HiPP Organic

HiPP's Baby & Nutrition Blog

Seven ways to help convince your baby to drink from a bottle – at least some of the time!

Posted on 27 May 2016 by Lindsay

As a way of nourishing your baby, breastfeeding has a huge number of advantages: it’s efficient, natural, convenient and gives your baby the best possible nutrition – not to mention being free! But it does have one potential drawback: the person with the breasts needs to be on hand for every feed. Which, let’s face it, isn’t always possible.

If you’ve got a big occasion coming up, or you’re facing the end of your maternity leave, you’ll be familiar with this dilemma. The obvious solution is to teach your baby to take some feeds from a bottle – but for many breast-fed babies, this proves to be easier said than done. And to be fair, we can understand their reluctance: why on earth would they want to take milk from a rubber nipple when the real thing is just a few layers of clothing away?

Never fear, we’re here to help! Whether your baby is on a full-fledged nipple strike, or you’re just not sure how to go about introducing a bottle, here are a few strategies to help make this transition a bit easier.

  1. Start by pumping. If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you might not have been doing much of this, but it’s a good idea to start using a breast pump or hand express some of your milk in between feeds. For one thing, your baby is a whole lot more likely to accept a different way of eating if the taste is familiar! Building up a store of breastmilk in the freezer will also give you more flexibility once your baby is used to taking some bottle feeds from a caregiver. Stored milk can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days at 40 or lower. It can also be stored for 6 weeks in the ice compartment or or for up to 6 months in a freezer. Defrost the milk in the fridge and once it is thawed use it straight away.

Note: It’s generally a good idea to wait until your baby is at least 4 weeks old (the UNICEF guidelines say “a little older”) and your supply is well-established before you start storing expressed milk for bottle feeding. This will also help avoid ‘nipple confusion’ while your young baby is still learning to breastfeed efficiently.

  1. Go nipple shopping. Yes, this is a thing! If you’ve never browsed the bottle-feeding section before, you may be surprised at how many options there are. A good rule of thumb is to look for teats in a shape that’s similar to your own breast, with a good-sized bit at the end for your baby to latch onto. If your baby is still fairly young, choosing a low flow rate will help avoid spluttering. Many mums find they need to try multiple brands before finding one their baby will accept, so it’s a good idea to buy several types to test. Remember to check the teats regularly as they can perish after a while and this could present a choking hazard.

    Don’t forget that you’ll also need to buy several bottles, a bottle brush to wash them with, and sterilising equipment.
  2. Enlist a helper. It should come as no surprise that many babies are much more reluctant to take a bottle from Mum; after all, they’re no dummies, and they know the good stuff is right there! Asking your partner or caregiver to introduce the bottle instead can really help with getting your baby to accept it, especially if that bottle contains your breastmilk. (Plus, it gives these other important people a new and wonderful role in your baby’s life!)
  3. Be a bit of a tease. When you think about it, it’s completely understandable for your baby to be a bit confused by having a rubber nipple; after all, he has no way of understanding that this is another way to get food! Squeezing a drop of milk onto the outside of the nipple will let him smell and taste it, and sometimes this is all it takes. Hold the baby close as you would whilst breastfeeding and allow him to lap on the teat and draw it in himself as this is much more natural. Look into your baby’s eyes when feeding feeding as this helps them to feel safe and loved.
  4. Mix it up a little. It’s important that there is consistency in who is feeding the baby in the 1st year. Try and limit the number of people feeding your baby to as few as possible to help you baby develop that all important strong attachment to their primary caregivers. If your baby is used to sitting in the same chair when you breastfeed, and/or nursing in one or two favourite positions, one way to combat bottle reluctance is to change the scene a bit. Ask whoever is giving the bottle to move to a different room, or hold your baby in a different position... or even walk around while feeding. If your baby isn’t getting those familiar breastfeeding cues, she may be more willing to give the bottle a try.
  5. Play it cool. Some babies prefer all their milk at body temperature, but others seem to prefer bottle feeds to be cooler. If your little one just isn’t having a bar of a warm bottle, it might be worth popping it under cold water for a few minutes and then trying again. (Keep in mind, though, that you shouldn’t save or re-warm the milk after doing this.) Made-up formula should be used within two hours at room temperature or four hours in a cool bag with an ice-pack. Remember to make up a feed only when pour baby needs it.
  6. Change your tack altogether. Some exceptionally determined babies are really very good at refusing a bottle in any shape or form. If this sounds like your little one, it might be a better bet to try offering some breastmilk in a soft-spouted baby beaker, or even from a spoon. Slightly older babies may even be happier switching straight to a cup.


