added tension. Cranial can help to improve movement and release tensions which can help your baby to relax and have a less stressful feed.