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Feeding and Caring for Your Newborn: A Guide for New Parents

Feeding and Caring for Your Newborn: A Guide for New Parents

When a new baby enters your life, there’s a lot to learn about taking care of them. Let’s explore some baby basics, from feeding to sleeping, and learning.


Feeding Your Baby

One of the most important things you’ll do as a new parent is feed your baby. How you feed your baby is like giving them the special fuel they need to grow, learn, and be healthy. There’s no right or wrong way to feed your baby. There are different ways to do it, and each way has its own benefits.

  • Breastfeeding: This forms a special bond between you and your baby, thanks to the release of hormones such as prolactin and oxytocin. When you breastfeed, your baby also gets important nutrients from your milk that can protect them against certain illnesses and diseases. While experts say breast milk is the most nutritious choice for babies, it’s not possible for all families.
  • Formula Feeding: Some families choose to give their baby formula due to comfort level, lifestyle, or medical circumstances. There are different kinds of formulas, so be sure to read the ingredients and nutrition facts to pick the one that’s best for your baby.
  • Combination Feeding: This means you do a mix of breastfeeding and formula. That’s totally okay too! The important thing is to make sure your baby is getting the nutrition they need.

If you have questions, consider joining one of our free breastfeeding classes.


Sleeping Sweetly

Sleep enhances your baby’s mood and development. When they sleep well, they feel happier and healthier. Your baby may need more sleep if you notice hyperactivity, clumsiness, impulsiveness, or low levels of focus.

Here are some tips for helping your baby sleep peacefully:

  • Create a Routine: Try to make a bedtime routine, like reading a book or singing a lullaby. Your baby can develop self-regulation, meaning they will know it’s time to sleep when they see these special things happening.
  • Calming Environment: Your baby sleeps best when they feel calm, safe, and secure. Make sure their sleeping space is cozy and quiet. Although getting your baby to rest can be stressful, it is important to create calm and peaceful feelings. Dim lights and soothing sounds can help them feel relaxed.
  • Create a distraction-free sleeping space. Remove toys and electronics from your baby’s sleeping space.


Learning and Growing

Babies are like little sponges, soaking up everything around them. Some experiences create new neurological pathways for your baby, enhancing their congenital and functional development. Here’s how you can help them learn and grow:

  • Sensory Adventures: In the first few weeks of a newborn’s life, their senses are still evolving and centered toward survival. Their hearing is muffled, and their vision is blurred. Let them hear new sounds, see new things, and feel different textures. This helps them activate their curiosity.
  • Growing Skills: Around 3 months old, your baby will start developing more control in their extremities, like kicking, reaching, and expression. That’s because they have adopted a more nuanced perception of the world around them.

Remember, every baby is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all guide. You’re learning together, and that’s what makes it special.


Taking Care of You

Being a new parent is exciting but also tiring. Just like your baby needs sleep, so do you. Find ways to relax, like incorporating meditation or prayer after you put the baby to rest. You may also find it helpful to remove monitors and phones as these items can prevent you from having optimal rest.

As a new parent, it might bring you comfort to know that you aren’t alone and there are others who share your feelings. Thankfully, Pickles & Ice Cream offers free virtual peer support groups for others to share their experiences on parenthood. These groups are run by trained mothers across Georgia who are happy to help.

As you travel along this amazing journey with your baby, don’t forget to enjoy the little moments. From feeding time to sweet dreams, every day is a new adventure filled with love and learning. For more helpful tips, check out our blog about staying healthy and happy during this special time.


  1. Infant and Young Child Feeding: Model Chapter for Textbooks for Medical Students and Allied  Health Professionals. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2009. SESSION 2, The physiological  basis of breastfeeding. Available from:
  2. Welcome Baby Care. (2020, May 19). Developmental leaps part I: How and when your baby grows.  Welcome Baby Care. when-your-baby-grows/
  3. Al-Chalabi M, Bass AN, Alsalman I. Physiology, Prolactin. [Updated 2023 Jul 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet].  Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:
  4. Infant and Young Child Feeding: Model Chapter for Textbooks for Medical Students and Allied Health  Professionals. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2009. SESSION 2, The physiological basis of  breastfeeding. Available from: 
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