Babies can’t talk, but they can show you when they want to eat! They do this by showing special feeding cues. Watch for these cues and feed baby whenever you see them for as long as he wants. This helps your baby be happier and cry less. It also helps you make more milk so your baby can grow well.
Your body is amazing! You have the ability to feed and comfort your baby at the same time. Your baby’s cues make it easier to know when!
Babies feed when they’re hungry, when they need comfort, or want to suck. Your baby will show you feeding cues when he’s ready. When you respond to baby’s cues, he learns to trust that you will meet his needs. This makes him feel secure so he cries less. As long as you respond to his cues, he will keep showing them.
If you missed baby’s feeding cues, he sends out a frantic distress signal by crying. Loudly! Baby is mad and upset now, so forcing him to feed may make him cry even more. Calm him first to lower his stress. Then watch for feeding cues next time so he doesn’t have to cry to get your attention.
Your baby prefers you over a pacifier! A pacifier makes it hard to see your baby’s feeding cues. It can also cause problems with breastfeeding. If you really want to use a pacifier, wait until about a month after your baby is born. Pacifiers will not interfere with feeding then.
As mom’s champion, you can help her look for baby’s feeding cues.
After the baby is born, mom may be tired and in pain. It’s hard to be patient while baby is learning to feed if you don’t feel well. When baby cries, it’s easy to become frustrated.
As her champion, you can help her get the rest she needs. Suggest she take a nap, and watch the baby while she rests. Gently wake her when you see that the baby is getting restless and showing feeding cues. Lay the baby on her chest skin to skin. If baby is already upset and crying, help her calm the baby so she can feel more relaxed.
There’s no greater feeling than knowing you are the one who comforts and satisfies your baby when he needs it most.
At first, your body makes only small amounts of your first milk. It is the perfect amount (around a teaspoon) to fill your baby’s small tummy. Lots of frequent, small feedings help your baby’s small tummy stretch and grow. Soon you will begin making more milk. By then, your baby’s tummy is the right size to handle it.
Wow! It doesn’t get any more magical than that!
For your baby, home is in your arms. Baby finds all he needs there: food, love, warmth, comfort, and safety. That’s why on the second day or night, when most babies wake more, fuss, or cry, your arms are where he wants to be! Baby will stay calmer and more content when he stays close.
There are lots of ways you can decrease baby’s crying and soothe him when he is upset.
On the first day of life, babies are often very sleepy. By day two things change! Babies tend to wake more and are much more alert! If a lot of people were in the room or it is noisy, baby can become bothered and cry a lot. Most babies want to feed a lot on day two. This does not always mean they are hungry. It often means baby is ready to practice feeding and needs lots of comfort at your breast. This is where he feels safe and calm. Just hold the baby skin to skin and feed him when he wants.
Babies cry for lots of reasons! They fuss when they are too hot or too cold. They cry when they are tired or when it is too loud. They cry when too many people hold them. They cry if they are not comfortable or they have a wet or dirty diaper. Babies also get upset if the way you are latching the baby is not working for them, or they are hungry.
Many babies give signs they need something from you before they start to cry. Baby might frown, arch his back, or tense up his face or body. He may push away or turn from you. Baby might grunt or make other sounds that show he is annoyed. When you respond to these special signs you teach baby you are here to meet his needs. Use calming techniques as soon as you see baby is getting upset.
It takes a team to help create calm, especially on the second day of baby’s life!
After the baby is born, mom may be tired and in pain. It’s hard to be patient with a fussy baby if you don’t feel well. When you remain calm it can help mom stay calm, too. Offer to help calm the baby while she takes a break. Remind her that baby wants to be at her breast for comfort, not just for food.
Mom is not the only one baby wants to be near! Babies also love being close to dad, too. Hold the baby skin to skin so baby can feel your deep vocal cords when you sing or talk softly. Dads and other family members can also calm a fussy baby by holding the baby close and rocking or swaying him gently.
Once you learn more about your baby in the early days, it will be easier to soothe him before he gets too upset.
The hospital stay is the best time to learn your baby! Baby is ready to teach you, and being close will help you have the time you need to get in sync right away. This helps baby learn quickly that you will meet his needs. The hospital nurses and lactation consultants are also there to help. They can show you cues your baby gives so you will know how to meet his needs.
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