With your first child, the experience of how to feed them is all new. You question yourself, for how long should I do it? What if the baby does not start feeding? How much should I feed them? and countless other frantic questions pop into your head, as you venture into the unknown. There is no right or wrong way to motherhood, just years of experience that accumulates over the years. You will not know which works better for you or your baby until you try.
How to Breastfeed
If you feel happy breastfeeding there are actually certain benefits to doing so.
- Breast milk can boost your baby’s immune system to protect it from diseases and infections.
- It enables you to form a close bond with your baby.
- It is not painful, perhaps only a little sore on the first occasion.
- It is available whenever your baby needs it.
- The health benefits for yourself include, more protection against things like breast/ovarian cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
When to bottle feed?
If you decide to bottle feed, the first thing you will need to decide is whether you use your own breast milk that you have previously expressed, or something like Alula baby formula, which is optimum for a baby that is older than 6 months. It is from this point onwards that you are likely to start introducing your little one gradually to solids, certainly not prior to 6 months.
When bottle feeding, there are a few things to consider.
- Ensure your bottles and teats are sterilised before use.
- Make yourself comfortable in preparation for feeding you baby.
- Support their head so they are in a comfortable position to breathe and feed without problems.
- If they don’t start feeding immediately, just try again, but not forcibly.
- Keep feeding until your baby has had enough.
- Follow the instructions on the packing to put together the baby formula.
Milks to Avoid for Under 1 Year Olds
Although you may be tempted to give your baby certain types of milk, it is too soon to be introducing animal or vegan milks. It is advisable not to give to your baby the following if they are under 1 year old.
- Cows’ milk (in cooking is fine though)
- Dried milk
- Non dairy alternatives (rice, soya, oat and almond)
- Goats and sheep milk (unless pasteurised in cooking)
- Condensed milk
- Evaporated milk
Overall there is no right or wrong way with regards to breast feeding or using a bottle. It is completely up to you with what feels more comfortable.
The important thing to remember is to do what feels natural for both you and the baby, and try not to overthink everything (which is certainly easier said than done at times!) By the time you get onto your second or third child, you will be such an expert, that the feeling of unknown territory will be such a distant memory.
*This is a collaborative post