Newborn: what is on-demand feeding?

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The first weeks of a baby’s life are mainly punctuated by feedings or bottles to be given. During this period, it is recommended to feed it on demand. But what does that mean exactly? And above all, why is it recommended? Explanations.

Midwives and pediatricians all (or almost) recommend that young parents feed their newborns on demand, at least for the first few weeks after childbirth. The reason for this on-demand diet is quite simple: to respect the infant’s needs and to guarantee good growth.

To start breastfeeding well

If you are breastfeeding your baby, you will quickly understand that feeding him on demand will allow you to start your lactation well, and therefore ensure the success of your breastfeeding. Indeed, after the flow of milk (which occurs between 3 and 5 days after childbirth), a good lactation can only be set up if the baby sucks very regularly, as well as under the effect of skin to skin.

Recognize when a newborn is hungry

A hungry infant wakes up first and slowly tries to nurse. He will start by moving his head a little while making sucking noises. Then he will start to wave his hands a little. If the food doesn’t get to him, he will suck his fingers or his hand, then he will moan and turn his head harder and harder to find a breast… only to cry. Rest assured! If at first it may be difficult for you to recognize the signals, you will quickly notice when it is time to feed your baby.

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Bottle feeding and on demand, possible or not?

If you are not going to breastfeed, you are probably wondering if it is possible to practice on-demand feeding when you bottle-feed your baby? Well know that yes, it is quite possible. It’s even particularly recommended if you don’t want to risk overfeeding your baby.

To do this, you have to be just as attentive to the signs indicating that the baby is hungry, but also that he has eaten enough. And to recognize a baby who is full, it’s quite simple: he will tend to let himself go completely and fall asleep on his bottle, without showing interest in what is left of his milk.

No clear schedule for baby’s meal

Some future and very young parents are afraid of the lack of schedule caused by on-demand feeding and the fatigue that this choice generates. And we must admit that by choosing to eat on demand, fatigue can be felt, in particular because you have to be available 24 hours a day for the baby, especially if you are breastfeeding. But don’t worry, if baby’s meals will be taken anytime at first and it can certainly be difficult, know that little by little, your baby will find his own rhythm. Then, when the time comes for food diversification, the rhythm will be very fast thanks to the purees and compotes, and you will then be able to have days less occupied by feedings or other bottles to give.

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The sure-fire trick to tell if your baby is getting enough milk

This is a question that all young parents who are a little stressed. To be reassured, know that the number of diapers your baby has soiled is a good way to tell if he has eaten enough. For example, a baby who is fed enough will fill five to six diapers per day.

You can also refer to your toddler’s growth chart: a baby who is gaining weight is a fed baby. But be aware that babies who are breastfed gain less weight than babies who are bottle-fed. To learn more about the growth chart of breastfed and bottle-fed babies, talk to your pediatrician.

More advice for future and young parents

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