What do you feed a newborn baby robin
What Do Baby Robins Eat? and How to Feed One! a How-To Guide
Either you found a baby robin that’s fallen from its nest, or perhaps you’re just curious and asking what do baby robins eat?
Well, here’s the guide on what baby robins eat, and if the need arises then how to feed one. So first let’s give you the quick answers, then we’ll get into more details…
How do baby robins eat? During the first week, the parents regurgitate partly digested food into the baby’s mouth. As they grow they eat a variety of food from earthworms, to whole worms and large insects, and even berries until they fledge to finally fend for themselves.
How do you feed a baby Robin? To feed a baby robin you can use a dropper, clean hands, or let the babies feed themselves when they become independent enough. Once released they will naturally be able to hunt for food and feed themselves.
Read on, or watch the video below from the Ranger Planet Youtube Channel.
What do baby robins eat and when
Baby robins are just that – babies, at first, and depend wholly on their parents for food.
However, what baby robins eat during the very first few days and onward changes as time goes by – and fairly quickly too.
Here’s the list of what baby robins eat at each growth stage. But if you’re looking to protect your baby robin, then be sure to check what eats robins to know what might want to prey on them. You might also be interested to know if it’s legal to keep a robin as a pet?
1 – 7 Days – baby robins eat…
When baby robins are with their parents, the parent robins forage for food for themselves, but also gather enough to feed their young.
The parent regurgitates this partly digested food into the baby’s mouth. This is the only way that baby robins eat and are fed during the first week from birth.
This includes partly digested insects, beetles, worms, berries, and seeds
7-14 days – baby robins eat…
Around this time, the parents pass larger portions of food or break up larger ones such as earthworms and deliver into the baby robin’s mouth.
From here onwards the baby robins start eating more with each passing day.
Whole versions of insects, beetles, worms, berries and seeds.
After a period of this, the parents begin to let the baby robins eat the whole worm and other large insects on their own.
By this time a baby robin will be able to eat the equivalent of 14 feet of earthworms during its two-week nest life.
14 days plus – baby robins eat…
From this point, more often than not baby robins are able to eat food provided to them by the parents that are just placed in the nest. The baby robin is old enough to find and eat the food themselves within the nest.
In general, baby robins depend on the parents fully for their daily dose of food, until they are independent enough and can fledge the nest and fly away.
On average, the parent robins can make up to 100 visits a day to feed their young ones – that just shows how often the baby robins eat to grow up.
This is also why robins are very picky in choosing a territory to create their nest. They need to ensure they live close to adequate food sources to make the hunt for food and feeding visits often and easy.chicks in a nest
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So let’s move on to how you would feed a baby robin.
How to feed a baby robin?
If you’re in the situation where you have a baby robin you need to take care of and hand rear, perhaps one that fell from the nest or lost its parents. Then naturally, there are plenty of things you will have to know about feeding baby robins – let us give you some guidance.
There are, thankfully, many ways and methods that have worked to feed baby robins, below are three safe methods to feed a baby robin.
1. Using a syringe to feed a baby robin
You can use a syringe, like this one, or an eyedropper to feed baby robins. For this method, the best food would be to get a baby bird formula mix.
With this formula, use the syringe and simply follow the instructions for feeding.
Alternatives to baby bird formula
Instead of a bird formula mix, you could even use baby formula or wheat cereal like farina. Or at a push, you might be able to soak dried dog food which has been known to feed baby robins quite well.
However, when feeding these products be sure to still use the syringe or dropper. Try to make sure the products are mushed down enough to pass through the dropper without getting blocked.
At first, one or two full droppers will almost certainly fill the baby robin, but as they grow they’ll likely need more of it – and potentially more often. Being a robin parent is a demanding job!
The baby robin will let you know when it’s full, usually when it’s hungry or wants more food it opens its mouth automatically.
Be aware of this too, do not try to feed the robin when it is not asking, as you can easily overfeed them, which is just as risky as not feeding them.
So it’s important to observe if the bird is full or not before trying to encourage them to eat further.
2. Using your hands to feed a baby robin
Hands can also be used to feed baby robins. Moistened duck or chicken feed that are processed well with an even texture can also make some good reasonable food baby robin food.
When using the hands it’s important to be hygienic. Not only when feeding but also while making the food using the hands or when handling the bird.
To feed a baby robin using your hands, take a tiny pinch of food and stick it to the tip of the finger and all you have to do is touch the corner of the bird’s mouth.
The baby robins will automatically open their mouth and you shouldn’t have any trouble passing it into their beaks.
Another great thing about using hands to feed baby robins is that you will get a good sense of when to stop because the baby robin will stop opening their mouth when they feel full, unlike droppers which can be inserted into the mouth anyway – even if the bird is already full.
3. Allow the baby robin to feed on its own
If you get to this point then congratulations, or if the bird already has some plumage and appears to be an older chick.
This method works mostly when the baby robin is a little more grown-up and can handle the food on their own.
This is a method that allows the baby robins to feed themselves by placing the food on the ground next to them.
For this, offering small berries, or using mealworms, earthworms, or grubs near the ground next to where they rest will work fine.
This will also allow the birds to come and feed whenever they feel hungry. On average baby, robins may have to be fed every 5-10 minutes at peak times.
When feeding baby robins, make sure that…
- The food is at room temperature. Even if the food is refrigerated, it’s important to make sure the food is at room temperature when feeding the baby robins.
- Make sure the food is not spoilt, has no fungus or bacteria when feeding.
- The food should have a fine texture and even toward slushy, but smooth enough to get through the delicate throats of baby robins.
