Newborns are delicate and fragile individuals. The little feet kicking and finger grabbing makes you fall in love more and more each second you spend with them.
Babies need love and protection. And that protection is given through their nutrition. Appropriate and adequate feeding is very important during a child’s first months of life. They need calories, proteins, fat and minerals. Good nutrition will ensure that your baby has good protection against diseases.
What To Feed
Newborns needs to follow a strict diet. This includes what they can eat and how often they should eat.
1. Breast milk
Breast milk is the ideal nutrition for every newborn. It contains all the nutrients needed for a healthy and complete growth. Breast milk contains antibodies which fights infections and diseases and protects your baby from getting sick.
Furthermore, breast milk is always available. It’s ready to eat anytime and anywhere, as long as you and your baby are together.
Breastmilk is a whole and complete meal. Breastfed babies don’t need extra food and or water until they turn 4 months old.
Breast milk is designed by your body to suit your baby’s needs. Its contents changes and adapts to your newborns changing needs as they get older. The taste of breastmilk also changes with what the mother eats, so babies get introduced to the taste of solid food even before they’re old enough to eat them.
Research has proven that antibodies and good bacteria which promote health are present in breast milk, which are passed down from the mother’s body. They fight against bacteria and other germs. They also boost your baby’s immune system and prevent conditions like respiratory tract infections and gastroenteritis.
Breastmilk is rich in healthy fats, which is essential for brain development.
Breastfeeding also promotes bonding between mother and child through skin-to-skin contact.
2. Baby Formula
Infant formula, or baby milk, as it is sometimes referred to as, is a manufactured version of breastmilk. It is the only safe substitute to breastmilk for an infant below 12 months of age.
Most baby formulas are made from cow’s milk. Other milk options include goat milk and soy milk. The milk is modified to resemble breast milk, so that babies can digest it easily.
Baby formulas are enriched with vitamins, fats, minerals and calories, just as in breastmilk. They are made under strict regulations and formula producing companies have to follow strict guidelines in order to get their products on the market. Just make sure to choose the golden standard quality, certified organic and trusted brand formula, like Kendamil Stage 1.
Baby formula comes in 3 forms:
- Dry powder form. This is the most common form of formula. It is powdered and should be mixed with filtered water before being fed. It is the most affordable form and has a longer shelf life.
- Concentrated liquid form: this formula form is not as common as the powdered form, but it is much easier to prepare. Preparation is made by diluting the concentrate with filtered water in a 1:1 ratio.
- Ready-to-eat form: as its name suggests, there is no preparation needed. They come in 2-, 4- and 6-ounces bottles. This means your baby will be able to finish the whole bottle in one feed and there will be no leftovers. There is no refrigerating required and can be served anywhere and at anytime
Furthermore, infant formulas are made in 2 types:
Organic formula: organic formula is made from the milk of organic farm animals. Its ingredients must consist of at least 95% organic products in order to attain organic status.
- Inorganic formula: these are made from farm animals under strict regulations, but do not require any specific organic certification.
Baby formulas have added ingredients that mimics that of breast milk. These added ingredients provide your baby with protective agents against infections, as well as promoting healthy growth and development.
Prebiotics and probiotics are included in baby formulas deliver healthy bacteria to the gut of infants, which aid in digestion and prevents gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, constipation and bloating.
You can find the best organic baby formula on the website: organicsbestshop.com.
3. Mixed Feeding
There are so many reasons why some mothers, and even doctors, advise mixed feeding.
For a busy mum who can’t afford to feed her newborn every 2 or 3 hours, or a mother who can’t produce enough breastmilk, this is the best option.
Doctors generally recommend mixed feeding for premature babies (babies born before 32 weeks of gestation), babies with a birth weight of less than 1.5 kg, infants who are very ill or are having stunted growth.
There are quite some challenges that come with mixed feeding. The biggest one being the baby rejecting mother’s breast after getting used to the bottle.
This can be solved by breast feeding more than bottle feeding. Keeping a good eye contact with the child while breast feeding also builds a strong connection between the mother and the child.
4. Vitamin D Supplements
Breast milk may not provide enough vitamin D for your newborn. Especially during the winter time or rainy seasons when there isn’t enough sunlight.
Ask your doctor or pediatrician about including Vitamin D in your baby’s diet before you go ahead with it.
Baby Feeding Guide
Newborns are required to feed every 2 to 3 hours, which equals 8 to 12 feedings per day. However, you can feed your baby whenever they are ready for it.
Signs that your baby is ready to feed include – lip smacking, sucking of fingers and crying.
You must wash your hands thoroughly before each feed.
If you’re bottle feeding, either expressed milk or baby formula, your baby’s feeding equipment must be washed and sterilized before and after each feeding to ensure that bacteria and other harmful foreign bodies don’t find their way into your baby’s food.
For whatever input your baby makes, there will be an output. Your newborn should have at least 5 wet diapers a day. If your baby is having less, then there’s a cause for concern.
It is typical for babies to vomit after feeding. This is due to gulping down milk too fast or being over. It is usually not a cause for concern, unless there is blood present in the vomitus.
If you notice any of these symptoms, call or visit the next hospital immediately:
- Bloody stool
- Dark colored stool
- Yellowing of skin and eyes
- Blood in vomitus
- Crying associated with vomiting
- When your baby vomits out everything they eat