How Do I Know If My Newborn Has Acid Reflux – Look for signs of newborn hunger that indicate your baby is ready to eat. (Tip: If they’re already crying, you’re missing some signs!)
As I lay in my hospital bed, a confusing timeline stared at me. I was a first-time mom and the delivery nurses left me with a whiteboard, a dry marker and a crying newborn. I was told to breastfeed him every two hours and record every feeding time as well as nappy changing details. Instead of following my baby’s natural hunger cues, I stuck to a weird schedule that disrupted sleep. Instead of noticing my son’s hunger, I looked at the clock.
How Do I Know If My Newborn Has Acid Reflux
“A healthy baby will tell you when it’s hungry,” says pediatrician Rob Everett, medical director of pediatrics and maternal and infant care at the BC Women’s Hospital and Health Center in Vancouver. “The goal is to try to recognize the signs that the baby needs to eat before he gets hungry and cries, because then it’s more difficult to feed him.”
Reasons Why Your Newborn Baby Is Crying
Babies show hunger at three different times (but not necessarily in sequence or chronologically). There is a state of transition: the simple act of awakening. Then there’s the “silent alert” state, when they show early signs of hunger, and then the “active alert” state, when they basically yell at you in the form of a scream.
In the “silent alert” state, babies are more physically active, stretching and mixing. You’ll see your baby open their mouth and start rooting, turn their head to one side, and move their chin, mouth and nose (as if they’re looking for a breast or a bottle). They may drink with their hands in their mouths or suck their fingers. It is also common for them to slurp their lips and stick out their tongue. If you start feeding at the first signs of hunger, babies will latch on more easily and breastfeeding will be easier.
It’s important to watch for these “silent warning” baby hunger signs before your newborn enters the “active warning” zone. If you miss these signals, the window between “silent warning” and “active warning” is very narrow. They can learn to bypass the “silent alert” stage altogether, and go straight to the “active alert” that screams for your attention. But if you start feeding when your newborn is calm, “quietly alert,” Everett explains, they may be a little more patient.
When your baby starts to cry, they are often fussy and may turn away from the breast or bottle. (Actually, they’re “hanging out”.) Their faces may turn red as their breathing quickens and their movements become more frantic.
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“A crying baby burns a lot of calories and it can tire them out very quickly,” says Kathryn Hayward, a certified lactation consultant and assistant professor of nursing at Dalhousie University in Halifax. “So the baby can sleep without crying and eating.” If you miss your baby’s first hunger pangs, Hayward recommends soothing your baby before the frustration sets in. Take time for skin-to-skin, cuddling and soothing with them before you nurse or bottle again.
Your best bets when it comes to youth are comfort and on-demand dining. As your baby gets a little older, controlled crying can be part of your sleep training approach. But a baby between four and six months usually does not cry for long periods of time. Talk to your pediatrician about your child’s temperament, eating habits, sleep patterns, and weight gain before sleep training.
Asma Salman, a Calgary mother of three, says learning her babies’ hunger signals has been an experience for her. She remembers being in the hospital after the birth of her oldest child and being shocked by all the information she was told. She downloaded an app that timed each feeding and reminded her which breast to nurse on. But after realizing how worried she was, Salman deleted the app. “Once I stopped overanalyzing it and relaxed, it became easier for my kids to listen,” she says.
When will the breast milk come? Here’s what you need to know After giving birth to her third child in four years, Salman has learned to trust her instincts and pay close attention to her babies’ cues and body language. Her toddlers all shared the same funny, snarky little boy comment that told her it was time to eat. “As new parents we are very stressed about everything. But it is biological. We plan to do this and the babies are born ready to breastfeed,” she adds.
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If your newborn is happy to sleep for more than four hours without waking up to feed, does that mean you should let sleeping babies lie? Not completely. In the first days of life, babies should be breastfed on demand.
Signal the mother’s breasts to produce milk at least every three to four hours. But Everett says healthy babies eventually fall into their own rhythms. She recommends that parents aim for at least 8-12 feedings in a 24-hour period during the first month. It is not necessary to separate them perfectly. Feeding patterns can be different for each baby: some babies may sleep most of the day and then feed a small amount in the evening, which is completely normal.
If you’re not sure if your child is getting enough to eat, Hayward recommends monitoring their hands, wrists, and hands. When a newborn is ready to feed, they often have tight fists, bend their elbows, and pull their chin and mouth into their mouth. As they begin to feed, you’ll notice their fists open and their wrists and hands open and relax. If your baby falls asleep while nursing but does not fully feed, he may become rigid again if you try to wean him. (This is a sign that they are still hungry.) Try changing the baby’s diaper and giving him some stimulation before starting the feed.
If your baby is constantly gaining weight and has wet and dirty diapers throughout the day, he may wake up on his schedule. (If you’re lucky, you may sleep longer.) At some point, your baby will eventually learn to sleep through the night. (This may come naturally, or maybe you will need to work on this skill together over time.) But always with a doctor or midwife who closely monitors the growth and development of your child, you should consult.
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Although healthy babies are born with the ability to see, they have not yet developed the ability to focus their eyes, move them properly, or even use them as a pair.
Processing visual information is an important part of understanding the world around us. Vision and eye problems in babies can lead to developmental delays, so it’s important to be aware of certain milestones as your child grows and their vision matures.
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When your baby is born, they look at you and the world around them with blurry eyes. They can focus best on objects that are 8 to 10 inches from their face. This is the ideal distance to see your face when your baby is held in your arms.
After your womb darkens, the world becomes bright, visceral. At first, your child may have difficulty observing different objects or distinguishing between them. But it doesn’t last.
During your baby’s first two months, their eyes begin to work together more effectively. But coordination can be very difficult, and you may notice that one eye rolls or both eyes are crossed. In most cases this is normal.
It’s worth talking to your pediatrician about it at your next visit, especially if you continue to notice that one eye is turning in or out a lot.
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You will notice your child developing hand-eye coordination, especially if you see your child chasing and reaching for a moving object.
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