Updated: Feb 24
Sufficient nutrition is crucial for a healthy, happy and strong baby. Half of a baby’s life revolves around eating and sleeping and these are crucial for their growth and development. This makes feeding one of the core activities involved in baby care.
If your baby is still being breastfed, then you are most likely aware of the importance of eating a healthy and nutritious balanced diet yourself, as this affects the nutritional content and composition of your breast milk, which at this stage is the child’s primary means of sustenance.
As your baby grows, they move away from breast milk to softer foods like smooth purée and soon after that they become able to start picking up and taking in solid foods.
This means that at every stage of your baby’s growth, you need to be focused on what you are feeding them, and ensure that every single food they take in has enough nutrients and minerals that are in the right proportions.
We have put together some top feeding tips to serve as a quick guide to having a healthy, smart and strong baby.
1. Proper Hold.
To ensure that your baby is in a comfortable position to get enough milk during breastfeeding, you need to hold your newborn in the correct manner so that they can swallow easier. The way you hold your baby will depend on certain factors such as how you delivered your baby, your breast size and comfort. Some types of holds you can use when feeding your infant include:
• Football Hold: the football hold is very convenient if you have bigger breasts or if you gave birth through a caesarean section.
• Cross Cradle Hold: this is a common hold with a relaxed feeding position. If you want to have better head control of your baby, which at this point is still delicate, then you should feed your baby using the cross-cradle hold. This type of hold is also great if you had your baby through vaginal delivery.
2. Get comfortable.
To ensure that your baby is well-fed, it is important that you sit in a comfortable and relaxed position. You should not feel tense or uncomfortable. Make sure you relax your shoulders and arms when holding your baby in your arms and try not to tense up because this can disrupt the free flow of milk to your nipples.
3. Seek support.
You can always ask your midwife or health consultant to address any concerns you might have considering breastfeeding or solutions if you are experiencing any pain, irritation or discomfort when your child is suckling.
You can also find and join any support group for breastfeeding and nursing mothers. This can help you meet with other new and experienced mom’s sharing their own tips and advice on the entire process.
4. Correct Bottle feeding.
Bottle feeding is an alternative way for you to feed your baby if for some reason you cannot breastfeed or have to leave your infant at home with a nanny or babysitter. The steps below can help guide you if you intend to bottle feed your baby:
• Separate all the different parts of the feeding bottle, wash them in clean warm water and leave to dry before using.
• You need to read the instructions and content of the baby formula carefully before use.
• Pour in the breast milk or baby formula. Your doctor or lactation consultant can tell you how much your baby needs for each feeding session.
• Never put anything into your baby's bottle without confirming first with your doctor or lactation consultation.
• Before you feed your baby using the feeding bottle, ensure that the breast milk or baby formula is at room temperature. To warm the bottle's content, make sure the top is sealed tight and place it in a bowl of warm water for some minutes. Do not microwave your baby's milk or formula.
• Check to see that the milk or formula is not too warm by placing a few drops on the inside of your wrist.
• When your baby is ready to eat, find a comfortable spot and hold your baby in an upright position, not lying down to prevent overfeeding, vomiting, spitting or choking.
• Gently place the tip of the feeding bottle at an angle into your baby's mouth. The bottle's tip should only be half full to allow your baby feed at a convenient pace and prevent choking.
• If your baby coughs or choke stop feeding and burp him/her gently. Burping should also be done in between feeding to release any wind that is stuck in your baby’s stomach, which can cause discomfort.
• If your baby is full, he or she will turn away from the bottle or close their mouth. Burp your baby gently.
• Afterwards, throw away the content of the feeding bottle if your baby does not eat it within an hour and wash the bottle.
The use of a good breast pump is a sound investment even if you are breast-feeding most of the time as it provides convenience if you have to leave your baby in the care o