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FEEDING

By now you’ve decided how you’ll be feeding your baby. For some new parents, feeding the baby is totally straight forward. It may take a few weeks to establish feeding properly, and you may need help and support, particularly if you are breastfeeding.

WIND

That’s taking in too much air with his milk, symptoms are tucking his legs up towards his chest and probably crying after or during a feed. He may make loud sucking noises at the bottle or breast. `Trapped wind is the number one-problem  with newborns, There is probably no harm in trying products like gripe water and Infacol that help babies burp up trapped wind (you can buy them in chemist and some supermarkets).

Some things your baby will do

SO HOW DO YOU BURP YOUR BABY?

  • Lay him against your shoulder.
  • Straighten his body and legs out by stroking down his back and legs firmly. You want his belly flat against you.
  • Gently pat or rub his back rhythmically until a burp comes out.
  • You can also wind your baby by sitting him in your lap, supporting his head and chest under his chin while you rub or pat his back with your other hand. Keep his back straight.
  • If nothing comes out about thirty seconds there may be nothing there, but you have to get to know your own baby on this one.
  • Try this mid-feed if he seems uncomfortable or is pulling away but hasn’t had much milk.

THROWING UP
HERE ARE THREE SICK-MINIMISING THINGS TO TRY:

  • Burp him halfway through a feed and avoid bouncing him around too much afterwards.
  • If bottle-feeding, check that the teat is suitable for his age. There are different `flow’ sizes: slow for newborns, getting faster for bigger babies. If the flow is too fast, it may cause him to throw up. You can also ask your health visitor about other feeding-bottle teats that might help.

    If breastfeeding, check that he is latched on well.

TALK TO YOUR GP IF:

  • He is throwing up frequently and not gaining weight.
  • He is gagging or coughing a lot.
  • He seems to be in pain
  • You’re just worried

POO

Your baby’s poos should be soft, watery and generally a light brown or mustardy yellow colour, though don’t worry if they are sometimes green. Thankfully, few parents are actively revolted by their own baby’s poo. Almost all babies sometimes do explosive poos, taking out an entire outfit, usually in public when you’ve forgotten your nappy bag. This does not mean they’re ill or even uncomfortable.

Pooing every after feed or more is perfectly normal in the early weeks. It is also normal-especially for breastfed babies to poo as little as once every three or four days, or even once a week.

You should also talk to the doctor if the poos are hard, pellet-like and obviously cause him pain, or even bleeding as they come out. He could be constipated, although a bit of straining or brief discomfort is normal.

Change his nappy whenever he seems wet, and definitely whenever he poos. In the few weeks this may happen ten or twelve times a day. It helps to have a `nappy station’.
If your baby bottom gets red and raw-looking, it could be nappy rash, usually caused by prolonged contact with pees or poo. Almost all babies get it at some point (girls seem to get it more easily than boys). Strong soap or bubble baths can also cause nappy rash, as can wipes containing alcohol, and a period of illness.

  • Wash and dry the area thoroughly.
  • Lie your baby on a towel and let him be nappy-free for as long as often as you can.
  • Slather a barrier cream on the red bits once your baby is clean and dry, before putting the nappy back on.
  • You don’t need to use barrier cream once your baby’s bottom has healed: Its generally better for the skin to breathe.

REFLUX

This is caused by stomach acid and milk flowing back up the throat during and after feeds. Your baby will be obviously distressed or `colicky’ (i.e. in pain, yelling, inconsolable) usually after or during a feed. Talk to your doctor if this seems to be happening.

SLEEP

New babies don’t know the difference between night and day, and they need to eat every couple of hours, so sleep deprivation is a huge part of any new parent’s life. In the first two or three weeks it is not worth getting obsessed about routines and schedules. Your baby will need lots of cuddles and feeds and will probably have no discernable sleep routines.

FARTING

They can be as loud as an adult’s and still entirely normal. If, however, they are accompanied by a lot of crying, your baby may be getting too much air with his feeds.

HICCUPING

Perfectly normal and common in new babies, hiccups don’t bother the baby as much as they would you, and usually abate as he gets bigger.

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