- Up to three weeks old, the baby robins will be grown up enough to find their food. So by this time, it’s good to allow the baby robins to eat of its own accord and just make sure food is available.
Then one day, they will fledge and fly away. And you can smile in the knowledge you probably just saved a wild bird’s life. If the baby robin does not survive, then it was never meant to be, and at least you provided it with some comfort and the best chance of survival.
We hope this has been useful in answering the question – what do baby robins eat? And hope you’ve been able to put the help on how to feed one to good use.
What Do Baby Robins Eat? How to Take Care of a Baby Robin
What’s This Post About?
Robins are pretty songbirds that belong to the Turdidae family. There are two types of species in this family: American Robin and European Robin. They can be differentiated by appearance, region, and plumage. Read on to find out more about them.
This post consists of an overview of what do baby robins eat. You can easily come across a baby by making sure there are robins in your backyard.
Attract these birds to your yard via bird feeders containing their favorite food sources. Robin babies can take up to one whole day to hatch properly from the eggshell.
Robin nestlings consume earthworms to survive. They prefer eating insects like mealworms, grubs, earthworms, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, etc. Taking care of a baby robin is very challenging. You need to ensure that the bird is warm, fed, and safe.
What Are the Stages of Robin’s Life?
Growth and development of a robin in different life phases.
Like all animals, robins also go through different phases in their life. Developing from a baby to an adult is quite a long process. Each stage carries with it additional requirements with regards to dependency, food, behavior, etc.
Robins do not mate for life; the pairs stick together throughout the breeding season then depart. The breeding season comprises of 2 – 3 nesting. The same two birds might probably mate again and stay together in the next year’s breeding period.
Watch this video to visually see how a baby robin transitions into an adult:
These birds begin courting in late winters or early spring. Robin’s produces 5 – 6 clutches with one egg each day. The eggs take about 12 – 14 days to hatch, and tiny baby robins are born.
Robins lay blue eggs. The eggshell of the bird’s egg is of a cyan shade with a matte finish. The egg length is usually about 2.7— 3 cm, and it is 2.1 cm wide.
Robins have up to three broods in a year, many of their babies do not survive.
1 to 7 Days
For the first few days, the babies can only open their beaks and not their eyes. They are delicate little bird babies with pink skin and light grey feathers patched on their bodies.
At this time, the baby robins are entirely dependent on their parents. The parents look for food and bring it back to the nest to feed their young. These babies survive on the partly digested food received from their parents directly in their mouths. This is the only way the babies can be fed during the initial days.
The food they eat includes partially digested worms, beetles, seeds, berries, and small insects.
Robins roost together in trees. Up to 200,000 robins can roost together at once.
7 to 14 Days
Once the hatchlings have transitioned into nestlings, they grow bigger, start developing feathers, and can open their eyes. They express their food needs through loud chirping; the mother robin feeds them food and cleans the nest.
During this phase, the parent bird starts feeding them large portions of food through their mouth. The young birds consume more and more with each passing day. This is the baby’s growing period which is why their demand for food has increased.
They eat the whole version of beetles, worms, seeds, insects, and berries. Soon the parents let the baby robins eat the entire insect or fruit on their own.
As soon as a baby robin grows 14 days old, it can consume food equal to 14 feet of earthworms.
14 Days and Over
At this stage, the birds are getting bigger, fuller, and gaining strength. Parents now place the food in the nest, and the baby robins find it and feed on it themselves. However, the young birds do depend on their parents until they can fly off the nest.
Only when they enter the fledgling phase, they become independent.
The parent robin has to make approx. 100 visits per day to feed their babies. This is because baby robins require a lot of feed to grow and develop. This is also why robins are careful when they pick a territory – they ensure that the place they live in has easy access to ample food sources.
What Can You Feed a Baby Robin?
Every bird has its preference; let’s explore what baby robins prefer to eat.
Robins are omnivorous birds and need a balanced diet to survive. Therefore, the best thing to feed a baby robin would be insects such as crickets, beetles, or grasshoppers, earthworms, mealworms, fruits, and berries.
The main aim of a balanced, nutrient-rich diet for a robin is to help it grow into a healthy adult. On average, a baby robin has to be fed after every 5 to 10 minutes. Further, we will mention a list of food you can feed the babies with.
Jays and crows are a threat to baby robins. This is because they tend to eat these baby birds in the absence of their parents.
Baby robins love to indulge in earthworms or mealworms. They are fed worms by their parents as it proves to be a nutritious snack for the birds. However, feeding robins can be challenging, and the mother needs to be on her wings to find food for her babies.
If the baby bird is left alone for even a week, it will start looking weak or sick and may even die.
Insects are the best food option for baby robins. Adult robins feed mainly on beetles and grasshoppers. Nestlings are given partly digested beetles and grasshoppers from their parents.
If you plan on feeding a baby robin an insect on your own, then make sure it is old enough to eat by itself.
The best time to feed insects to baby robins is during the spring season. The baby is old enough to eat food independently and can easily digest insects like crickets and beetles by this time.
Fruits and Berries
Fruits and berries are also something that baby robins enjoy. They can eat fruits like grapes, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries.
Make sure that the fruits are cut up into tiny pieces before being fed to the young birds. If the baby robin is strong enough, you can place these fruits on the ground and wait for them to feed on it.
Baby robins stay in the nest for a maximum of 16 days before practicing their first flight. After that, the mother robins protect their babies till the time they learn how to fly smoothly without any falls.
Do Baby Robins Need Liquids to Survive?
Food is a need, but is water also required for baby robins to survive?