As with many aspects of parenthood, patience is the key here. It may help to know that most babies need a bit of time to get used to the idea of a bottle before they agree to give it a try! Starting ‘bottle training’ a few weeks before your big event or your return to work will give you both plenty of time to ease into the transition, which will hopefully lead to fewer tears from everyone!


Got any clever bottle feeding strategies to share? We’d love to know what worked for you! Get in touch via the comments section below, or you can catch up with us on Twitter or Facebook.




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Getting up in the night and dealing with sleep deprivation

Posted on 24 May 2016 by Lindsay


It’s something every parent knows, and there’s no sugarcoating it: Having a baby means you will be tired. Sometimes more tired than you knew it was possible to be. Your new addition has a tiny stomach and an even tinier bladder, so waking in the night is pretty much a given (and in the early days, it tends to be more like two or even three times a night!)

Still, there are millions of apparently sane parents in the world... so how do they do it?

Here are some of our best tips for dealing with night wakings:

  • Know what you’re dealing with. It can help to understand why young babies wake so often (no, they’re not doing it to torment you!) In addition to having tiny tummies, babies also sleep differently to adults. We spend most of our sleeping time in deep sleep, but babies alternate between deep sleep and lighter sleep periods – which means they wake more easily. And when they do wake, they may not have the skills to go back to sleep on their own... or they may realise they’re hungry, or have a wet nappy.

Falling asleep is a skill, and if your baby can learn that skill during the daylight hours, it will be easier for you in the middle of the night. Try putting your little one down in the cot or bassinet for daytime naps when he or she is drowsy, but still awake. A calm word, a stroke or a lullaby may be all you need to help settle your baby for naptime.

None of this can completely prevent the sleeplessness, of course, but it can help to think of night waking as a normal part of having a new baby. No, it’s not fun... but it does end (and boy, does that first full night of sleep feel good!)

  • Set the stage. Another thing your baby is still working out is the difference between night and day, so it can help to keep night-time feeds or nappy changes quiet and brief, and keep the lighting very dim. This helps give the cue that night time isn’t the right time for playing.
  • Fill ‘er up. Some parents find that giving their baby a brief, half-awake “dream feed” late in the evening helps top up the tummy and leads to a longer night-time sleep. If you’re being roused several times a night, this technique might be worth a try.
  • Experiment with your sleeping arrangements. Putting your baby in his or her own cot isn’t the only option out there. If you’re comfortable with the concept, co-sleeping can help some mums and babies get more rest, especially if they’re breastfeeding. (Make sure you’re familiar with the current safety recommendations from NICE and the Lullaby Trust before you try co-sleeping.)

    If three in a bed is too much, but a cot seems too far away, you can also try a bassinet that’s designed to sit next to the bed, putting you in arm’s reach for a quick feed and a speedy return to sleep. (However, it’s important to make sure this type of bed conforms to British safety standards.)                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  • Be prepared. If you’re breastfeeding, keep a glass or jug of water near where you’ll be feeding, and have nappies nearby to streamline night feeds. If you’re bottle-feeding, you can have sterilised bottles at the ready (with the cap and retaining ring in place to keep them sterile). You can also pre-measure the formula powder into a small, clean, dry container, which can save a good bit of midnight fumbling.

