newborn baby boy lying swaddled in bassinet in his home in Houston TX

Feeding your baby is something a lot of new moms look forward to and enjoy. But what if you’re worried about it? Or what if it’s something you’ve looked forward to, but it turns out to be harder than you thought?

There’s no question that feeding your newborn–especially breastfeeding–can be a learning process for both mom and baby. And that is completely natural! As a mother myself, and as a Houston newborn photographer who has worked with hundreds of new parents and little ones, I want to assure you that those feelings, whether joyful or challenging, are shared by many moms.

Here are just a few tips that I’ve picked up over the years in both my mothering and my work, that can help make feeding your baby easier and more enjoyable.

Breast Milk or Formula?

The first decision to make is breast milk or formula. While most babies benefit from breast milk, there may be circumstances where it just isn’t possible. There is no need to feel guilt or shame about this! You are doing your very best for your infant, even if it looks different from other people’s mothering. I definitely recommend talking with your doctor about this so they can help you make the best decision for yourself and your little one, and explain the reasoning behind it.

Watch Baby, Not the Clock

As busy moms, often with careers or school schedules to keep up on, we’re in the habit of organizing our day by the clock. And you might hear things like, “You should feed your newborn every 2-3 hours.” This isn’t necessarily wrong. But a better way is to watch your baby. They will let you know when they’re ready to eat! Once you tune into early hunger cues, like baby rooting or sucking on their fist or fingers, you’ll be able to learn your little one’s rhythm. Feeding your baby when you see those early hunger signs also means you can feed them before they get fussy, making the experience calmer and happier for both of you!

Take Care of Yourself

I can’t even tell you how important it is that you take care of yourself as a new mom! For breastfeeding, self-care might look like taking vitamin D supplements, purchasing a comfy, high-quality nursing bra, or sipping on a nice herbal tea throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated. (Keep in mind that peppermint can reduce milk supply.) Remember, you are your baby’s primary caretaker, and in order to give them the best care, you have to give yourself the best care too.

Feeding your baby, mother holds her newborn in a comfortable chair by the window

Learn How to Tell if Baby is Eating Enough

It can be stressful if you’re not sure whether your newborn is getting enough to eat. Not every feeding is the same, so baby might eat a lot at one time and hardly any at a different feeding. Again, paying attention to your baby’s cues can help you determine if they might be hungry. Your pediatrician will also keep an eye on your newborn’s weight and help you know if they are on a normal growth curve. Keep in mind that it’s normal for new babies to lose a bit of weight during the first few days after birth, and then start gaining after that. When you feel confident that your baby is eating enough, it takes a lot of the stress out of feedings!

Use Feeding Time to Bond

As a mom whose babies aren’t so little anymore, I can tell you that the breastfeeding or bottle feeding stage doesn’t last nearly long enough! You will miss this time as they grow, so make the most of it now. Dedicate a comfy space in your home, put down your cell phone, and just savor these moments of closeness between you and your precious baby.

Ask for Help if You Need It

I hope these tips for feeding your newborn are helping as you navigate this skill of new motherhood! There really is so much to learn as a parent, so if you ever feel that you need help–with feeding or anything else–please reach out. There are so many resources available! You might want to check out my collection of postpartum resources for new Houston moms if you feel you could use some extra support.

Smiling baby in her mother's arms right after a breastfeeding session

In the meantime, enjoy every moment with your sweet little one, and I hope I’ll be seeing you both in the studio sometime soon!

Lots of Love,


The post Feeding Your Baby | Tips for New Moms from a Houston Newborn Photographer appeared first on Shannon Reece Jones Photography: Houston Newborn & Family Photographer.