By Priya Kathpal

How Often Do You Need To Feed Your Newborn?

A mother’s milk is the only thing the baby needs during the first six months of his or her life. When breastmilk is not available, a formula is a good alternative that ensures the baby gets all the required nutrients, which is needed during this crucial period.

Most babies can be fed 8 -12 times or more during a day. This means a feed every 2-3 hour but remember, there is no set number on the basis of which a baby should be fed. Each baby is different and will eventually have his or her own schedule to achieve the nourishment needed.

After the baby is born

Immediately after birth, it’s important that the baby is breastfed for colostrum feeding. Colostrum is a milky fluid that comes from the breasts of humans the first few days after giving birth before actual milk appears. It provides all the nutrients that a newborn needs in the early days to protect it against infections. This is not only extremely healthy but has immunity boosting properties.

How to know if the baby is hungry?

When babies are hungry they tend to exhibit certain behaviour such as stirring, stretching, sucking or lip movements. These are early signs and keen observation can help you feed the baby before they start getting cranky and fussy. This is also known as feeding on demand or demand feeding.

How long should you feed the baby?

The feeding time of the baby depends on the reaction of the baby.

  1. If the baby is unlatching or turning away from the nipple, not sucking anymore without being fussy, it means the baby is full or is taking a break.
  2. Try burping the baby before offering the breast or the bottle again. Many babies doze off while sucking and with time mothers can make out if the baby is feeding or isn’t. One can unlatch the baby gently in such situations and hold upright to burp.
  3. With time babies develop better sucking reflex and will consume more milk in shorter durations. There is nothing to worry about it. During growth spurts and with age milestones, the schedules may look different and they may end up asking for more.

Just trust your instincts, look for signs and feed on demand than going by the clock.

Sometimes, a new mother may feel worried the baby is not feeding enough or that she is doing something wrong. However, it is important to note that one should not stress too much over the baby’s feeding habits and focus more on other areas like weight gain, urinating at least 6 times in a period of 24 hours and a content baby in between the feeds.

Introduction of solid foods

After the first six months, solid food should slowly and gradually be introduced to the baby. These foods are also known as weaning foods and complementary or supplementary foods. It’s also important to introduce one food item at a time but ensure there is variety in food so that the baby develops a taste for different foods.

What foods to give to the baby?

Some simple but ideal food items for weaning the baby are porridges like ragi, semolina, khichdi (a mix of pulse and rice), baked, boiled or steamed veggies like carrots, beetroot, potatoes, broccoli, fruit pulps, whole wheat flour flatbread with some gravy, boiled egg yolks etc. The goal of weaning food is to start giving the baby home food by the age of 1 year. This means one should try to gradually include all the foods that are part of the family pot.

Breastfeeding and weaning is the most imperative part of infancy and it can also be turned into a bonding time for the caregiver and baby. During feeding time, try making eye contact and talk to the baby softly as it will make the baby feel more safe and secure.

This article was first published here –

By Priya Kathpal

Exercise & Diet Tips For New Moms To Curb Their Pregnancy Fat

Pregnancy is a phase when gaining healthy weight is crucial not only for the mom but also for the baby’s health. But once you deliver it is also very important to lose the extra pounds in a healthy and timely fashion. The more delay in shedding this excess fat, the more difficult it will be to achieve success in achieving your fitness goal.
Even though it may be a difficult task to immediately get back to a healthy routine and lifestyle due to erratic sleeping hours and other unexpected demands, it’s not impossible and simple changes can make it happen sooner than you think.
Studies have proven time and again that starting light physical activity as soon as possible after the delivery not only increases over all health and well-being but largely reduces the risk of postpartum depression. Having said that one should have a medical clearance from doctor before starting any exercise or physical activity program to make sure your body is prepared for any type of exertion.
What all can you do once you know the body is ready –
1. Simple walking, start with an easy going park like stroll and slowly work your way up to brisk walking. This can be done along with your baby, carry her on a front pack for some extra weight during your exercise.
2. Start reducing your simple sugars slowly and include more of complex, your baby does not require simple sugars to grow healthy which means your breast milk will still be having all the nutrients you intend your baby to consume.
3. Deep breathing is a good way to include 5-10 minutes of exercise every couple of hours during the day.
4. Go on a healthy lifestyle regime and shun all the packaged foods, not only is this great for healthy weight loss but has great benefits for your baby while breast feeding.
5. Pelvic floor exercises and simple stretching are also great way to get back to some form of activity which will help you get back your shape.
6. Do not neglect water and fluid intake. Consume homemade healthy soups, fresh juices without sugar, fruit infused liquids etc.
7. Try to sleep well, it may not be always possible with a new born but at least make sure that you get rest every time the baby is sleeping. This will help reduce your stress hormones which in turn will help you lose weight.
8. Make sure you have breakfast every morning without fail how much ever busy you are this one habit will take you a long way when it comes to leading a healthy life.
9. Go slow and get help, do not try to do everything together and all on your own. If it’s your first time there will be a learning curve that you will go through. Don’t be tough on yourself.
10. Keep an eye on your portion sizes and quality of between snacks.

How Often Do You Need To Feed Your Newborn?
Exercise & Diet Tips For New Moms To Curb Their Pregnancy Fat