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My Ngala • View topic - Newborns and feeding

Newborns and feeding

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Newborns and feeding

Postby NewMumtoBaby » Fri 24 May, 2013 9:58 am

Hi,

My baby is 3 weeks old and I'm not sure if He is feeding enough to get enough sleep between feeds.

Currently he feeds every 3 hours (from the start of the fed) but I find it difficult to put him to sleep straight after so he is only getting about 40-60 mins sleep. He feeds for about 30-35 mins in total.

Also I find he does stop crying pr is content unless he is being held and walked around till he falls asleep. Is this normal and will this cause him to always need this to fall asleep?
NewMumtoBaby
 
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Re: Newborns and feeding

Postby NgalaOnline » Fri 24 May, 2013 4:27 pm

Hi NewMumtoBaby

Thank you for your post and congratulations on your new little addition. The behaviour your baby is showing sounds very normal for a baby his age. Babies under about three months of age still have very immature brains, as large sections of their brains still have not undergone full maturation at this stage. New parents often feel under pressure to get their babies into a predictable routine very early on, and can feel that they are doing something wrong if their baby is unsettled or is not falling into the type of pattern that the parent had expected. Most newborns, however, will not fit into any type of predictable routine or pattern until they are around at least three months of age. Periods of unsettled behaviour and difficult-to-soothe crying or difficult-to-explain crying are normal parts of newborn development experienced by most newborns at some point. Newborn babies do need to feed very regularly, and research shows that most breastfeeding mothers need to breastfeed between 8 - 12 times in 24 hours in the first few months to help establish an adequate milk supply. Feeding every three hours is very normal for a baby your child's age, and is helpful for establishing a robust milk supply.

Newborns typically find it very difficult to move between sleep cycles and most young babies will have one or two longer sleeps in a 24 hour period but the rest of the day will usually be a series of small naps that can be as short as 20 minutes. Often starting around 4 to 5 weeks of age and lasting for several weeks, most newborns will also have an unsettled period of crying each day which can last several hours. This crying behaviour often occurs in the late afternoon or evening, but can occur at any time in the day. These unsettled crying periods have usually settled by the time the baby is 12 weeks old. It is very normal for babies to have their days and nights back to front at first and to take a few weeks or months to turn this back around. Exposure to early morning sunlight (such as sitting baby in the window or going for a short walk around the block early in the morning) can help babies to regulate their circadian rhythm and day and night awareness. It is normal that newborns may not want to settle straight back to sleep after a feed, and that they might be contented to have a short period of interaction or "play" (such as looking at their parent's face or looking at lights) at this time. Newborns typically seem to be ready to go back to bed an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes after they wake up, but this is a rough guide. It is normal for a newborn to take 30 - 35 minutes to feed. Babies usually get quicker and more efficient with feeding as they get older and often by 4 months of age they can take a full feed within 5 - 10 minutes.

It can be very helpful to know that under about 12 weeks of age babies do not have the ability to form habits or sleep associations. This means that walking, holding your baby, feeding or rocking him to sleep will not cause him to become dependent on these methods of soothing at this age. Feeding your baby on demand in response to his cues is optimal for his growth. Babies under three months do not have any ability to regulate their emotions and effectively calm and soothe themselves when they become distressed, meaning he is is reliant on you to comfort him when is becomes distressed. Walking with your baby as you are doing is very helpful. Some parents find that tight swaddling, movement (such as rocking), cuddling or a warm bath help their infant to calm down. Loud white noise louder than the baby's cry (such as a vacuum or loud radio static) is also very helpful for many babies. It is helpful to know that often a baby will not calm despite their parents doing everything they can to help their baby. It is also common for babies to be unpredictable and to soothe with one method one day but not the next day. It is helpful to know that by providing gentle calming and reassurance to your baby you are helping him even if he does continue to cry.

The newborn months are often a very intense time that can be draining for many parents. Babies during this time typically require a lot of time and care and it is common for parents to feel like all they do is feed and settle their baby. This is normal. It is helpful in the early months to focus on surviving through fatigue and unsettled periods, bonding with and enjoying your baby, cuddling with him, getting breastfeeding established with at least 8 breastfeeds in 24 hours, and supporting your baby through his unsettled periods. Parents do not need to be concerned that they are doing anything wrong if their baby needs a lot of physical contact and help with soothing and settling. Parents also do not need to be concerned about their baby establishing long-term habits at this age, or trying to get their baby into a scheduled routine. Around 10 weeks of age is a good time to begin gently working towards helping your baby learn to fall asleep in his own bed, providing as much hands-on-settling and support as he needs. Between 3-4 months sleep associations and habits begin to develop, so this is an ideal time to be helping the baby to learn to sleep in his bed and to do as much of the soothing for himself as possible.

