A new baby is a blessing, a joy, and a miracle. As much as one might prepare for this wonderful miracle there are just some things that will throw you, as the parent, for a loop. First time parents as well as parents who are old pros catch themselves shaking their heads and wondering "What am I going to do?" when a situation arises. I consider myself an expert in the area of new babies since I have had three in a five-year span. I have collected these great tips to ease a new mom's worries when it comes to feeding the new baby. There are a mix of tips for both breast and bottle fed babies.
Number One Important Rule Regarding Feeding is this: Do What Is Best For You and Your Baby. Period. We all know that breastfeeding is best for babies. But we also know that there are millions of babies who are formula fed and healthy as can be. Don't judge either way.
- If breastfeeding, give it a chance. Have a lactation consultant. Surround yourself with positive people who believe in what you are doing. Know that the 1st month is truly the most difficult and if you can stick it out that long, it will get better.
- If breastfeeding and feel any pain, call your doctor or lactation consultant immediately. If it hurts, then it's not being done correctly. Also, use Lansinoh products to help ease the nipple discomfort.
- If breastfeeding isn't for you, don't beat yourself up over it. Children are formula fed all the time and grow up to be intelligent, well adjusted people.Formula will give the baby what they need nutrition wise. Believe me, I know!
- If formula feeding, mix the formula ahead of time in a larger container, then pour into bottles. This saves time and isn't as messy as making separate bottles.
- If formula feeding, the store brands are the same as the name brands. Check with your pediatrician before you change things up but know that many parents will use both name brand and store brand depending on coupons and prices.
- Use coupons. It saves a bundle. Especially for formula and diapers. Go online and register or sign up at all of the formula and diaper websites. Get on their mailing list. It's worth it. You will receive loads of great coupons in the mail.
- Ask your pediatrician for formula samples every time you're there.
- Coming from breastfeeding moms, nobody ever quite prepares you for how difficult, time consuming, and emotionally and physically draining breastfeeding will be. Take time for yourself and be sure to drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
- If your baby spits up often, try this: Pour an ounce of water on the counter to really see how much an ounce is. It may seem like baby is spitting up a whole bottle when in reality, it's really not that much. This is a good way to ease your mind and know what to tell the pediatrician when you tell them about your little one's spitting up.
- If bottle-feeding, know that there are different nipple shapes and flows. Some babies may not take to a certain shape nipple, be willing to change it. Also, some babies may need a faster or slower flow nipple, if it seems like they're feeding too fast or slow, think about changing the nipple.
- Here is some advice I received from a lactation consultant. Breastfeeding is not instinctive. Both mommy and baby need to learn how to make it work for them. Take time to learn together. Be comfortable in your environment.
No matter what, enjoy the time you spend feeding your baby. Before you know it your little bundle of joy will be an independent toddler.