As a new mom, you will have a lot of challenges on your plate to deal with. One of those challenges is feeding your newborn.
Feeding newborns is difficult in itself. What makes it more challenging is the fact that many new moms are unaware of the mistakes they make when taking on this task.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most common mistakes new moms make when feeding their newborns. The purpose of this article is to educate you regarding these mistakes so that you don’t make them yourself.
Inconsistent Feeding Schedules
One of the first mistakes new moms make is failing to establish a consistent feeding schedule for their newborns. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of caring for a baby. However, as the BabyCenter reports, infants thrive on routine. Inconsistency can lead to problems such as irregular sleep patterns, fussiness, and various other difficulties in establishing a strong mother-baby bond.
Hence, to avoid such inconsistency, you must set up a feeding schedule aligning with your baby’s natural hunger cues.
Usually, newborns have to be fed once every two or three hours. You must keep an eye out for any hunger cues. These cues may involve rooting, sucking on their fingers, or crying.
Over time, you can develop a predictable feeding routine that works for both you and your baby. This will help provide a sense of security and comfort for your little one.
Ignoring the Challenges and Difficulties of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is a natural way to provide nutrition to your newborn. However, it can also be fraught with challenges.
According to UNICEF, some common breastfeeding challenges include sore nipples, poor latch, engorgement, and low milk supply. Many new moms make the mistake of ignoring or dismissing these challenges. They think that the issues will resolve themselves. This can lead to frustration and even an early end to breastfeeding.
To overcome these challenges, you must be proactive and seek assistance from a lactation consultant or a healthcare professional. They can provide guidance, support, and techniques to help deal with these difficulties. Doing so will ensure that both you and your baby benefit from the many advantages of breastfeeding.
Overdependence on Baby Formula
Making your child overdependent on baby formula can pose several health and lifestyle risks.
Firstly, formula feeding, in general, can increase the chances of eczema, food allergies, asthma, etc. Overdependence might worsen these problems. Besides, growing too dependent on baby formula also means that your child won’t be too eager to consume breast milk at times. You might also struggle when trying to make them habituated to solid foods.
On top of all that, many baby formulas have been found to be toxic.
According to TorHoerman Law, even popular baby formula brands like Similac and Enfamil have been revealed to be toxic. These formulas, apparently, increase the risk of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). NEC can lead to serious complications in your child including the perforation of the intestine and even death.
The baby formula lawsuit, or the NEC lawsuit, was filed against these toxic baby formula brands to seek compensation for the NEC formula victims. The NEC lawsuit payout may range between $5,000 to over $500,000. Such a high payout amount indicates just how grave the situation surrounding these toxic formulas really is.
When your baby grows too dependent on baby formulas, you increase their chances of being exposed to such health risks. Instead, what you should do is strike a balance between formula feeding and breastfeeding. Also, when choosing a formula, always do thorough research to ensure that it’s not toxic or harmful to your baby in any way.
Overlooking Bottle Preparation and Sterilization
For moms who choose to bottle-feed their newborns, it’s essential to understand the need for proper bottle preparation and sterilization. One of the most significant mistakes new moms make is overlooking these critical aspects. This, in turn, can potentially expose their baby to harmful bacteria.
To avoid this mistake, always sterilize bottles, nipples, and other feeding equipment before and after using them. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for sterilization methods.
You must also ensure that the formula is mixed correctly with the right water temperature and quantity. Only then can you rest assured that you’re providing your baby with safe and nutritious feedings.
Rushing the Transition to Solid Foods
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you exclusively breastfeed your child for the first six months of life. This is to be followed by the introduction of solid foods while continuing to breastfeed for at least one year.
Rushing this transition can lead to digestive problems, allergies, and difficulty in adjusting to new textures and tastes. Therefore, the transition to solid foods can’t be rushed and instead, must be done slowly. If needed, talk to a pediatrician who can help you better understand how this transition should be done.
Neglecting Proper Burping Techniques
Newborns often swallow air while feeding, which can lead to discomfort and colic if not properly burped. Neglecting proper burping techniques is a common mistake that new moms make, thinking that the baby’s fussiness is due to other factors.
Make burping an integral part of each feeding session, whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. Hold your baby upright against your shoulder or gently pat their back while supporting their head. Listen for burps, and continue until they’ve expelled all the trapped air.
This simple practice can alleviate discomfort, reduce gas, and help your baby have a more peaceful feeding experience.
Ignoring Post-Feeding Care
Another common mistake new moms make is ignoring post-feeding care. It’s absolutely crucial to ensure your baby is comfortable, clean, and safe after a feeding.
Always remember to burp your baby as mentioned earlier. Afterward, change their diaper if necessary and hold them upright for a short period to help with digestion and minimize the risk of reflux.
Make sure your baby is comfortable and calm before laying them down for a nap or bedtime. This will help prevent issues like colic or regurgitation.
As evident from our discussion so far, there’s a lot of scope for you to make mistakes when it comes to feeding a newborn. Even then, with a bit of care, it’s possible to avoid these mistakes. In doing so, you can properly cater to your child’s dietary needs and ensure that they can grow up without any health problems.