During these early, intense newborn weeks, taking self care measures such as going to bed as soon you can in the evenings and sleeping when possible in the day is also helpful. Simplifying your life such as reducing domestic responsibilities as much as possible and having very quick and easy to prepare meals for a few weeks will help you to get through this challenging phase.

It sounds as though your baby is behaving like a normal newborn baby and as you though are doing a great job caring for him and responding to his needs. You may find the following 2 links helpful:

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/fussy.html
https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo ... nough-milk

You may also be interested in attending a "You and Your New Baby" parent workshop at Ngala:

http://www.ngala.com.au/course/Parentin ... r-New-Baby

I hope that this information has been helpful.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
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Re: Newborns and feeding

Postby NewMumtoBaby » Fri 24 May, 2013 8:21 pm

Thank you for the information you provided. It's god to hear that we aren't doing anything wrong.

We are finding that it is taking is a lot longer than an 1-1.15 mins to put our nub to sleep from the time he starts his feed. For example, I started feeding bub at 6.15 this evening and he finally went down at 8.10. I'm sure he will wake around 9 for his next feed and worried by this time he will be over tired.

Also he has a snotty nose so we are using Fess but it doesn't se to be helping with his breathing. I noticed this evening he has started to breath through his mouth. Should we be concerned or is this normal for a newborn to do this???
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Re: Newborns and feeding

Postby NgalaOnline » Sat 25 May, 2013 2:25 pm

Hi NewMumtoBaby

Thank you for your post. It is very normal for most newborns to have difficulties with falling to sleep, at least for some parts of the day. You might find that some settling sessions go much better than others, and this is normal. Settling newborns is very much a case of "you can lead the horse to water but you cant make it drink". Your part of the bargain is to watch him for signs of tiredness an hour or so after he has woken up and when you see these signs provide him with the environment and opportunity to sleep (such as swaddling him, taking him to his room and then cuddling, patting or rocking him to help him settle to sleep). The early tired signs that often precede later tired signs include looking away from your face, avoiding eye contact and disengaging from interaction. It is often a good idea to begin settling when you see these earlier signs, as by the time a baby shows later tired signs such as clenched fists, grimacing, grizzling, yawning or jerky movements they are often already overtired and more difficult to settle. If you provide the soothing and settling when your baby needs it that is all you can do, and you are doing your best for him. It is up to him to begin learning how to fall asleep, and it is normal for this to sometimes take longer and for the baby to sometimes stay away for long periods and become overtired. It is a step by step process that takes weeks or months to many babies to grasp, and unsettledness and occasions of overtiredness during these early newborn weeks are a normal part of newborn development. If you find that you are feeling very anxious about your baby's sleep and settling it could be helpful to discuss this with your child health nurse or the Ngala helpline. Observing the time or "clock watching" can make many parents feel more anxious about sleep and settling, so it is often good to try to take a laid back approach to it in the early weeks and to try not to be too concerned about how long your baby is awake for except for watching for tired signs after the baby has been awake for roughly an hour.

It is very normal for many newborns to have a blocked or stuffy nose in the early weeks of life, and this can be exacerbated if the baby has a virus. A lot of the stuffiness is due to the fact that baby's sinus and airway passages are very narrow and any mucus in the tubes can make breathing more difficult. Saline spray is helpful for many babies. If you have any concerns over your baby's breathing or if his breathing seems laboured at all it is best to get him evaluated by a medical practitioner, or to ring the HealthDirect helpline on 1800 022 222.

I hope that this information is helpful.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
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Re: Newborns and feeding

Postby NewMumtoBaby » Sat 25 May, 2013 6:14 pm

Thank you again. I wasn't sure if we should be concerned about the stuffy nose.
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Joined: Tue 21 May, 2013 11:13 am

Re: Newborns and feeding

Postby NgalaOnline » Mon 27 May, 2013 10:37 pm

You are welcome NewMumToBaby,

In general Ngala offers parenting advice and it is best to contact HealthDirect or your General Practitioner with any medical questions regarding your baby. I hope that things are going well.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
User avatar
NgalaOnline
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Tue 07 Dec, 2010 8:42 am


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