When a small child appears in a family, his parents are constantly worried. They worry about how long the baby sleeps, whether his tummy hurts. One of the most important things young parents are interested in is the question of how many times a day a newborn needs to be fed.
Who is considered a newborn?
Newborn is a medical concept. It is used in relation to a child aged 1 day to 4 weeks, regardless of whether he was born full-term, post-term or premature. Since at the moment of birth the direct flow of nutrients from the mother to the child ceases, the complex process of the formation of the gastrointestinal system and its adaptation to extrauterine life begins in the infant's body. Let's take into account that the majority of children of the neonatal period are children who are either breastfed or artificially fed.
There are no fundamental differences in the number and frequency of feeding of infants and artificial people, since the mixtures used in the second case are close in composition to human milk.
How often should a newborn be fed and how much should he eat?
When answering this question, remember that the functionally immature digestive system of a newborn from the first day of his extrauterine life bears a great burden. The baby's stomach holds a volume of only 10 ml, by the end of the neonatal period it reaches 90-100 ml, the esophagus has poorly developed muscles, its length is 8-10 cm, diameter is 5 mm, the mucous membranes are delicate, easily vulnerable. The glands that produce digestive enzymes are poorly developed in the stomach and intestines. But the intestines are longer than that of an adult.
It is clear that any violation of the rules of feeding easily causes a disruption in the work of the infant's gastrointestinal system.
When determining the frequency of feeding a newborn, one must proceed from the fact that the child will not eat more than he needs. This means that you will not be able to overfeed him. This fact has a downside: the child's body is aimed at a constant supply of nutrients. Thus, it is clear that the frequency of feeding will be determined by the duration and sufficiency of the volume of the previous meal. Mothers know that a baby may fall asleep while feeding without having time to eat well. It should also be borne in mind that human breast milk is low in calories and low in fat. Therefore, he may begin to experience hunger and half an hour after the previous feeding. However, this does not mean that there is no feeding regime. Doctors recommend feeding a newborn baby 8 to 12 times a day. The interval between feedings should be 3 hours on average. But if the child is restless, wants to eat, it hardly makes sense to adhere to this regime exactly. After all, the most important thing is for the baby to gain weight correctly, be calm and develop in accordance with his age.