Water is not essential for a baby robin. This is because the food they eat is moist, and it keeps them hydrated throughout the day. If the fledgling is not eating correctly, it is advisable to only put a drop of water on the bird’s beak.
If you plan to provide water to these young birds, then make sure that the water is lukewarm and fresh. They do not have a high-water requirement but when needed, try to be very careful, feed tiny drops of water at a time.
Once the baby robin grows, it will be able to drink water independently through shallow dishes. Although the food provided by parent robins is enough to keep the baby hydrated, if you find an orphaned baby robin that does not eat right, make sure you use a dropper or syringe to put a few drops of water in its mouth timely.
Moreover, birds, unlike mammals, do not consume milk. The digestive systems of baby robins are not strong enough to tolerate milk. It is a misconception that it is alright to provide milk with bread to birds. However, milk can be highly toxic.
Never force water directly in the baby bird’s mouth; it may lead to the young bird choking and dying.
What Should Not Be Fed to Robins?
Specific food sources should be avoided entirely while feeding a robin. Let’s find out what they are!
Robins can not eat anything large as they are little songbirds with a small beak. It is best not to feed these birds bread, avocadoes, asparagus, and many fruits and vegetables. Milk or alcohol should also be avoided as it may harm the bird’s internal system.
Try not to put out bird mixes for robins in your backyard. Most bird mix is viable for larger bird species to consume as they consist of beans, rice, dried peas, lentils, and wheat that a small robin might not be able to digest.
Ideally, bread should not be given to robins as it does not have the proper nutrients to keep the bird safe and warm during the winters. However, bread can be given at rare instances but only as a snack.
Please do not leave out milk for robins; they might not be able to digest it. However, fermented dairy products such as soft cheese can be given in tiny amounts.
Other items that should be avoided for a robin are:
- Vegetables: eggplant, asparagus, onions, olives, parsley, spinach, and mushrooms. These might be healthy for humans but are not something you can give to robins.
- Nuts and Seeds: pear seeds, apricot pits, apple seeds, cherry pits, plum pits, peach pits, and raw peanuts should all be avoided.
- Beans: dried beans consist of hemagglutinin that is dangerous for birds. However, cooked beans are perfectly fine to give.
- Fruits: rhubarb and avocados are not safe for birds like robins.
- Sugary food: chocolates are not advisable to feed a bird.
- Liquids: alcohol, coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, and milk.
The food items listed above should be kept away from the birds. These can make the birds fall sick or be fatal to the little birds.
To distinguish between a male and a female robin, examine the color of their heads. A male robin has a darker shaded head, while a female robin has a pale brownish-gray color.
How To Attract a Robin?
Tips and tricks to attract a robin to your yard!
Attracting a robin to your yard is very simple and easy. Just keep an ample amount of food supply in your yard, grow trees and bushes to provide an ideal nesting site for the bird, and make sure your yard is safe and secure for the birds.
Robins like to consume invertebrates and insects in the summer and fruits and seeds in the winters. Make your yard similar to the wild habitat that they live in. Plant trees in your garden to encourage invertebrates in your garden. This way, you can provide food naturally to these birds.
Provide Nesting Opportunities
Birds like robins are always looking for a safe space to stay in. Their main aim is to find a hidden spot to nest, away from the predators.
The ideal nesting spots for a robin are dense vegetation, climbing plants, and hedges. Moreover, you can hang up nest boxes for these little creatures. They prefer small nest boxes with an open front and under natural covers.
Safety From Predators
Robins are likely to settle in your yard if they feel safe from large predators such as dogs or cats. The bird feeders should be near dense vegetations to hide easily if they sense danger.
The nest boxes should not be directly in contact with the sun and wild winds. Clean the feeders and nest boxes regularly to avoid bacteria formation that could harm the birds.
How To Take Care of a Baby Robin?
Steps to take care of the adorable little robin babies.
If you see a baby robin stranded on the ground, you should take action to care for it. If the bird is injured and its parents are nowhere to be seen, it is advisable to keep it warm, feed it, and wait for it to get better before you set it free.
Baby robins require extra heat at night. If you do not have a brooder, you can keep a heating pad under the box to provide warmth.
Watch The Baby
If you come across a baby robin on the ground, it is possible that the fledgling was learning how to fly but fell over. Stay at a safe distance and keep a watch over the baby bird to see if its parents fly by to take it. If the parents do not return in approximately 30 minutes, go near the bird and check for any signs of injury.
When the baby bird falls, it will likely chirp loudly to call its parents. This is why you should wait for a good time before acting; the parents might return to the nest and look for their baby nearby.
Place The Baby in a Warm Place
If you are sure that the parents of the baby robin are not to return, place the baby in a box covered with a soft, warm towel. Don’t forget to punch holes for the air to pass.
Cover the lid as the babies feel safe and calm in darkness; they may stop fluttering around in the covered box.
Make sure that the baby bird is warm and cozy. Remember that you should not keep the box directly under the sun or in front of a heater; it can lead to dehydration or overheating.
Place a hot water bottle under the towel that is placed in the box. This will help keep the baby robin warm.
Feed The Baby
Feed the baby bird after every hour if it is a fledgling. If the baby robin is featherless, then feed it after every 30 minutes. Food that can be fed are:
- Canned dog food
- Canned cat food
Be sure to mash the worms before feeding them to the birds. Young babies cannot digest whole worms properly. However, you can use tweezers or toothpicks to put the food directly into the baby’s mouth.
Follow each bite with a drop of water. You can place the water drops on your fingertips and put them close to the bird’s beak. Baby birds do not need a lot of water; their food is enough to keep them hydrated.
