Breastfeeding and bottle feeding are feeding methods used by parents. Each family has to decide what works best for them. Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your newborn, there are some helpful tips to keep in mind.

Keeping Baby Awake During Feedings

Newborns often fall asleep during feedings. In order to keep your baby awake during feedings.

  • Talk to your baby while feeding
  • Keep the lights on during the day
  • Rub your baby’s feet to keep him awake
  • Hold your baby skin to skin for 10-15 minutes prior to feeding

Bottle Feeding Tips

  • Burp your baby after every 1-2 oz.
  • Use slow flow nipples
  • Tip the bottle upward so no air is flowing into the nipple
  • Alternate arms you bottle-feed baby with This allows both sides of your baby’s brain and fine motor skills to develop during feedings.

Breastfeeding Tips

  • Keep baby feeding on one side of the breast for longer. If you have a large milk supply, it’s important to keep your baby on one side of the breast for longer rather than switching to the second breast prematurely. This is because you want him to receive a good balance of hind milk and foremilk. During the first part of a feed, your breast milk contains high water and lactose levels, and has low fat content. As the feeding continues, the high-in-fat hind milk is released, which helps baby to digest the lactose of the foremilk. Without this nutritional balance, babies can get gassy, fussy and have frothy stools.
  • Always supplement the baby with formula and pump to protect your supply if your baby won’t latch and has missed more than 1 feeding
  • Pumping can help increase your supply
  • If baby falls asleep at the breast, you can stop and change the diaper or burp the baby and switch sides. You can also massage and compress your breast while feeding to increase the flow of milk and get baby sucking again

Positioning Tips

Newborns may not have the strength to latch and breastfeed without good positioning.

  • The baby should be turned towards mom, their body should be in straight line with their hips flexed, and feet supported against something like a pillow and not dangling. A breastfeeding or regular pillow may be helpful in supporting your baby’s body.
  • Your nipple should be at the level of the baby’s nose. The baby should be lifted to the level of mom’s breast so the breast remains in its natural position.

Latching Tips

It is important to ensure that your baby is latching deeply during each feed.

  • Use your hands to cradle the breast and hold your baby behind the shoulders.
  • Bring your baby onto the nipple when she opens her mouth wide. She should latch chin first and then over the nipple. Her lips should be flanged back to create a good seal.

Relieve Engorgement

  • After feeds, apply lanolin ointment to relieve soreness
  • Use nipple shields to aid healing or to help a baby that is unable to latch
  • Use a pump for 12-24 hours
  • Apply warm compress to soften the breasts and encourage let down
  • Massage breasts before feeding
  • Apply cold compress 10-20 mins after feeding to relieve inflammation
  • For extreme engorgement, pump for 1-5 minutes, apply cold compress to breasts, and hand express some milk for comfort.

For more breastfeeding tips check out these 37 tips from Parents Magazine.

Parents decide whether to breastfeed or bottle feed their baby and tips can be helpful, especially for first time parents.

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