When and where possible, I really like to try and keep things simple and easy to implement for new parents. There are times when as a mum or dad, you will find that life becomes a bit more complicated which is why by keeping it simple to start with, you’ll have the energy to manage the busy bits.
The three areas most mums want help with are pretty much the same for all mums and babies.
As as mum, you want to know that 1) your baby is getting enough milk, 2) in a way that works for both of you, so that 3) you can all get some sleep.
You can manage all three of these areas quite simply by getting to know your baby, trusting your instinct and getting the right guidance when you need it.
If you are breastfeeding, you need to follow your baby’s feeding cues and feed him/her when needed. If your little one isn’t waking for feeds regularly, you can wake baby to feed at least every 3 hours from the start of one feed to the start of the next during the day. Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt and it shouldn’t leave your baby windy and uncomfortable either. If you find either of these happening, get in touch with us so that we can help you resolve these really common but unnecessary blips as quickly as possible. In order to help your breastfeeding baby sleep better at night, ensure that you get as many feed in during the day so that baby accumulates most of his/her required 24 hourly calorie quota, so that less feeds are needed at night. Don’t try to stretch your baby at night, instead, feed well during the day so that your baby naturally sleeps better at night.
If you are bottle-feeding, ensure that you know how much your baby needs at each feed. This may be a little more or less than the calculation on the back of the tin suggests. By following your baby’s cues, you encourage baby to be aware of how much he or she needs and your confidence in baby’s cues, ensures that you don’t overfeed your baby or undercut what he/she needs. Bottle-fed babies tend to be a bit more windy that the average breastfeeding baby because when breastfeeding, baby is generally given breast milk in 30ml increments. When bottle-feeding, baby has access to free flowing milk until it stops flowing. So to encourage your baby to feed in a way that reduces unnecessary trapped wind, colic, crying and discomfort, pace your baby’s feeds and stop for a break after each 30ml or so. As you can see how much your baby is getting at each feed, you can be confident that baby is getting enough milk, so the most common cause for wakeful nights is trapped wind. Winding your baby really well, moderating milk flow and ensuring your baby’s feed is paced will lead to better nights and more sleep for everyone.
You and your baby are unique so your feeding and sleep plans should be unique too. Don’t compare yourself to other mums or your baby to other babies you know. Just make sure that you own and enjoy your own experience.