Do not hold the bird while feeding it, and do not pour the water directly into the baby bird’s mouth; it can fill its lungs with fluid and cause pneumonia.
Baby robins are adorable little creatures that you can easily attract to your yard. The parents are in charge of keeping the babies safe and secure. However, if you spot a baby robin on the ground without any sight of its parents, it is your responsibility to take care of it.
This post will help you identify food sources given to a baby robin and those that should be avoided. In addition, tips on how to take care of an orphan baby bird are also mentioned to guide you through a similar situation.
If you want to know more about baby birds, such as the baby bluebird, you can read up on this post .
What Do Baby Bluebirds Eat? How to Take Care of Baby Bluebirds
Bluebirds are exotic little creatures that require care and attention. To know exciting facts about baby bluebirds, read below.
By David A. Swanson
Bird Watching USA
My name is David and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!
Breastfeeding a newborn | What to Expect in the First Week
The first week of a baby's life is a wonderful but hectic time, especially if you haven't breastfed before. Our breastfeeding tips will help you settle in as quickly as possible
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The first time after childbirth, mothers are often confused. The body is still recovering, and you are already starting to get to know your newborn baby. The emotional state during this period can be unstable, especially between the second and fifth day, when many women have milk 1 and at the same time postpartum depression begins 2 . In addition, others often expect (and demand) that a woman come to her senses as soon as possible and become a “super mom”. But the best thing to do this first week is just to be with your baby and get breastfeeding going.
When should I start breastfeeding my newborn?
Try to breastfeed your baby within the first hour after birth. When a baby latch onto the breast and sucks rhythmically, it stimulates the mammary gland cells and starts milk production. 1 It is not for nothing that this time is called the “magic hour”!
“Ideally, the baby should be placed on the mother's stomach immediately after birth so that it can immediately attach to the breast. He won't necessarily eat, but he should be able to,” explains Cathy Garbin, an internationally recognized expert on breastfeeding.
“Hold your baby and let him find the breast on his own and put the nipple in his mouth. This is called the breast-seeking reflex. On the Internet you can watch videos that show what this process looks like. If the baby does not latch onto the nipple on its own, the midwife will help to properly attach it to the breast. But for starters, it’s good to give the baby the opportunity to do it on their own. In this case, the optimal position for the mother is reclining. ”
Don't spend that special first hour of your baby's life weighing and swaddling—or at least wait until he's suckling for the first time. Enjoy hugs and close skin-to-skin contact. This promotes the production of oxytocin, the hormone of love, in you and your baby, and oxytocin plays a key role in the supply of the first breast milk - colostrum. 3
“As soon as the obstetricians were convinced that our son was healthy, the three of us — me, my husband and our baby — were left to give us the opportunity to get to know each other. It was a very special hour - an hour of awkwardness, turbulent emotions and bliss. During this time, I breastfed my son twice, ”recalls Ellie, a mother of two from the UK.
Did you know that breastfeeding helps to recover after childbirth? This is because oxytocin stimulates uterine contractions. In the first hours after childbirth, this contributes to the natural release of the placenta and reduces blood loss. 4
What if the birth did not go according to plan?
If you had a cesarean section or other complications during childbirth,
You can still make skin-to-skin contact with your baby and breastfeed him in the first hours after birth.
“If you can't hold your baby, have your partner do it for you and make skin-to-skin contact with the baby. This will give the baby a sense of security, care and warmth so that he can hold on until you recover, ”Katie advises.
If the baby is unable to breastfeed, it is advisable to start expressing milk as early as possible and do so as often as possible until the baby is able to feed on its own. “While breastfeeding in the first hours after birth lays an excellent foundation for the future, it is not so important,” Cathy reassures. “It is much more important to start lactation so that in the future, if necessary, you can start breastfeeding.”
To start milk production, you can express milk manually or use a breast pump that can be given to you at the hospital. 5 And with expressed precious colostrum, it will be possible to feed the child. This is especially important if the baby was born premature or weak, since breast milk is extremely healthy.
If a baby was born prematurely or has a medical condition and cannot be breastfed immediately, this is no reason not to continue breastfeeding. “I have worked with many new mothers who were unable to breastfeed their baby for the first six weeks due to preterm labor or other reasons. Nevertheless, all of them later successfully switched to breastfeeding,” says Kathy.
Does the baby latch on correctly?
Correct breastfeeding is essential for successful breastfeeding 6 , as it determines how effectively the baby will suckle milk and hence grow and develop. Latching on the breast incorrectly can cause sore or damaged nipples, so don't hesitate to ask your doctor to check that your baby is properly attached to the breast, even if you are told that everything is fine and you do not see obvious problems - especially while you are in the hospital.
“While I was in the hospital, I called the doctor at every feed and asked me to check if I was breastfeeding correctly,” says Emma, mother of two from Australia. - There were several cases when it seemed to me that everything seemed to be right, but it was painful to feed, and the doctor helped me take the baby off the breast and attach it correctly. By the time I was discharged, I had already learned to do it confidently.”
When applying to the breast, point the nipple towards the palate. This will allow the baby to take the nipple and part of the areola under it into their mouth. It will be easier for him to suck if he has both the nipple and part of the areola around in his mouth. 6
“When a baby latch on properly, it doesn't cause discomfort and it causes a pulling sensation, not pain,” Cathy explains. - The baby's mouth is wide open, the lower lip may be slightly turned outward, and the upper one lies comfortably on the chest. The body language of the child indicates that he is comfortable. There isn't much milk at this early stage, so you probably won't notice your baby swallowing, but he will suckle a lot and nurse frequently."
How often should a newborn be fed?
