Key points about feeding and burping a newborn

0-3 Months : Newborn babies need to be fed frequently. Though each baby is different, newborn babies need to feed 8-12 times in 24 hours.


If you want to follow a schedule, you can feed the baby every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours during night. If you see your baby going without feed for over 4 hours, you should wake the baby up gently and feed the baby. Consult your doctor regarding this.


Many lactation consultants these days recommend breast feeding on demand. This is also good for establishing milk-supply. It is important to let baby suck on both breasts to establish milk supply in both breasts. Let the baby suck on one breast till satisfied and then offer the other one and let baby suck as long as s/he wants to. Next time, offer the second breast first. This way, both breasts will be stimulated and it will help build healthy milk-supply.


Start breastfeeding as soon as you can in the hospital. Even if you feel baby is not getting enough, try not to supplement with formula or sugar water. Tell the nurses or health-care providers that you want to breast-feed frequently. Remember that first couple of days, your breasts produce colostrum, which is thicker than actual milk and is produced in less quantities. This colostrum is very rich and concentrated in nutrients and antibodies. The antibodies in colostrum provide passive immunity, while growth factors stimulate the development of intestine. It also mild laxative effect which helps in passing of baby’s first stool or meconium. This clears excess bilirubin from newborn’s body, thus helping prevent jaundice in infant.


Burping baby


It is very important to burp baby after every feeding. When a baby sucks on a nipple, s/he also swallows air along with the milk, which can make baby feel uncomfortable and full before her little tummy is actually full. Burping brings up excess air which is accumulated. Bottle-fed babies have more incidence of trouble with gas than breast-fed babies. If your baby has too much problem with gas, try burping baby between feeds too.


Baby can be burped in many positions. However , the most common one is to place baby upright over your shoulder. Protect your clothes with a burp cloth or any old towel etc. Hold baby firmly against your shoulder with one hand and gently pat or rub your baby’s back till you hear a burp. Burp may sometime come within a few seconds and might take several minutes at other times. Try burping for about 5-10 minutes and if baby does not burp, it could mean that baby did not swallow much air. Burping brings up some milk with air. This is known as spitting-up which is very common. You can keep a burp cloth on your shoulder to save your clothes from getting spoilt.


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