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Your very first feeds—How to breastfeed your newborn in the hospital after birth

I want you to remember that this little teeny tiny slimy kid placed on your chest, is YOUR baby.

Your very first feeds—How to breastfeed your newborn in the hospital after birth

There is going to be so much excitement and anticipation when you arrive at the hospital to give birth to your baby—your heart will be pounding in your chest and all the things you read about or learned in a class beforehand will be circling in your brain.


So you may need some extra tips to help you get through the first 2-4 days of your baby’s life, when you are still surrounded by hospital staff telling you what to do. I want you to remember that this little teeny tiny slimy kid placed on your chest, is YOUR baby. Ask questions about protocols if you don't agree or understand. Advocate for yourself and your little one.

Get ALL the help and support you need while you have it surrounding you.

Here are 10 tips to help you rock this breastfeeding game starting right from the moment you meet your child earth-side—

1. The golden hour

This is the amazingly important 60 minute period right after birth where mama and baby gaze into each others eyes. As soon as your baby is placed in your arms (and as long as there is no medical indication that they need to take the baby to run tests immediately), you should remain with them naked on your skin, uninterrupted for 1 entire beautiful hour. This is the ultimate start to making (more) milk, to begin your deep bonding love, and to help long-term breastfeeding success. During this hour, your changes and elevations in hormones help you want to nurture and bond with your LO while the baby’s initial suckling attempts help make it easier for suckling later on. You and your baby will have heightened awareness, quiet alertness and calmness. And, this hour will help boost your mommy confidence.

2. All the skin-to-skin

During this first hour (and if possible and desired, several hours, days, and even weeks following birth), your baby should be naked against your skin with a blanket placed on top to trap in all that warm delicious body heat. This skin contact helps regulate their body temperature, regulates and slows their heart beat and their breathing, and helps maintain a healthy glucose level. Usually within 15 minutes of skin to skin, they are ready to start searching for your breast. You can let them self-attach or you can help give them gentle assistance to the breast to latch effectively.

3. No visitors + delay procedures

Unless medically necessary, almost all procedures can and SHOULD be delayed for at least the first hour of your baby’s life. Do not be afraid to ask for the delay so you can gaze + love + connect to your baby without disturbance. Ask all your visitors not to come into the room until 1 hour has passed. If they are angry, send them to me!

4. Feed on demand

After your baby’s first 24 hours of sleepiness, they reach the “cluster feeding” stage. It may seem super overwhelming that your baby wants to nurse SO much, and it may cause you to feel like you “don’t have enough milk”. YOU DO, and cluster feeding means that you have a super healthy hungry babe. Feeding your baby on demand helps your milk come in quicker, keeps the baby happy and less stressed, and helps prevent baby weight loss. And IF for some reason (which, there are actually very few), you are not producing enough colostrum or milk, the hospital will be totally on top of it. They keep track of your baby’s weight loss daily (expect a healthy weight loss of less than 10% of their birth weight). So try not to fret, trust your babe’s cues, NURSE, and let the hospital worry for you.

5. Hand expressing

To avoid a weight loss and worried hospital staff, hand expression can be very useful in the beginning with a super sleepy kiddo. To hand express, you will hold your fingers by your areola and pull back into your chest wall, and then out toward the nipple. Back and forth. Check out this video from Stanford University on hand expression. You can cup feed or pull the colostrum up into a needless syringe.

6. 24 hour rooming-in

Studies have shown that mothers do not sleep longer or better when their infants are returned to the nursery during the night. Rooming-in will help you begin to establish your routine so you have more confidence for when you are discharged home. You will be able to pick up on your infants early feeding cues, so you can start to get them close to you long before they are crying, and this will help reduce the risk of weight loss.

7. No pacifier, bottles, formula or pumping (unless medically indicated)

To get breastfeeding off to the very best start from the first feeds, you should not introduce any other shapes or flows to the baby besides your breasts until at least 2 weeks postpartum. No plastic nipple is your nipple, no flow is your breasts flow, and all baby bottle nipples are much easier to get the milk out than your breasts—the baby may learn to prefer the easier method.

8. A bath is not necessary

There is actually no reason to give your baby a bath while in the hospital. By NOT giving the bath, you avoid separation, avoid losing the golden hour, keep the vernix on the baby’s skin (the white slimy human-made moisturizer), avoid washing off all the good bacteria coating their bodies from their mamas body, and avoid washing off the amniotic fluid from their hands and arms (which assists them with locating the breasts later). You can save their first bath for when you are all at home together where you can make it peaceful and relaxing.

9. Bring pillows

Bring your Brest Friend pillow (I cant rave about this pillow enough as its the best at bringing your baby to the necessary height of your breast) to the hospital or ask for more pillows as soon as you arrive in your postpartum unit. You need arm + back support for successful positioning, latch, and comfort!

10. Ask for help

The most important step for successful breastfeeding is to get the support you need and know you can and should advocate for yourself and your baby. Ask questions, request the help of your nurses, and ask to see a lactation consultant before you go home. If you don’t want your baby to be separated from you for routine procedures, request that they are done by your bedside. Know that you are allowed to ask for what you think is best for you and your baby and that the staff should be on board because your the mama.

I hope when you leave the hospital on discharge day, you feel confident, filled with yummy breastfeeding endorphins, and you know you got breastfeeding off to the best possible start.

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They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

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Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

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Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

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Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

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Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

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Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

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Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

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Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

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Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

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Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

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Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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