The frequency and duration of breastfeeding in the first week can vary greatly. “The first 24 hours of life are completely different for different children. Someone sleeps a lot (after all, childbirth is tiring!), And someone often eats, says Katie. - Such a variety greatly confuses young mothers. Everyone gives different advice, so it's important to remember that every mother and child is different."
“Colostrum is thicker than mature breast milk and is produced in smaller amounts, but has many benefits. When the baby eats colostrum, he learns to suck, swallow and breathe until milk begins to flow in more volume, ”explains Cathy.
Milk usually arrives on the second or fourth day after delivery. Until this time, the baby is applied to the breast 8–12 times a day (and sometimes more often!), including at night. 7 Feeding may take 10-15 minutes at this stage, or 45 minutes or even an hour, as the baby is just beginning to develop the muscles and coordination needed to suckle effectively.
“At first, the intensity of feeding is very high, often higher than many people realize, and this is shocking to most new mothers,” says Cathy. - Sometimes mom has no time to go to the toilet, take a shower and have a snack. It usually comes as a surprise."
Camille, a mother from Australia, experienced this. “The first week, Frankie ate every two hours, day and night, and each time it took half an hour to an hour to feed,” she recalls. “My husband and I were completely exhausted!”
Do I need to feed my newborn on a schedule?
The good news is that frequent feeding promotes lactation and stimulates milk production. 7 The more your baby eats, the more milk you will have. Therefore, forget about feeding your newborn on a schedule - this way he will have less chance of feeding. Try to feed your baby when he signals that he is hungry 8 :
- tossing and turning in her sleep;
- opens eyes;
- turns his head if he feels a touch on his cheek;
- sticks out tongue;
- licks lips;
- sucks fingers;
- is naughty;
- is crying.
Crying is the last sign of hunger, so when in doubt, just offer your baby the breast. If he bursts into tears, it will be more difficult to feed him, especially at first, when both of you are just learning how to do it. As your baby grows, he will likely eat less frequently and take less time to feed, so breastfeeding will seem more predictable.
Does breastfeeding hurt?
You may have heard that breastfeeding is not painful at all, but in fact, in the first days, many new mothers experience discomfort. And this is not at all surprising, given that the nipples are not used to such frequent and strong sucking.
“Breastfeeding can be uncomfortable for the first couple of days – your body and your baby are just getting used to it. If a baby eats for too long and does not latch well, the sensations are almost the same as from unworn new shoes, Cathy compares. Just as tight shoes can rub your feet, improper suckling can damage your nipples. Prevention is always better than cure, so if the pain persists after a few days of feeding, contact a lactation consultant or healthcare professional.”
Maria, a mother from Canada, agrees: “Although my son seemed to latch onto the breast well, he damaged his nipples while feeding, and I was in pain. As it turned out, the reason was a shortened frenulum of the tongue. The breastfeeding specialists at our city clinic have been of great help in diagnosis and treatment.”
In addition, you may experience period cramps during the first few days after breastfeeding, especially if this is not your first baby. This is the so-called postpartum pain. The fact is that oxytocin, which is released during breastfeeding, contributes to further contraction of the uterus to restore its normal size. 4
When milk arrives, the breasts usually become fuller, firmer and larger than before delivery. In some women, the breasts swell, harden and become very sensitive - swelling of the mammary glands occurs. 10 Frequent breastfeeding relieves these symptoms. For more breast care tips, read our article What is Breast Swelling?
How often does the newborn urinate and defecate?
What goes into the body must go back out. Colostrum
has a laxative effect, helping to eliminate meconium - the original feces. It looks a little scary - black and sticky, like tar. 11 But don't worry, it won't always be like this. Breastfed babies usually have a slightly sweet smell of stool.
How many times a day you will need to change diapers and how the contents should look like, see below.
- Frequency: once or more.
- Colour: greenish black.
- Texture: sticky like tar.
- Frequency: twice or more.
- Colour: dark greenish brown.
- Texture: less sticky.
- Frequency: twice or more.
- Colour: greenish brown to brownish yellow.
- Texture: non-sticky.
Fourth day and then the entire first month
- Frequency: twice or more.
- Color: yellow (feces should turn yellow no later than by the end of the fourth day).
- Texture: grainy (like mustard with grains interspersed). Leaky and watery.
The baby's urine should be light yellow. On average, babies urinate once a day for the first two days. Starting around the third day, the number of wet diapers increases to three, and from the fifth day onwards, diapers have to be changed five times a day or more often. In addition, during the first few days, the weight of wet diapers increases. 11
Is the baby getting enough breast milk?
Since very little milk is produced at first,
You may feel that this is not enough for your baby. But if you feed your baby on demand, you will produce exactly as much milk as he needs. If you want to keep the process under control, be guided by the frequency of diaper changes above. If your baby soils less diapers, check with your doctor.
“For the first three or four weeks, most babies just eat and sleep. If the child is worried and constantly asks for a breast, you should consult with your doctor, ”Katie recommends.
Sometimes the baby may vomit after feeding. If the vomit is the color of milk, this is not a cause for concern. But if there are orange, red, green, brown or black blotches in it, or the child vomits with a "fountain", consult a doctor. You should also consult a doctor if the baby has a high temperature, the fontanel (soft spot on the head) has sunk, blood is found in the stool, and also if the weight recorded at birth has not recovered within two weeks. 11
But if there are no frightening symptoms and the baby is growing at a normal pace, it means that he has enough milk. Soon you will both get used to breastfeeding and establish a more stable routine.
For the next step in breastfeeding, see Breastfeeding in the First Month: What to Expect.
