The topic of feeding frequency was bothering me long before Gina was born. I often wondered how much and how often should I feed her. And if there are any clear guidelines. It seems that not only me was having this kind of thoughts. Most moms wonder if it is better to adhere to a schedule or just go along with what nature dictates. I chose the latter and was back up by our pediatrician.
When to feed your newborn?
According to my pediatrician it is best to feed your baby whenever she requires it. In fact some studies show that babies that are fed according to strict schedules are more prone to slower physical development and slower weight gains. You also have to remember that babies who drink only breast milk can digest it faster than formula milk as it contains most natural ingredients. It is therefore recommended to feed breastfed babies more frequently. If a newborn is asleep for longer than 4 hours you should wake her up for feeding. This is a common mistake made by mothers that are just fond of their baby sleep. When a baby awakens from long sleep she is usually starving and such situation is usually not pleasant for both the little one and the mother.
How did I know it’s time?
There are certain signals your baby send that would indicate that she is hungry. The loud scream is the last one of them and it usually indicate starving. According to our doctor you should try to avoid such state. Signals that are quite clear include:
- sticking fingers into mouth,
- sucking on a fist,
- rooting for breast.
How do I know it good for her?
The best indication that my daughter was getting right amount of food was the weight gain. A perfect weight gain for a newborn is around one ounce per day. Older babies usually gain weight slowlier.