The first thing to consider when feeding your newborn is whether you will give your baby formula or breastfeed. Newborns eat often -- the average schedule is 8 to 12 times per day. You should follow your newborn's feeding cues closely to know when it is time to start the process again. Establish a routine early, and the process will become easier.
Feeding Your Newborn: An Overview
Choosing a method of feeding your newborn baby and knowing how to do it can often be a daunting, pressure-filled experience. But the good news is that feeding your newborn eventually will be an enjoyable, heartwarming experience. In fact, regardless of whether you decide to breastfeed or feed your baby formula, this will be one of the first experiences that you share with your baby.
When first deciding how you will feed your newborn baby, there are a few important questions to ask:
- What I am going to feed him? Breast or bottle milk?
- Once I decide what to feed him, how do I do it?
What Am I Going to Feed My Baby?
The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life. This is mainly because breast milk contains naturally protective antibodies that help strengthen your baby's immune system and contains the exact nutritional needs for your baby.
Breastfeeding is emotionally rewarding, loaded with health benefits for mom and her baby, as well as also being quite cost-effective. So why doesn't everyone do it? It is simply not for everyone. For a multitude of reasons, from physical to personal choice, some moms may need to consider other options for feeding their newborn.
Feeding your baby formula is a nutritious alternative to breastfeeding. It, too, has many benefits that are often overlooked. Healthcare professionals often advocate breastfeeding as the best way to feed a baby, which unfortunately tends to portray baby formula as "not as good." However, formula is an equally healthy way to feed your baby.
(Click Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding to learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of these two newborn feeding options.)