1 Pang WW, Hartmann PE. Initiation of human lactation: secretory differentiation and secretory activation. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia 2007;12(4):211-221. - Pang, W.W., Hartmann, P.I., "Lactation initiation in the lactating mother: secretory differentiation and secretory activation." G Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2007;12(4):211-221.
2 Shashi R et al. Postpartum psychiatric disorders: Early diagnosis and management. Indian J Psychiatry . 2015; 57( Suppl 2): S 216– S 221. - Shashi R. et al., Postnatal mental disorders: early diagnosis and treatment. Indian J Saikiatri. 2015; 57(App 2):S216-S221.
3 Moberg KU, Prime DK. Oxytocin effects in mothers and infants during breastfeeding. Infant . 2013;9(6):201-206. - Moberg K, Prime DK, "The effects of oxytocin on mother and child during breastfeeding." Infant. 2013;9(6):201-206.
4 Sobhy SI, Mohame NA. The effect of early initiation of breast feeding on the amount of vaginal blood loss during the fourth stage of labor. J Egypt Public Health Assoc . 2004;79(1-2):1-12. - Sobhi SI, Moham NA, "Early initiation of breastfeeding and its impact on vaginal bleeding in the fourth stage of labor." G Egypt Public Health Assoc. 2004;79(1-2):1-2.
5 Meier PP et al. Which breast pump for which mother: an evidence-based approach to individualizing breast pump technology. J Perinatol . 2016;36(7):493. - Meyer P.P. et al., Breastpump Selection: A Scientific Approach to Customizing Pumping Technology. J Perinatol (Journal of Perinatology). 2016;36(7):493-499.
6 Cadwell K. Latching - On and Suckling of the Healthy Term Neonate: Breastfeeding Assessment. J Midwifery & Women ’ s 2007;52(6):638-642. — Cadwell, K., "Latching and sucking in healthy newborns: evaluation of breastfeeding." W Midwifery Women Health. 2007;52(6):638-642.
7 Kent JC et al. Principles for maintaining or increasing breast milk production. 2012;41(1):114-121. - Kent J.S. et al. , "Principles for Maintaining and Increasing Milk Production". J Obstet Ginecol Neoneutal Nurs. 2012;41(1):114-121.
8 Australian Breastfeeding Association [ Internet ]. Feeding cues ; 2017 Sep [ cited 2018 Feb ]. - Australian Breastfeeding Association [Internet], Feed Ready Signals; September 2017 [cited February 2018]
9 Jacobs A et al. S3-guidelines for the treatment of inflammatory breast disease during the lactation period. Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd . 2013;73(12):1202-1208. - Jacobs A. et al., "Guidelines S -3 for the management of inflammatory breast disease during breastfeeding." Geburtskhilfe und Frauenheilkünde. 2013;73(12):1202-1208.
10 Lawrence RA, Lawrence RM. Breastfeeding: A guide for the medical profession. 7th ed. Maryland Heights MO, USA: Elsevier Mosby; 2010. 1128 p . - Lawrence R.A., Lawrence R.M., "Breastfeeding: A guide for healthcare professionals." Seventh edition. Publisher Maryland Heights , Missouri, USA: Elsevier Mosby; 2010. Pp. 1128.
Breastfeeding after 1 month: what to expect
Do you know when breast milk production stabilizes? And how does the frequency and duration of feedings change as the baby grows? You will find answers to these questions in our recommendations for breastfeeding after the first month.
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Congratulations: You made it through the first month of breastfeeding. Your breast milk has reached full maturity 1 , its production is stabilizing and there is little or no leakage from the breast. Don't worry, it's not getting less milk, it's just that your breasts are better able to produce and store it now. 2 At the age of six weeks, your baby will begin to please you with his charming toothless smiles, and by two months you will already have 500-600 feedings behind you. With a favorable development of events, problems with latch on by this point will already be resolved, and you can simply enjoy the convenience and benefits of breastfeeding.
When does breastfeeding decrease?
The "normal" feeding frequency for babies aged one to six months varies considerably, with some needing four times a day, others asking to be breastfed 13 times a day. 3
“From the age of one month, the amount of milk a baby consumes per feed increases, so that he can go without food for longer,” explains Cathy Garbin, a recognized international expert on breastfeeding, “A baby’s stomach grows, so he eat more at one time. In addition, mature milk allows him to stay full longer.”
Feeding can last from 12 minutes to one hour -
the habits of babies vary so much! 3 But if the child is gaining weight and falls within this range, there is no cause for concern.
What is most surprising, no matter how often the baby eats, he consumes approximately the same amount of milk per day - both at one month and at six, when it is time to start complementary foods with solid food. 4
“However, sometimes the baby eats more and sometimes less, especially when he is unwell. It’s better to just listen to his needs,” Katie explains.
Is breast milk enough for the first six months?
Yes. Breast milk contains everything a baby needs for the first 90,037 six months of life—exclusively breastfed babies don't even need to drink more water! 5 Until about six months of age, a child's digestive system is simply not adapted to the digestion of solid food, and he will be able to drink cow's milk only after a year.
In addition, breastfeeding during this period prepares the child for further development. It strengthens the muscles of the mouth, develops the jaw and helps straighten the teeth 6.7 . All this will come in handy when the baby begins to eat and talk. And because what you eat and drink affects how your breast milk tastes, your baby discovers new tastes even before he starts eating solid foods. 8
In addition, when your baby is sick, your body produces breast milk that is
rich in antibodies that help fight infection. 9 In other words, milk continues to protect the baby for many months as he grows and becomes more active.
