Newborn Feeding

When you get this new baby one of the most important things is making sure they are eating!  Breastfeeding is always best but some women have issues.  This section talks about some of those issues and how to manage formula feeding if necessary.

Feeding Station

Which ever way your choose to feed, one common mistake of first time parents is to feed their babies in their room.  This can often lead to a sleeping issue for the baby...  This creates a dependence for feeding to soothe and the baby wants to eat in the middle of the night regardless of whether or not they are actually hungry.  It's best if you can designate a separate common area for feeding.  Here are some suggestions when setting up your feeding area:

  • Create a calming environment

  • Keep your nursing pillow close by

  • During the day make sure it is bright to encourage baby to stay awake and feed well

  • See the daily schedule page to see what a typical feeding schedule looks like

Feeding an Infant

Breastfeeding was far from seamless for me.  Some feeds went well and some didn't, so I would also pump for the bad feeds to make sure there was always something to feed my daughter.  At two weeks we added one bottle of formula a day to give me a break.  I had guilt about this, and someone told me "there's no iron in breast milk, so look at one bottle of formula a day as different nutrients to their diet.

Some key points about feeding an infant:

  • Check the essentials tab for recommended feeding equipment.

  • Whether breast milk or formula, I used glass bottles and would boil water in a kettle and pour it into a plastic container to warm the liquid.  Remember to test it on your forearm to make sure it's not too hot before giving it to the baby!

  • Newborn or SLOW flow nipples only!  If milk flows too fast babies can choke, or be forced to over eat.  Take regular breaks (every 2 min stop feeding) to make sure the baby knows they are still hungry.

  • Liquid formula only for the first 12 weeks (powder is easy to contaminate for sensitive young infants).

    • Check out this formula feeding guideline by Kids Health, I found it very helpful!​

  • Sterilize all feeding pieces for the first 4 months! Dishwasher or microwave sterilizers works for bottles, nipples, rings, etc.

  • Breast milk storage as per Alberta Health Services guidelines, the "4 rule of thumb":

    • 4 hours at room temperature​

    • 4 days in the fridge

    • 4 months in the freezer (do not add fresh milk to frozen, it can thaw the frozen milk)

  • If you are having trouble breast feeding try a nipple shield