As your due date draws near, you’ll start to think about your infant feeding schedule. As with most aspects of motherhood, you will find many different and often conflicting theories of how and when to feed your baby. It’s important to do some research so that you feel armed with the facts ahead of time, but it’s more important to trust your instincts as your baby will be an individual who may not match someone else’s theory perfectly.
It is unlikely that you will be able to have any sort of feeding schedule at the beginning and you will find yourself feeding the baby every couple of hours or so. As he or she progresses to about three or four months of age, however, you can start to set a routine, which will also help the baby set up a sleeping schedule both for the night and the day.
You need to be flexible, however, as your baby will have days when he or she is hungry and days when he or she is not, in the same way as an adult. At these times, you need to be brave enough to feed your baby when he or she is hungry rather than making the baby wait until the allotted time on his or her infant feeding schedule.
It is widely recognized that breast-feeding your baby provides all the natural protection and nutrients that a baby needs during the early stages of life. A breastfeeding infant feeding schedule gives you time to connect with your child, even in the middle of the night, and the contact with your skin will help them learn to regulate their own temperature and heartbeat.
Sometimes breast-feeding does not work out for any number of reasons. You may have had health complications during birth, your baby might not latch on to your breast or you may not be able to produce enough milk to keep your baby full. In these situations, you will need to switch to baby formula as soon as possible.
If these things happen to you, the first thing to remember is that you are not a bad mother and that no one will judge you for using formula. In fact, you will find that some positives are:
If you choose infant formulas to feed your baby, you will quickly find that you have lots of options. Try getting samples of these brands first as your baby will show a preference for one or more of them:
Once you’ve made your decision about how to feed your baby, you’ll also need to think about buying some nursing accessories that will help you as you set up your infant feeding schedule. Good purchases include nursing pillows, breastfeeding bras and a soft night-light that will not wake your partner. As you begin your new adventure, remember motherhood is a skill that you will develop over time.