Breastfeeding is also very comfortable once you get used to it. Claudia, a mother of two from the UK, notes: “No need to sterilize a mountain of bottles, prepare formula, carry it all with you, warm it up - in general, breastfeeding turned out to be very convenient, especially when my babies grew up and we began to leave the house more often. ".
At what age does a breastfed baby start sleeping through the night?
Waking up at night is normal for babies. Most babies between the ages of one and six months consume a fifth of their daily milk requirement at night, so nighttime feedings should not be neglected if you want your baby to get the required amount of calories. 3
"It really depends on what you mean by 'sleep through the night'," says Cathy. "And it's better than waking up every two hours anyway! I have met infants who, starting at six weeks old, fell asleep at 19:00 and woke up at 7:00, but most continue to wake up frequently at night after this age. All children are different."
In Wales, a study of more than 700 infants showed that almost 80% of children aged 6 to 12 months wake up at least once a night, and 25% of them wake up three times or more. And it did not depend on what type of feeding the child is on - breastfeeding or artificial. 10
And if nighttime awakenings are unavoidable anyway, breastfeeding is at least comfortable! Maina, a mother of two from Australia, agrees: “You can even take a nap while feeding in the middle of the night - both the body and the baby do their job on autopilot. No need to plan, measure, sterilize anything - ready-made food at the right temperature is right in your chest. I think it's ideal."
My child wakes up more often. Perhaps he is hungry?
Around four months of age, a baby's sleep patterns change as they develop deep and light sleep phases like an adult. Because of this, he may wake up more often at night. “At four months, sleep is more of a problem than feeding,” Cathy admits. “It can be exhausting, but try to adapt and be patient.”
Some call this " a four-month sleep regression ", but "progress" is more appropriate here. From the outside it may look like a step back, but in fact the child is approaching an important stage of development. He learns quickly, begins to become aware of the world around him, his perception is sharpened and, perhaps, there is anxiety about being separated from his mother. Crying when waking up and being able to eat milk cuddled up to mommy’s chest is a way for a baby to calm down. 11-13
Resist the urge to "finish" your baby with formula or to start complementary foods early
in an attempt to improve his sleep. Breast milk contains
hormones that make you sleepy and help you both relax
. Studies show that breastfeeding mothers actually sleep longer at night than mothers of formula-fed or mixed-fed babies
How does teething affect breastfeeding?
Teething usually begins around four months of age. When a baby has gum pain, he becomes restless, throws his chest and cries. All this, of course, is unpleasant.
However, breastfeeding can be an excellent sedative.
Studies have shown that babies who are breastfed
during the vaccination period cry less and forget pain more quickly. 15 Breastfeeding during teething can have the same calming effect.
An unpleasant side effect may be the child's attempts to try out his new teeth on the mother's breast. “Sometimes children flirt and bite their mother’s nipples. This can be felt in advance by how the behavior of the child changes when feeding: before biting, he removes his tongue, explains Cathy, “Usually this is not a problem and only happens a couple of times. It is enough to stop feeding, affectionately say that biting is not good, and the baby will soon leave this fun.
How to continue feeding if you have to be separated from the baby?
It happens that during the first six months, when the baby is still fully breastfed, the mother needs to be away for several hours - or even longer if she has to go to work or go away on business for a couple of days.
But this does not mean that you should stop breastfeeding. You can still feed your baby healthy breast milk - just express it and have someone give it to your baby when you're away. Here's Katie's advice:
“Start expressing milk a couple of days in advance, in small batches, 40-60 ml at a time. So you will have the necessary supply for the time of your absence, but at the same time the amount of milk produced will remain the same.
If you have to return to work, check with your employer about your daily schedule. Many mothers breastfeed their babies in the morning, evening and night, and pump milk at lunchtime to relieve discomfort and create a reserve for the next day.
This usually turns out to be much easier than one might think, and today many companies are well placed to do this, notes Cathy. “Breast pumps make it easy to solve this problem.”
Natalie, mother from the USA, shares her experience: “I feed Dylan as soon as he wakes up, and sometimes again before leaving for work, in order to maintain milk production and not lose contact with the child. At work, I pump twice the next day (in my absence, he eats two bottles of breast milk), and after work I rush home for the evening feed. I don't pump on the weekends - we resume regular breastfeeding."
Can breastfeeding continue after the introduction of solid foods?
When your baby begins to show interest in food and can sit up on his own - usually around six months of age - it's time to start solid foods. However, it is not necessary to stop breastfeeding, Cathy explains: “A baby’s iron stores during pregnancy are depleted by six months, so he needs additional sources of this element.
Start complementary foods with solid foods, but remember that breast milk remains a more important source of calories and nutrients until the baby is eight to nine months old. By this time, he will be eating much more solid food, but he will still need to breastfeed four to five times a day. By 12 months, the frequency of feeding may be two to six times a day. All babies are different, and many of them at this age are still getting half their daily calorie intake from breast milk.”
Don't forget that breast milk can be added to solid foods, such as cereals and purees, so that the baby can taste the familiar taste. If possible, use milk expressed just before feeding (not thawed) and add just before serving to keep bacteria and nutrients alive. 16
You may be pressured by others to stop breastfeeding when your baby is six months old, but the longer you breastfeed or pump milk, the better for you and your baby.
How long can I continue breastfeeding?
“The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding along with solid foods until at least two years of age because it plays an important role in supporting immunity,” says Cathy. feels bad".
At eight months, the baby sometimes breastfeeds four times a day, but by one year old, the frequency of feedings can be reduced to two times a day. You yourself will understand which feeding regimen is more suitable for you and your baby. For example, Jane, a mother of two from the US, breastfed until the age of two: “I breastfed when I was at home - in the evenings and on weekends, when the children wanted to be close to me,” says Jane, “It helped a lot when they were sick . Breastfeeding has become my favorite form of comfort."
