Breastfeed your baby as much as (s)he wants. In the early days and weeks, your baby will wake and feed frequently, day and night.
When your baby is a newborn, their stomachs are tiny. Babies can physically take only small amounts of milk. They can digest breast milk easily and it soon gets absorbed it into their system. That’s why babies might demand constant feeding.
After the first few days, most young babies feed at least 8 to 10 times in 24 hours. This means your baby could be asking for a feed every 90 minutes to two hours.
It’s worth keeping an eye on the number of feeds the child has and offering them your breast, even if the baby not asking. By breastfeeding often, you’re building up your milk supply. The more your baby feeds, the more milk you will produce. This is called responsive feeding. And your baby will love snuggling into you, whether or not they are hungry.
Do check that your baby is latched on well. Otherwise, (s)he may be nipple-feeding, rather than breastfeeding. This can make your nipples sore, and your baby may be unsettled because they can’t get a good amount of milk. Get advice from your elders or paediatrician if you’re worried that your baby isn’t feeding well.
Your baby needs to open wide and take a good mouthful of your breast. Once they have latched on, the chin should be touching your breast, and the nose should be clear.
Your baby may want to feed more often, or for longer, at night. This is normal because your body produces more prolactin, the hormone that makes milk, at night. By feeding often at night, your baby stimulates your body to make more milk.
Over the next few months, your baby’s feeding pattern may become more predictable. This can take a while to establish, though, so try not to be disheartened.
Always keep the weight of the baby in check, to track their physical development. The track of baby’s weight will also help you to understand whether your baby is feeding enough or not. It is recommended to only breastfeed your baby until the age of six months and it can be continued till the age of two.
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