Wearing a white onesie, a newborn baby sleeps on his stomach.
Congratulations! What do you do now that you have a newborn kid at home? The only thing this new little being seems to want to do is eat or sleep. And the majority of new parents question if this is typical. Yes, it’s quite normal! It may seem simple to eat and sleep all day, but it’s not as straightforward as it appears when you’re doing it for the first time. There are a lot of questions that come up. “Do I have to wake the baby to feed?” etc. “How much should I feed?” says the narrator. “How often do you do it?” The good news is that most newborns have similar behaviour patterns at first. Because babies can’t tell us if they’re hungry or weary in the typical fashion, knowing these patterns and what to expect can be quite useful for a new parent.
Fluctuations are to be expected.
The stomachs of newborns are extremely small. And as they grow, so do their stomachs. As a result, their requirements are continually evolving. And, like you, they won’t always eat the same amount of food at each meal. You, like your infant, have times when you’re a little more hungry than others. Everything you learn about feeding newborns should only be taken as a starting point. The finest thing you can do right away is learn to recognise your own baby’s indications. Feed your infant if he appears to be hungry. It’s fine if your kid seems to want a bit more or less than what you’ve read. It may be difficult at first to recognise your baby’s cues, but with practise, you will be able to do so!
It’s Normal to Lose Weight
The first thing to keep in mind is that almost all newborns lose weight after they are born. However, we normally don’t want them to lose more than 10% of their birth weight. By 3-5 days of life, they should have regained that weight and should be back to their birth weight by two weeks.
We also count from the start of one feed to the start of the next when we talk about feeding intervals for babies. If you’ve never fed a baby before, this may seem like a minor detail. But once you’ve done it, you’ll realise how crucial it is to know this information. The process of feeding the infant, which includes burping, changing a diaper, and all the other messy things that can occur, can take up to an hour!
Here’s how to feed your baby in the first few days.
Day 1: Feeding Your One-Week-Old Baby (0-24 hours)
For both the parents and the infant, birth is both an exciting and stressful experience. So, just like you, your infant will be pumped for around an hour following the event before falling asleep. So, as soon as it’s safe, take advantage of skin-to-skin contact. Please don’t worry if you or your baby aren’t medically stable enough for skin-to-skin yet; you’ll have plenty of snuggling time later. First and foremost, safety!
If you’re breastfeeding, attempt to get your baby to latch within this first hour, when he’ll be the most attentive and awake. Right now, don’t expect to see much. It’s fine if no or only a few drops of/colostrum come out; it’s still highly useful. Every 1-4 hours, spend around 5-10 minutes on each breast. In a 24-hour period, you should aim for 6-8 feeding.
Your kid may only need 5-15 mL every 1-4 hours if you’re bottle-feeding.
Day two (24-48 hours)
If you’re nursing, aim for 8-12 feeds in 24 hours. Allow no more than 3 hours between feeds for your baby, day or night. Each breast should be cooked for at least 5-10 minutes. Take advantage of all the resources available to you. This isn’t the time to be timid! Nurses, postpartum doulas, physicians, and lactation consultants are all resources that can be beneficial. For others, mastering the method appears to be a difficult task. Having an additional pair of hands from a partner can be really beneficial.
If you’re bottle-feeding, your infant may need 10-30mL every 1-3 hours. Allow no more than 3 hours between feeds for your baby, day or night.
3rd day (48-72 hours)
If you’re nursing, aim for 8-12 feeds in 24 hours. Each breast should be cooked for 10-20 minutes. It’s a supply and demand situation when it comes to breastfeeding. More hormones are released in your body to increase milk production as your baby feeds on your breast. As a result, the more your baby eats, the more money you’ll make.
Your infant may need 15-60 mL every 1-3 hours if you’re bottle-feeding.
Allow no more than 3 hours between feeds for either type of baby, day or night.
Days 4–2 Weeks
Your milk should arrive between days 3 and 5. However, for the first few weeks, you should continue to feed both breasts for each feed because you’re still establishing your supply. If you’re nursing, aim for 8-12 feeds in 24 hours. Continue on each breast for another 10-20 minutes. In addition, your infant is most likely using you as a pacifier. It’s time for you and your nipples to take a rest.
If you’re bottle-feeding, your infant may need 30-90 mL (1-3 oz) every 1-3 hours. Take your baby’s weight in pounds and multiply by 2.5 to get an estimate of how much he or she will need in 24 hours. This is the amount of ounces your kid will require in a 24-hour period. An 8-pound baby, for example, will require 8 x 2.5 = 20 ounces per day. If your infant eats eight times a day, each feeding will be roughly 2.5 ounces.
Allow no more than 3 hours between feeds, day or night, for both nursing and bottle-feeding. It’s normally fine to go longer than three hours between feeds once your baby has gained weight and is back over birth weight. Even so, I still recommend waking your baby during the day so that if he goes too long between meals, it will be at night. Isn’t it wonderful to have 4 hours of unbroken sleep right now?
What is the best way to tell if my baby is getting enough milk?
Weight gain and wet and dirty diapers are the strongest indicators of whether your baby is getting enough breastmilk or formula. There’s a wonderful guideline for this, too, for the first week! In a 24-hour period, your baby should have the same number of wet (pee) diapers as her age in days. She should have one wet diaper on day one. She should have two wet diapers on day two. This holds true until the fifth or sixth day of life. The quantity of soiled poopy diapers isn’t as important as the consistency. As your baby eats and gains weight, the excrement will change from thick meconium to more watery stool.
Here are a few nursing pointers to get you started:
While breastfeeding, don’t expect the infant to be latching and sucking the entire time. Consider how you would consume a sandwich. You take a bite, chew it, swallow it, and then set it down for a few minutes before returning to it. Your baby will have her own eating style, which you will discover through time.
Don’t put up with a lousy latch or suffer through it. If the pain or pinching continues throughout the feed, gently release the baby’s latch with your clean finger, remove her from the breast, and try again. Your nipples will be destroyed if you have a faulty latch, and your baby will not be able to get the milk out successfully.
Your One-Week-Old Baby and Sleep
Babies, especially newborns, sleep a lot. In a 24-hour period, you can sleep for up to 16-18 hours. They do, however, only sleep for a few hours at a time. They also lack a well-established circadian rhythm. For at least the first 6-8 weeks, their days and nights may be messed up.
Babies are very tired during the first two weeks, and even more so during the day. One of the most difficult tasks for new parents is awakening the infant to eat. However, it is critical that they continue to do so until they have regained their birth weight. Around the age of two weeks, newborns “wake up.”
Until then, keep the lights turned on and your baby unwrapped until feeding time. If the infant keeps falling asleep while feeding, you don’t want it to be overly warm and comforting.
Don’t Forget to Look After Yourself!
So that’s my best overview of your baby’s eating and sleeping habits during the first week.
Now, please, new parent, don’t forget to eat and sleep! Both appear to be extremely different for you now than they did previously, yet they are still vital.
Drink a lot of water and keep a large jug with you at all times! Straws come in handy. Throughout the day, eat a variety of healthful snacks. Consider proteins, healthy fats, carbs, and everything in between! It’s fine if you eat one-handed snacks and some crumbs fall on your baby.
Sleep is also taking on a new meaning for you. You won’t get everything you need, but you should make sleep a priority for yourself as well. For the time being, leave the dishes in the sink. Alternatively, enlist the help of someone else to complete them. You must eat and sleep as if you were a newborn baby!