A guide to caring for your newborn Feeding, eating and burping

<p>Feeding, eating and burping</p>

Most newborns want to feed every 2 1/2 -3 1/2 hours and sleep in between feedings. Unless your provider tells you otherwise, feed on demand when your baby shows signs of hunger (crying, fussing or rooting). Feedings will go best if you follow these hunger cues and allow your baby to latch to the breast or bottle.

If you are breastfeeding, it usually takes about 72 hours (about three days) after birth for your milk to fully mature. Before this, you will produce colostrum, a yellowish liquid full of protein and nutrients. It is all your baby needs until your milk “comes in.” Some babies may seem frustrated and unsatisfied before the milk comes in and may want to feed all the time. This is OK for the first couple of days, but once your milk comes in, expect your baby to appear satisfied and take a long nap after a good feed.

Newborns will often feed for 20-30 minutes with one or two breaks to burp and another burp at the end of the feed. Feeding times will decrease as your baby becomes better at feeding. Most infants will find a rhythm, repeating their feeding routine every 21/2-31/2 hours.

When burping your infant, rest him/her on your chest or shoulder in an upright position. Your baby will usually burp in a few seconds or minutes. If you do not hear a burp after five minutes, you may have missed it and it is OK to move on.

Do not be surprised if your baby loses weight after birth. Most babies will lose between 6-12% of their birth weight in the first 3-5 days. After feeding well for several days, they should be back to their birth weight (or heavier) at the two-week checkup.

After a few days or weeks, babies will usually find a predictable routine. Once you and your pediatrician are sure your baby is feeding well and gaining weight, your provider will tell you that it is OK if your baby sleeps longer at night. Your baby will wake up and cry when ready to eat. Take care not to be too rigid with your baby's schedule and learn to read their cues.

A word about Vitamin D

If you are breastfeeding, we recommend giving your infant 400 units of vitamin D per day. A good option is D-vi-sol (1 ml once daily). It can be purchased at most drug stores and supermarkets.

Formula already contains vitamin D, so if more than half of your baby’s milk comes from formula, vitamin D is not needed.