Some newborn babies are sleepy. That means your baby may not wake up on her own at least 8 times in 24 hours. Or your baby may latch and may fall asleep shortly after the feeding has started. Until your baby is waking up regularly and gaining weight steadily, you may sometimes have to wake your baby.
Tips to wake and feed a sleepy baby:
Adapted with permission from the Best Start Resource Centre.
Babies cry for many reasons – discomfort, loneliness, hunger, fear, tension, or tiredness. Some babies cry more than others even when they are healthy and well fed. This happens more often in the first three months. It also happens more at night. You cannot spoil your baby by holding and comforting her. In fact, babies develop best when their parents respond to their needs and cues.
When your baby seems to cry for no reason, try these suggestions:
Babies have some days when they seem hungrier than usual. These times are called growth spurts and commonly occur at around 10 days, 2 - 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months of age.
When this happens, some mothers worry that they do not have enough milk. There is no need to worry. The more you feed your baby, the more milk you will produce.
At first, most mothers feel a tug when their baby sucks. This can be a little uncomfortable. You should not experience any nipple pain. The most common cause of sore nipples is a poor latch.
If your nipples are sore from a poor latch, you may find:
To prevent and improve sore nipples make sure:
If you have sore nipples:
Get help to make sure your baby has a deep latch or to check what is causing your nipples to be sore.
If you do not feel some improvement within 24 hours or you notice redness, bruises or cracks call your health care provider for help or see Breastfeeding Help and Support in Grey and Bruce.
If you are expressing for a healthy full-term baby at home, store breastmilk using the following guidelines:
Use clean glass or hard plastic containers that are BPA free, or bags made for freezing milk. Do NOT use baby bottle liners because they often break. Mark the date you expressed the milk on the container. Use the older milk first. Throw out any milk that is older than the storage times given. You can cup or spoon feed your baby expressed breastmilk. If you would like more information or help, see Breastfeeding Help and Support in Grey Bruce.
A breastfed baby does not swallow much air. It is still a good idea to burp your baby. Some babies fuss if they need to burp. Burping may also help to wake your baby up so she can continue to feed if she wishes. Watch your baby to see how often she needs to be burped.
To burp your baby:
Pacifiers - Document courtesy of the Grey Bruce Health Unit
Many breastfed babies never use a pacifier. The way babies suck on a pacifier is different from the way they suck at the breast.
While your baby is still learning to breastfeed she may find it difficult to go from breast to pacifier and back again. Sometimes babies change the way they suck at the breast and become less efficient. This may cause sore nipples, or the baby may not gain weight well. Using a pacifier can cause mothers to make less milk.
Pacifiers can also increase the risk of babies getting ear infections and having later dental problems. If you decide to use a pacifier, avoid using it until breastfeeding is going well and only give it to your baby for a short time after she has fed.
Most women find their breasts feel larger and heavier on day 3 or 4 after the baby was born. This may last for about 48 hours. If your breasts feel swollen and tender, it is called engorgement. If your breasts become engorged, it may be more difficult for your baby to latch. Engorgement usually happens during the first week of breastfeeding, when your milk production starts to change from colostrum to milk. It can be due to:
You can prevent engorgement if you:
If your breasts are engorged:
After your engorgement is completely gone (at about 10 – 14 days) your breasts will feel softer and less full. This is because the swelling has gone away. It does not mean you are losing your milk.
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