From birth, the two most common activities that babies enjoy are sleeping and feeding. In fact, they’re the ones who decide when to take feed and when to sleep. As a mother, you can just follow their orders. Feeding is the most wonderful time for you and your baby as it is the bonding time. During feeding, keep the lights off and use a soft voice. Just relax, forget your worries, look at the eyes of the baby, feel their presence, give them good position and latching, and rest will happen on its own.
Babies feed when they’re hungry and stop feeding when they’re full. This means that you breast or bottle-feed your infant whenever he or she shows signs of hunger, rather than setting a strict schedule. If baby is not waking up for a long time, wake him/her every 3 hourly and feed them.
Feeding will depend on your baby’s age. As your newborn grows, you may try these tips:
• At about 3 weeks your newborn’s nervous system is mature enough that he or she can wait longer between feedings and interact with you more at this age. Take cues from your baby. Don’t force your baby to engage with you when he or she is not responding and appears to be very hungry.
• Avoid socializing with your baby after he or she has is done with the feed. By doing this, you might be able to limit night time feedings.
• As your baby wakes up for the next feeding, try to respond before he or she starts to cry a lot. Your baby will feed and go back to sleep easier if he or she is calm.
• If you find that you want to give your baby more attention during night time feedings, plan for a time you can rest the following day to avoid fatigue.
• By age 2 months, many babies begin feeding less frequently at night.
• At age 3 to 4 months, babies are more interested in the world around them. Babies often interrupt feedings by looking around, smiling, cooing, and reaching for a parent’s face. This is a normal attempt to turn feeding times into a more social event and an opportune time for parents to interact with their babies.
• At age 6 months, most babies can be introduced to solid foods. This complements breast milk or formula. Try to be patient as your baby experiments and learns new eating skills like chewing and using cups and utensils.