Ask the Pediatrician, Katie
As a Pediatrician, what is the best advice you can give a new mommy before coming home from the hospital with their newborn?
Congratulations! You are going to love being a parent. It is a hard job but the best job. The best advice I can give a first time parent, is to create and stick to a feeding schedule. As mothers, we never want to hear our babies cry. When we hear them cry, our first instinct to feed them because we think they are hungry, and of course we want to soothe them. However, it is important to realize that every time your baby cries, it is not necessarily because of hunger. On average, a newborn drinks about 1.5-3 ounces every 2-3 hours. As your baby grows, they will be able to eat more at each feeding. By 2 months of age, they should be having 3-4 ounces every 3 to 4 hours.
There are many other reasons your newborn might be crying. Sometimes babies just need to be changed or cuddled. If your baby cries only an hour after a good feeding, there is a good chance they are not crying from hunger but rather something else. They could be hot, cold, wet, uncomfortable, or bored. If you soothe every cry with a feeding, your baby will learn to expect it making it extremely difficult to soothe them without a bottle or breastfeeding. This can lead to over-feeding, reflux, and extreme fatigue for the mother, especially if you are breastfeeding. It is important to know how often an infant should eat, write down their feeding habits, and know the signs of hunger. If you have just fed your baby and they begin to cry, investigate the situation before feeding them again.