The first 6 month
Choosing how to feed your baby is an important decision for any new mum to make. The very first step is to decide whether you want to bottle or breast feed.
There are many great benefits to breastfeeding your baby:
Feeding your baby (whether by breast or bottle), is one of the greatest ways for mum and baby to bond and nothing can compare to the quality of breast milk.
Breast milk is filled with invaluable antibodies, which will help strengthen your baby's immune system, giving him or her a natural defence against illnesses such as diarrhoea, vomiting, chest, ear and urine infections. Breastfeeding is also very economical.
It's always available and is always exactly the right temperature - meaning there's no need to buy, measure and mix formula in the middle of the night! The biggest advantage of all though, is that it gives the best possible mix of nutrients your baby will need to grow and develop healthily. Remember your midwife can help with any initial worries you may have about getting started. When you do first start to feed, ask your midwife to help you position your baby correctly to ensure you are both relaxed and comfortable.
Mastering breastfeeding can take a little perseverance. If it doesn't feel right for you, or baby isn't settling, just start again. Take your time, and eventually breastfeeding will become second nature to you and your little bundle of joy!
Bottle Feeding Basics
One of the main reasons mums choose to bottle feed their baby is so other people have the opportunity to join in and share the experience of feeding and creating a bond with baby... it also lets dad do his share of the work!
Bottle feeding makes travelling with baby much easier too meaning it's perfect for on the go mums. Take a look at our gorgeous range of changing bags to make carrying all your feeding accessories that little bit easier. You can either express milk from your breasts using a manual or electric breast pump, or feed using formula milk, which is formulated especially for little tummies.
Formula milk comes in two forms; either ready to use liquid, or powdered.
If you decide to bottle feed your baby using infant milk formula, it's vital that you ensure meticulous hygiene standards when preparing feeds and that all equipment is cleaned and sterilised thoroughly before use. See our range of sterilisers online to help you get started.
Like most new experiences giving your baby their first bottle may take a little time to get used to. To get started make yourself comfortable and position baby on your lap resting their head in the crook of your arm for support.
If you have any questions on how to feed your baby your midwife or doctor should be able to provide any help and information you may need.
When to start introducing baby to solids
Weaning your baby onto solids usually starts when baby is about six months old.
It is a very important step in your baby's development and can be great fun to explore new flavours and textures together.
Every baby is unique, but there will be clear signs which should indicate when your baby is ready to try solids:
- Being able to hold themselves in a sitting position whilst holding their head steady.
- To co-ordinate their eyes, hands and mouth together (see the food- pick it up- put it in their mouth).
- Be able to swallow food.
Once these three signs are visible together - baby should be ready for weaning!