Hints and tips on changing from breast to bottle feeding your baby
Breastfeeding is best, few people will dispute this fact. But, it isn’t always possible or desirable. Some can’t or choose not to breastfeed their baby from the start, whereas others start breastfeeding but then for one reason or another need to switch over to the bottle, either totally or partially. Whatever choice you make, it makes sense to discuss your feeding options with a health visitor or breastfeeding counsellor who is trained to give support and handy advice.
So, if you find yourself in the position of needing to switch over from breastfeeding to bottle feeding, perhaps because you’re returning to work, do I have any hints or tips to help make the changeover easier?
1. Start to introduce a bottle a few weeks ahead – just in case it takes a while for your baby to get used to it
2. Decide whether you are going to give your baby expressed breastmilk or formula, and if you go for the latter, decide which formula you want to use. Sometimes babies take to the bottle better if it contains the familiar taste of your breastmilk at first, before moving onto a formula a bit later
3. Make sure the milk you’re offering is warm
4. Choose the perfect time to try the bottle, when baby is alert and slightly hungry (don’t wait until your baby is really hungry as they won’t be in the mood for trying something new if they are), and you are relaxed and not in a rush
5. Hold your baby so they are turned away from you so they are not trying to find your nipple
6. Stay calm and reassuring; try not to show any frustration you might feel if it doesn’t work out straightaway
7. Perhaps ask your partner or someone else close to the baby to give the bottle rather than you if they seem reluctant to take the bottle from you
For more information and tips, visit the HiPP Baby Club.
Have you tried to switch over from breast to bottle? What were your experiences? I’d love to hear from you.
Tags: babies, baby, Babyclub, breast feeding, bottle feeding, healthy, Helen, Hipp Organic, milk, mums
Categories: Diet, HiPP Organic, Website
Should babies be weaned onto a vegan diet?
Further to my post about vegetarian diets on 27th October, a couple of mums have asked me for more information on vegan diets for babies. As I said before, I believe vegetarian diets are suitable for children, provided parents take care to ensure the diet is varied and contains adequate energy, sources of iron and vitamin C at mealtimes to aid iron absorption.
Meeting all baby’s nutritional needs with a vegan diet excluding all animal products is not so easy, however, and should only be embarked upon after very careful consideration and consultation with a dietitian/doctor. It is too easy for the vegan diet to be deficient in energy or essential nutrients unless the parent really understands the importance of nutrition and makes appropriate food choices.
As a vegan diet is usually bulky and high in fibre, babies get full up before they have taken enough energy so it is really important that high calorie foods such as tofu, avocados, bananas and smooth nut and seed butters (e.g.tahini, cashew or peanut butter) are given. Extra energy can be added to foods by using vegetable oils or vegan fat spreads. For protein, beans and pulses, cereals, tofu and soya yogurts are useful, and of course breast milk or a soya-based formula milk formula will help ensure baby gets enough protein. This milk will also help to provide much-needed calcium. Iron deficiency can be avoided by including dark green leafy vegetables, beans and pulses, and dried fruits (particularly apricots). Omega 3 fatty acids are found in some vegetable oils (linseed, flaxseed, walnut and rapeseed) and it is good to use these oils in place of other oils (sunflower, safflower or corn) to help meet omega 3 requirements.
Parents must also pay particular attention to baby’s vitamin requirements. A vitamin supplement containing vitamins A, C and D is recommended for all babies from 6 months up to 5 years. Since the only reliable sources of vitamin B12 in the diet are meat, eggs and dairy products, vegans must get their B12 from fortified foods such as yeast extracts, fortified breakfast cereals or soya formulas, and a B12 supplement may also be needed.
What do you think- should babies ever be weaned onto a vegan diet? Should parents impose their dietary beliefs on their children?
Let me know.
Tags: babies, baby, Babyclub, eating, fibre, food, healthy, Helen, Hipp Organic, nutrition, organic, vegan, vegetarian
Categories: Diet, HiPP Organic, Website
How much fruit and veg should baby eat a day?
I often get asked “how much fruit and veg should my baby be having a day?” For adults and older children the message is pretty clear and can be seen everywhere – on supermarket shelves, food labels, TV and magazine adverts, healthy eating literature, websites (see below) – eat 5 portions a day, each portion being 80g.
Visit the NHS website - 5 a day
Although fruits and vegetables are staple foods during weaning and it’s hard to imagine most babies not getting enough, as yet health departments in the UK haven’t quantified the recommended fruit and veg intakes for babies and so parents often don’t know whether their little ones are getting enough.
Fruit and veg are full of lots of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fibre, and to make sure your baby benefits from the full array of nutrients these foods have to offer it makes good sense to include lots of different types - a mix of green vegetables (e.g. broccoli, cabbage, green beans), yellow or orange vegetables (e.g. carrots, squash, swede, sweet potato), and fruits (e.g. apricots, mangoes, bananas, peaches). Include some fruit and veg at every meal if possible, and aim for 5 servings a day, but don’t worry if some days, especially at the start of weaning, this is less.
With regards to portion sizes for babies, official advice only says that the amount is smaller than the adult recommendation of 80g, but how much smaller? The Caroline Walker Trust has recently published advice on portion sizes for toddlers aged 1-4 years and they quote 40g fruit/veg as a portion. They are publishing advice on infant portion sizes later in the year but until this is available, my thinking is that 30-35g makes a sensible portion size. This equates to approximately half a small pear, apple, banana or peach; one small plum; one small carrot or parsnip; 3 cauliflower florets; 1 tablespoon peas. Most HiPP Organic baby foods contain 1-2 fruit or veg portions per jar or pot, so they can really help boost fruit and veg intakes.
Let me know whether you think your baby is getting enough.......
Best wishes - Helen
Pregnancy and healthy eating
I’m really getting quite excited about this new blog of mine! It was great to hear back from you all about your own experiences on the last post and I’m hoping I can pass onto you all some really useful nutritional advice!
As I mentioned to you in my last post, we recently did a survey with the HiPP Baby Club members and one of the first questions we asked pregnant mothers was ‘Are you following any guidelines on what you should eat during pregnancy?’ Half of the respondents said they have only followed some of the guidelines and have been quite relaxed about their diets, whilst just over a quarter said they have followed their natural instincts on what they should be eating. This left less than a quarter saying they have followed the guidelines religiously. This got me thinking, are health professionals like myself and the Government overloading mums-to-be with advice on what to eat/not to eat during pregnancy and if we were to prioritise, what are the most important bits of dietary advice for pregnant mums?
I believe, and I’m sure you will all agree, that as a parent the most important thing always is to make sure your baby is safe. For this reason I would say that you should definitely follow the advice to avoid certain foods on food safety grounds e.g. raw meat/eggs, unpasteurised cheese, certain fish. Why not download a copy of our Foods to avoid card from our Baby Club that gives a ready-reckoner on what foods you should not eat during your pregnancy.
On top of that, I would definitely recommend that mums-to-be should eat as wide a variety of different foods as possible to make sure they get all the nourishment mum and baby needs. And of course, there are folic acid supplements that are so important in the early stages of pregnancy, vitamin D supplements important for some........so the list goes on!
But remember the advice that is given is based on the most up-to-date knowledge and as a health professional I hope you mums feel able to take on board as much of this advice as possible, for your own benefit and to help ensure your baby can get the best start in life as possible.
Let me know what you think – are health professionals like me and the Government giving the best dietary advice to pregnant mums?
Best wishes - Helen