“When my son got a little older and bolder, he still often asked me to breastfeed him - as if to calm down and gain strength,” recalls Amy, a mother of two children from Canada, “When he happened to hit or skin his knee , breastfeeding was a wonderful way to comfort him.”
If your baby is over a year old and you are still breastfeeding, people around you will probably tell you that this way he will never wean. But if children are not pressured, they usually refuse to breastfeed themselves between the ages of two and four. 17
“I didn’t intend to breastfeed for so long, but as a result, I still breastfeed my four-year-old daughter and 22-month-old son,” says Suzanne, mother of two from the UK, “I breastfeed my youngest before and after work, and in I express milk on business trips. The eldest daughter likes to breastfeed a little before bed or when she is upset - this is a great way to make contact. When I get tired of it, I remind myself what great benefit and comfort it brings them. I now plan to pursue a baby-initiated end breastfeeding strategy — let them decide when to stop.”
For more information on what to expect and lots of tips and tricks, see our guide Breastfeeding Problems After the First Month.
1 Ballard O, Morrow AL. Human milk composition: nutrients and bioactive factors. Pediatr Clin North Am . 2013;60(1):49-74. - Ballard O., Morrow A.L., "Composition of breast milk: nutrients and biologically active factors. " Pediatrician Clean North Am. 2013;60(1):49-74.
2 Kent JC et al. Principles for maintaining or increasing breast milk production. 2012;41(1):114-21. - Kent J.S. et al., "Principles for Maintaining and Increasing Milk Production". J Obstet Ginecol and Neonatal Nurse. 2012;41(1):114-121.
3 Kent JC Volume and frequency of breastfeedings and fat content of breast milk throughout the day. Pediatrics. 2006;117(3): e 387-395. - Kent J.S. et al., "Amount and frequency of breastfeeding and fat content of breast milk during the day." Pediatrix (Pediatrics). 2006;117(3):e387-95.
4 Kent JC et al. Longitudinal changes in breastfeeding patterns from 1 to 6 months of lactation. Breast Med . 2013;8(4):401-407. - Kent J.S. et al., Longitudinal changes in breastfeeding patterns from 1 to 6 months of lactation. Brest Med. 2013;8(4):401-407.
5 Almroth S, Bidinger PD. No need for water supplementation for exclusively breast-fed infants under hot and arid conditions. Trans R Soc Trop 1990;84(4):602-604. - Elmroth S., Bidinger P.D., "No need for supplementation of exclusively breastfed infants in hot, dry conditions." Trans R Sots Trop Med Hyg. 1990;84(4):602-604.
6 Victora CG et al . Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect. Lancet. 2016;387(10017):475-490. - Victor S.J. et al., "Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms and long-term effects". Lancet 2016;387(10017):475-490.
7 Peres KG et al. Effect of breastfeeding on malocclusions: a systematic review and meta - analysis. Acta Paediatr. 2015;104( S 467):54-61. - Perez K.G. et al., "The impact of breastfeeding on malocclusion: a systematic review and meta-analysis". Akta Pediatr. 2015;104(S467):54-61.
8 Mennella JA, Beauchamp GK. Maternal diet alters the sensory qualities of human milk and the nursling's behavior. Pediatrics. 1991;88(4):737-744. - Mennella, JA, Beauchamp, GK, "Maternal nutrition influences the organoleptic properties of breast milk and infant behavior." Pediatrix (Pediatrics). 1991;88(4):737-744.
9 Hassiotou F et al. Maternal and infant infections stimulate a rapid leukocyte response in breastmilk. Clin Transl immunology. 2013;2(4). - Hassiot F. et al., "Infectious diseases of the mother and child stimulate a rapid leukocyte reaction in breast milk." Clean Transl Immunology. 2013;2(4).
10 Brown A, Harries V. Infant sleep and night feeding patterns during later infancy: Association with breastfeeding frequency, daytime complementary food intake, and infant weight. Breast Med . 2015;10(5):246-252. - Brown A., Harris W., "Night feedings and infant sleep in the first year of life and their association with feeding frequency, daytime supplementation, and infant weight." Brest Med (Breastfeeding Medicine). 2015;10(5):246-252.
11 Infant sleep information source. [Internet]. Normal Infant Sleep Development; December 2017 [cited 2018 Feb] - All about baby sleep. [Internet] "The development of normal sleep in a child", December 2017 [cited February 2018].
12 Baby sleep science. [Internet]. The-Four-Month-Sleep-Regression-What-is-it-and-What-can-be-Done-About-it. March 2014 [ cited 2018 Feb ] - The science of baby sleep. [Internet], "Four-month sleep regression: what it is and what to do about it." March 2014 [cited February 2018].
13 The Myth Of Baby Sleep Regressions – What’s Really Happening To Your Baby’s Sleep? [Internet]. Pinky Mckay ; December 2017 [ cited 2018 Feb ] - "The Myth of Baby Sleep Regression - What's Really Happening to Your Baby?" [Internet]. Pinky McKay, December 2017 [cited February 2018].
14 Kendall - Tackett K AL . The effect of feeding method on sleep duration, maternal well-being, and postpartum depression. Clinical Lactation . 2011;2(2):22-26. - Kendall-Tuckett K. et al., "Influence of feeding pattern on sleep duration, maternal well-being and the development of postpartum depression." Clinical Lactation. 2011;2(2):22-26.
15) Harrison D et al. Breastfeeding for procedural pain in infants beyond the neonatal period. Cochrane Database Syst Rev .