    The one part of bottle-feeding you can’t do very well in advance, unfortunately, is boiling the water; it needs to be hot when you add the formula powder in order to kill any harmful bacteria. However, if you tend to be VERY bleary-eyed at 3am, you can store boiled water in a vacuum flask (one that’s clean and used only for your baby). If the flask is full and securely sealed, the water will stay above 700 C for several hours. (Remember to cool the bottle before giving it to your baby by holding the bottom half under running water, and always test the temperature before feeding!)
  • Divide and conquer. The way you handle night feeds will depend on your family situation, but many parents divvy up the night hours to maximise rest for the most exhausted one (sorry to say, this is usually Mum!) Bottle feeding can, of course, be done by either parent, but even if you’re breastfeeding, you can always hand your baby over to your partner for a nappy change and a lullaby, while you drop straight back into the blissful Land of Nod.

    If you’ve decided together that one of you will handle all the night feeds, you might consider making weekends that person’s “catch-up time” to have a lie-in while the other partner takes care of the baby. Or if your partner is a night owl, you might head to bed early to get a few hours’ uninterrupted snoozing before the night shift begins. If you think it might work for you, it’s probably worth a try!

Whatever system you use, it’s worth remembering that while it can sometimes seem like this sleep-deprived time will never end, most babies start to sleep for longer periods by about three months... so mark your calendars, the end is in sight!


Have you made it through the sleepless nights, and got the t-shirt to prove it? What were your best strategies? Please do share them with us (and some very grateful newbie mums!) on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below.




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A little tipple for our mums-to-be

Posted on 20 May 2016 by Lindsay

You know the feeling too well… “So, that’s three beers, one vodka soda and a lonely, sad lemonade”, the classic round for a group containing a Mum to-be. Fret not, help is at hand, as here at Hipp we’ve got a great alternative to your standard non-alcoholic choices. Something to jazz up your tonic water without adding alcohol!

In November 2015, Seedlip, the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit was launched and created quite a stir (sorry we couldn’t resist). Seedlip combines six individually-distilled natural barks, spices and citrus peels to create an adult and complex blend best sipped long with tonic or short with brine as a non-alcoholic martini.

As well as giving you the chance to win a bottle yourself (see our Facebook competition here), we caught up with Founder Ben Branson to see if he’d share with us his favourite recipe; “Seedlip with Rose Soda is adult, floral and complex. So easy to make at home and no fizzy sugar or fruit juice in sight!”.


Simply combine:
Plenty of Ice
50ml Seedlip
3 drops Rose Water





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Sick days: The five illnesses your baby is most likely to get – and what to do about them

Posted on 19 May 2016 by Lindsay


When you became a parent, the chances are that you were totally unprepared for how tiny and fragile-seeming your new baby was. Everything from the wispy-fine hair on that itty-bitty head to the minuscule nails on those little toes is brand-new and perfect... no wonder we all feel such a powerful need to make sure our little ones stay that way!

This very understandable protective urge is why, at the first sign of a sniffle, many otherwise rational first-time parents descend into a panic. But life being what it is, it’s inevitable that sooner or later, your baby will get sick. (In fact, it’s necessary: all those minor illnesses are an essential step in teaching your little one’s immune system how to recognise and combat germs.)

The good news is that most of these first illnesses are minor, and there’s a lot you can do to help your baby feel more comfortable while that brand-new immune system kicks into gear to repel the invader.

Here are the bugs most likely to keep you up all night in your baby’s first couple of years:

  1. Common Cold (rhinovirus)

Yes, it’s called the “common” cold for a reason! There are actually hundreds of rhinoviruses about, and since your baby hasn’t developed immunity to any of them yet, chances are that he or she will catch an average of five colds in the first year – and far more than that, once child care or nursery leads to close contact with other children.

