Learning the ins and outs of feeding your newborn

Once your pregnancy comes to an end and you have a little one at home, you're going to want to ensure you know the ins and outs of everything from changing diapers to putting your child to sleep. One task that's often easier said than done is feeding. Whether you're breastfeeding your newborn or feeding your baby formula, you might have a few questions about how to get the job done without hours of crying and discomfort.

Even if you've read plenty of books on how to be a mom throughout your pregnancy calendar, you may not be prepared for some of the challenges that your infant presents, such as an erratic feeding schedule. While there's only so much you can do about how frequently your baby gets hungry, educating yourself on other common issues moms have can give you an edge in your own struggles.

Feeding your baby properly
As the Mayo Clinic states, infants don't need juices, water or other fluids - just formula or breast milk - to remain perfectly happy and healthy. Until your baby starts to grow teeth, you don't need to worry about providing solids or other food designed for infants. 

It's worth noting that regardless of whether you choose to feed your child breast milk or formula, he or she will likely require between eight and 12 feedings a day. These may come at random times, so expect to be up in the middle of the night to keep your little one satiated during the first few months of motherhood!

If you're worried about whether you're nursing your child properly, don't be afraid to seek information from others with experience. This may be other mothers or even people at the hospital where you gave birth. Individuals who've nursed firsthand can give you valuable insight into how to make the process easier.

Becoming comfortable with breastfeeding
There are many benefits to breastfeeding that shouldn't be overlooked. First, your body has created a viable food source for your infant, packed full of nutrients. Next, utilizing your breast milk can also save you money that you would otherwise be spent on formula. However, choosing this route comes with its fair share of challenges as well.

One way to make the process easier is to start as soon as possible. After you give birth, make it a point to breastfeed the same day to get your child used to this form of eating and encourage your body to continue producing milk.

Once your infant adapts to breastfeeding, the next step is to make sure you're as comfortable as possible whenever you need to satisfy his or her hunger. This means giving yourself a cozy chair to sit in and a quiet area where you and your child can bond. Don't underestimate this opportunity to connect with your little one!

Finally, be mindful of your baby's eating habits and signs of hunger. For example, sucking motions can indicate that your child is hungry, according to the Mayo Clinic. Watch for these instances to begin the feeding process before your little one starts to cry!

As your child grows teeth, your physician will walk you through changes in the feeding process and the introduction to solid food. However, you still have a long way to go immediately following pregnancy. Taking these helpful tips into account can ease some of the difficulties that come with being a new mom.

How have you tackled the feeding process in the past? Do you prefer to feed your child breast milk or formula? Leave your feedback in the comments section!