These sleeping and feeding tips would help you take care of your newborn
Here is what, when and how to feed your baby along with sleeping tips by Dr. Savitha Shetty, Consultant-Gynecology and Obstetrics, Columbia Asia hospital in Bangalore.
As much as you are excited to welcome your little bundle of joy, you are also worried about the responsibilities that come along with it. One of the biggest challenges that new parents face is the lack of proper know-how of feeding and sleeping techniques.
According to Dr Savitha Shetty, Consultant-Gynecology and Obstetrics, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur, "Parents usually struggle with feeding and putting their child to sleep especially in the initial months. A lot of times, parents have to pull an all-nighter as the child is crying or is having trouble sleeping. This leads to sleep deprivation, stress and postpartum depression in the parents. It is important that both mother and father work in shifts and establish a personal contact with the baby right from the initial months.”
With the many round-the-clock commitments, here is what, when and how to feed your baby along with sleeping tips from Dr Savitha:
- Stick to breast milk: Mother’s milk should be preferred for infants instead of other replacements. Breastfeeding establishes a connect with the baby and provides all the necessary nutrients. It also helps in increasing the baby’s immunity and protects the baby from catching various diseases.
- Watch for early hunger signs: Feed the baby as soon as he seems hungry. Demand feeding makes it easier to breastfeed and prevents the baby to grab at the nipple harshly.
- Setting a routine: Parents should make a definite routine for feeding and putting the baby to sleep. This should be based on baby’s sleep and feeding cues.
- Hold your little one close: Always hold the baby close to you, while feeding. Look into the baby’s eyes and try to talk to the baby as you feed. This helps in establishing a connect with the newborn.
- Proper breastfeeding: While breastfeeding the child, mothers should make sure that the baby self-latches and is in a comfortable positioning. Many-a-times, the baby is not able to latch properly. Try to adjust to the baby’s position while s/he’s nursing, so that feeding can be comfortable. This will lead to regular flow of milk without any disturbance.
- Carry a milk bottle: If the baby feels hungry for more than once in an hour, parents should make sure to carry a milk bottle to feed the child.
- Swaddle your newborn: Swaddling helps babies to sleep long and more soundly. Parents should always ensure not to swaddle the baby tightly. Use a soft cotton cloth to swaddle uncovering baby’s face.
- Consider babywearing: When done safely, babywearing is a great way to not only bond with the baby but also improve sleep. When babies are close to the parent’s body, they feel the connect and would sleep soundly.
- Baby massage: Massaging the newborn is a great way to relax and promote better sleep. A massage followed by a bath helps in achieving sound sleep in the newborn.
- Skin-to-skin contact: When your baby cries for long or wakes up from sleep, make skin-to-skin contact with the baby. This will help calm the baby and the baby will feel safe and turn back to sleep easily.
- Limit naps during the day: Play with the baby or distract him with pleasant noises during the day. If the baby sleeps for long hours in the daytime, he is likely to stay awake at the night. Therefore, parents should limit the day naps of the babies.
- The air and sunlight: Infants should be exposed to the outer surroundings like fresh air and morning sunlight. This helps them to establish a connect with the surrounding environment and help correct the day/night confusion.
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