            Symptoms: Fever, blocked or runny nose, sneezing

Treatment: Most colds get better without much in the way of treatment, though a nasal syringe and saline drops can help clear young babies’ noses so they can breathe better (this is especially helpful before a feed!) As any GP would tell you, colds are caused by viruses, so antibiotics won’t help unless they also have a bacterial chest infection. Other things to try:

  • Give extra liquids to drink, especially water (make sure this is boiled first, then cooled if your baby is under 6 months of age)
  • Run a vaporiser in the room to humidify the air
  • Infant ibuprofen or paracetamol can help reduce a high fever and ease aches and pains
  • Over the counter cough and cold medicines should not be used in babies.

Call the doctor if:

  • Your baby’s fever is very high (380C or above for babies under 3 months, or 390C or above for 3-6 month old babies)
  • Your baby is sick for more than three weeks, or they seem to be getting gradually worse instead of better
  • Their breathing becomes strained or wheezy
  • They rub or tug at their ears – this could signal an ear infection 
  1. Bronchiolitis/RSV (respiratory syncytial virus)

Babies have very small lungs, and even tinier bronchial passages, so it’s quite easy for a virus to cause mischief in the airways. RSV is a very common virus that’s easily passed along through contact with surfaces and other people, and around 1 in 3 babies catch it in the first year of life.

Symptoms: Similar to a cold, but babies also tend to develop a cough and rapid or noisy breathing

Treatment: Like a cold, RSV is caused by a virus, so antibiotics won’t help. Make sure your baby stays well hydrated; infant paracetamol or ibuprofen is an option if the fever is making them miserable.

Call the doctor if:

  • Your baby is finding it difficult to breathe
  • They are finding it difficult to feed
  • They have had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more
  • Their fever is high and persistent, and they seem very tired or irritable

If you notice severe breathing difficulties, or your baby’s lips or tongue start to appear bluish, dial 999 for an ambulance instead. 

  1. Croup

This is another chest problem caused by a virus. It’s most likely to happen during the winter months when there are other viruses around.


  • A barking cough
  • A hoarse or croaky voice and cry
  • Difficulty breathing, with a harsh sound called stridor when breathing in, made worse by crying or coughing.
  • Babies may seem to have a cold for a few days before these symptoms show up


Mild cases of croup can be treated at home with the usual triad of rest, extra fluids and infant ibuprofen or paracetamol to help control fever and discomfort. Keeping your baby comfortable is especially important, as crying can make the breathing symptoms worse. Your GP may also prescribe a single dose of a steroid medication to help reduce swelling in the throat and make breathing easier.

Call the doctor if:

  • Your baby is finding it difficult to breathe
  • They are finding it difficult to feed
  • The cough or stridor is getting worse
  • They have had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more
  • Their fever is high and persistent, and they seem very tired or irritable or drowsy/sleepy

Some of these symptoms could indicate a very serious illness called epiglottitis (inflammation and swelling of the epiglottis), which requires urgent medical attention.

If you notice severe breathing difficulties, or your baby’s lips or tongue start to appear bluish, dial 999 for an ambulance instead.

  1. Gastroenteritis

Ahh, gastro – every parent’s favourite illness to deal with.

  • Most cases in children are caused by rotavirus, but babies are now offered a rotavirus vaccine (given as a liquid) as part of the routine immunisations.
  • Norovirus is the commonest cause of gastroenteritis in adults, although you can get it at any age.
  • Food poisoning can be due to bacteria such as Campylobacter, Salmonella and Escherischia Coli (usually known as E.Coli), or by toxins produced from them.

Gastro is unfortunately very common, and most young children will get it at least once or twice a year, especially if they attend child care. 

Symptoms: stomach ache, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea, usually lasting anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days 

Treatment: The biggest thing to watch out for is dehydration; babies are small, so it doesn’t take many bouts of vomiting and/or diarrhoea to deplete their reserves. If your baby is breastfeeding, offer small feeds frequently (though not straight after a bout of vomiting). Bottle-fed babies or babies who have been weaned can sip small amounts of an electrolyte solution (or formula, if they can stomach it).

