A newborn’s world is centred around feeding, their tiny gut and digestion so it makes sense that this would be the main focus of your new baby’s routine.
Feeding and digestion has a knock on effect to all aspects of your newborn’s day from digestive comfort and temperament, ability to stay awake and of course, sleep.
A newborn’s digestion and tiny tum can be sensitive and problematic for the first 2 -3 months during the newborn stage, simply due to immaturity and the fact they are unable to self burp.
Boost Gut Bacteria
Living on a liquid diet can be complicated for some newborns. Complications can range from simply being hard to burp and gassy, to immaturity issues such as dairy sensitivity or intolerance and reflux. The 7pm to 7am Sleeping Baby Routine supports a baby’s digestive comfort which promotes sleep and one of those support tactics is to boost gut bacteria for newborns with a sensitive gut, born by Caesarean section or formula fed.
As adults we house a gut full of microbes, friendly bacteria which aid digestion and work to support the immune system, however babies are born with no gut bacteria and are exposed to their first dose through the vaginal canal, babies born by Caesarean section miss out on this flush of bacteria. Clever breast milk then delivers prebiotics to feed and support these helpful bacteria, where as formula fed babies miss out on this process.
Baby digestion and routine
Did you know that the structure of your routine, food intake, feeding and burping pattern can make a huge difference to your baby’s digestive comfort and sleep? Whether your newborn’s digestion is straight forward or complicated, here are my top tips to improve your their digestive comfort and sleep peacefully :
- When breastfeeding, follow a gas free diet for the first 6/8 weeks.
- Break to burp frequently during and after feeds, in-line with the speed of milk flow. As frequently as 2 to 5 minutes if milk flow is fast and 5-10 minutes at a slower, steadier pace. Your breasts are variable flow with foremilk being released a much quicker pace.
- Feed until full – offer both breasts at each feed and understand your personal milk supply by expressing post feed.
- Space out feeds to allow the gut to empty between meals. 3-4 hourly by day and baby led over night.
- Structure your baby’s routine to encourage active time awake/ playtime after day feeds to allow for digestion and at their most content time of day. Eat, play, sleep, repeat!
- Stop the comfort sucking , dummy use stimulates the gut which overall can make gas issues, reflux and CMPA symptoms worse.
- Supplement milk with a course of high quality probiotics and vitamin D to help strengthen gut, immunity and help reduce gas.
PLEASE NOTE: If you’re not seeing positive results from these routine changes and your baby is still very unhappy during feeds I would advise booking a phone appointment to help investigate the situation or seek support from a Paediatric Gastroenterologist who will be able to prescribe medication for complicated reflux.
The word reflux and CMPA is thrown around a lot these days, it seems to have replaced the word Colic and with many babies diagnosed with the condition without thorough investigation. Symptoms which on the surface often look like reflux or cmpa can be eased with a few simple tweaks to your baby’s routine.