3-6 months

Nutrition and Feeding - Post Operative Feeding

Although feeding can be difficult during the first week after surgery, it will be easier with the help and guidance of your health care provider.

Dalal Alkhamees
Pediatric Dietitian
Ministry of Health, Al-Amiri Hospital

Post-Operative Nutritional Instructions


  • During the first week after the surgery, the mother can feed her baby by either a syringe fitted with special soft tubing, or by a special cleft lip feeder, which is decided by the surgeon. During the first week, the goal is to prevent any injuries from sucking, protect the newly repaired lip, and focus on the baby nutrition requirement.
  • Hydration especially after the surgery is very important. A good sign of knowing if the baby is hydrated is having the same number of wet diapers after the surgery as before, infant should have approximately 5-6 wet diapers for every 24 hours.

Children >6 months (after food introduction)

  • Start introducing soft, pureed, or pudding texture food for the first three weeks.
  • Only use a spoon for feeding, to prevent any injuries.
  • It is important to introduce food either cold or warm, and avoid hot food.
  • Avoid letting the child feed himself.
  • Hydration is also important; the child can continue feeding with the same bottle system as infants.  
  • Avoid hard food that have chunks, lumps or pieces, such as seeds, grains, cold cereals, cookies, crackers or chips.

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