Cleaning surfaces like changing tables, etc. with a 2:1 solution of bleach and water will kill any lingering viruses. Bedding and soiled clothing needs to be sanitised before being washed on a hot setting.

Other than that, lots of love and patience is the best treatment – and hang in there! Gastro is unpleasant, but it generally doesn’t last long.

Gastro doesn’t usually warrant a trip to the GP, but call the doctor if:

  • The bug lasts longer than a day or two
  • Your baby can’t keep fluids down
  • It’s been several days, and your baby seems to be getting worse instead of better
  • Your baby is showing signs of dehydration: having fewer wet nappies, a dry mouth and tongue, and/or sunken eyes and fontanelle (soft spot on head)
  • They are becoming drowsy
  • You notice blood in poo or vomit

If you see signs of a more serious illness, like a very high fever, shortness of breath or a rash that doesn’t fade when you press a drinking glass on it, ring 999 instead. 

  1. Otitis media (ear infection)

This is an infection of the middle ear due to either bacteria (bugs) or viruses, which causes swelling of the eardrum.


  • earache
  • a high temperature (fever)
  • poor feeding or restless
  • lethargy
  • coughing or a runny nose
  • sickness and diarrhea sometimes

Although babies can’t tell you about their earache, they may pull, tug or rub their ear.


Most ear infections clear up on their own after 3 to 5 days, and don’t usually need antibiotics. You can give infant paracetamol or ibuprofen if necessary to relieve pain and high temperature.

 Call the doctor if:

  • There’s no improvement after two or three days
  • Your baby seems to be in a lot of pain
  • You notice fluid or pus discharge of pus from the ear.





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After the birth: what really happens in the first 72 hours with your new baby

Posted on 10 May 2016 by Lindsay



My husband and I have an amusing anecdote about the birth of our son. In a bit of a happy new-parent daze, we carefully drove home from the hospital, removed the baby capsule from the car, and ceremoniously opened the front door. Then he gingerly put the capsule down in the corner of the bedroom, and we looked at our new baby, then at each other – simultaneously coming to the realisation that we had NO IDEA what to do next.

Perhaps we’re alone in having felt this way... but I don’t think so. In the modern era of pregnancy yoga, weekly bump photos and detailed birth plans, it’s easy to spend so much of your time thinking about the prenatal period that you completely forget to envision what comes after.

Some experts advocate writing a postnatal plan to help you think through what your needs will be in those first few weeks, when you’re getting used to your baby and vice versa. If this appeals to you, go for it... after all, it might be handy to have a written reminder of what meals are in the freezer or who you can call for a half-hour of baby cuddling so you can nip off to the shower. But as a modern, type-A mum myself, I don’t know that it’s necessary to lay out in great detail how things should go in those first hazy days of parenthood... it’s all too easy for your tidy plan to start looking like a punitive must-do list, especially if you haven’t managed to get out of your dressing-gown that day!

What almost certainly will be helpful, however, is to spend a bit of time thinking about what the first several days with your new baby will be like. Newborns are a bit different to older babies; after all, birth is a very big deal to both of you, and everyone has a bit of recovering to do afterward! Here’s what you can expect in the first 72 hours.

Right after the birth

The first hour after your baby is born tends to be a sort of honeymoon period; everyone is quite understandably excited, and babies are usually quite alert. If you’re breastfeeding, this is the perfect time to start, as many babies instinctively root for the breast soon after the birth. (However, don’t expect fountains of milk; at this stage, your breasts will only be producing small amounts of a pre-milk called colostrum, which is a concentrated source of protein and calories for your baby.)

Your new little bundle might look slightly odd at the beginning; if you’ve had a vaginal birth, the head and face may appear puffy and misshapen from the trip down the birth canal, the genitalia may be swollen from the hormones in your body during the birth, and there might even be a bit of fine hair called lanugo lingering on your baby’s back. Rest assured, all these effects are only temporary!

The first day

After the excitement has worn off, your baby will likely fall into a deep sleep for several hours – understandable, after the journey they’ve just taken! Many babies stay quite sleepy for the first 24 hours and only want a few short feeds; this means the nappy count will likely stay fairly low as well, maybe one or two wet nappies to deal with. You will probably also see some meconium – your first baby poo, hooray! Lots of parents are a bit alarmed by this, as it tends to be greenish-black in colour and quite sticky. Trust us, this is normal – and it doesn’t stay this way for long.

You’ll also have a unique job to do in the first week: caring for the remains of your baby’s umbilical cord. The amazing lifeline that kept your baby nourished in the womb will start to look more like an odd brown tail in the next few days; you can keep it clean by swabbing gently around it with a clean cotton ball and cooled, boiled water. It will fall off all by itself in about a week.

The second day

Have you managed to get some sleep yet? It’s a good idea to snooze as much as you can on that first sleepy day, because most babies wake up quite a bit on the second day!

Many newborns want to feed a lot at this time, and may even seem a bit unsettled and upset. Rest assured, this is totally normal! All those feeds (usually anywhere between 6 and 12 in the second 24 hours) are stimulating your breasts to produce all the milk your baby will need – and you’ll start to feel them getting fuller and heavier in response. Your best bet on the second day is to keep things simple: sit back, relax and enjoy all the closeness (and make sure someone’s handy to keep refilling your tea mug and toast plate!)

If you’re feeling some discomfort from all the feeding, don’t be afraid to ask for advice from your midwife or health visitor; checking your baby’s position and attachment now can save a lot of soreness later on! Remember, breastfeeding is a learned skill – and you and your baby are figuring out how to do it together.

You’ll probably change a couple of wet nappies today, and at least one dirty nappy; you may start to notice the blackish meconium changing over to ‘normal’ poo. (Yes, you’re about to become more of a poo expert than you ever wanted to be!)

The third day

Ever heard of the term “cluster feeding”? This is a clever trick your baby uses to make sure your breasts are primed to produce plenty of milk... though it comes as a shock to lots of new mums! A cluster is when your baby needs several feeds close together, usually followed by a slightly longer settled period.

It might well seem like you do nothing but breastfeed today, but try not to worry – this doesn’t mean you don’t have enough milk! Instead, your breasts are switching over from producing colostrum to regular breastmilk, and ramping up the volume accordingly. They may feel heavier and warmer than usual, too. This is hard work, so make sure to drink plenty of fluids and eat healthy, nourishing food. Many mums like to keep a big glass of water and a snack nearby during feeds for just this reason.

Your baby will probably wet two to three nappies today, which is a great sign that your he or she is getting enough to drink and everything’s working as it should.

You’ll probably be quite tired by this point, and it’s easy to feel fragile and emotional, especially when your baby is unsettled and crying. Try to keep in mind that they’re not doing this to upset you! This is a totally new experience for your baby, and it takes a lot of adjustment for them to get used to things that we take for granted. Limiting visitors in the first week will help give everyone space to settle into your new life together.

Most of all, hang in there! If you’re still pregnant as you read this, take a bit of time to think about what will make you feel most supported and cared for once your little one arrives... whether it’s getting time for a nice hot shower or having someone bring you freshly-baked muffins. Creating a bit of comfort for yourself can make a lot of difference to your state of mind.

The first weeks with a new baby are arguably the most challenging bit of parenthood, but trust us, you’ve got years and years of wonderful family experiences ahead to look forward to. Congratulations – and enjoy!


What was your experience of the first 72 hours? Did you have a plan? Share your experience with us. We also have lots of information for new mums on our website www.hipp.co.uk/expert-advice





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