At birth, giving your baby a long cuddle: Skin to skin contact for up to one hour,
calms both mum and baby, it regulates baby’s heart rate and temperature, and
stimulates mothering hormones which helps to form a close bond and increase
breast milk supply. Baby’s immediate needs are to feel safe and secure, and to be
able to feed whenever hungry. Holding your baby close to feed, and responding to
all of baby’s needs encourages healthy brain connections. Most of this development
will occur within the first two years. Responsive parenting will enable your baby to
reach its full potential, to help them form good relationships and communicate well,
giving them the best start in life.
How to tell your baby is having
lots of milk:
Lots of wet heavy nappies -
around six in 24 hours.
Dirty nappies, two to three
soft stools daily until four to
six weeks, after which two to
three per week.
Baby is content and settled
during and after each feed.
During a feed, you can hear
Weight gain - checked by
your health visitor at the local
Remember, your milk fulfils all of
your baby’s needs for around six
months. It also reduces the
incidence of sudden infant death
syndrome (SIDS). Ordinary
supermarket cow’s milk should
not be offered until your baby
reaches one year, although it is
suitable to use from six months
in breakfast cereals.
Hold your baby’s body close with their nose level with your nipple to help them attach correctly.
Let your baby’s head tip back a little so that their top lip can brush against your nipple. This should help your baby to make a wide open mouth.
When your baby’s mouth opens wide, their chin is able to touch your breast first, with their head tilted, so that their lower lip can make contact with the breast 2-3cm below the nipple.
With their chin firmly touching and their nose clear, their mouth is wide open and there will be much more of the darker skin visible above your baby’s top lip than below their bottom lip. Your baby’s cheeks will look full and rounded as they feed.
There are lots of different positions for breastfeeding. You just
need to check the following:
Are your baby’s head and body in a straight line?
If not, your baby might not be able to swallow easily.
Are you holding your baby close to you?
Support their neck, shoulders and back. They should be
able to tilt their head back easily.
Sterilising and bottle hygiene
All the equipment you use for bottle Feeding & weaning needs to be washed in
hot soapy water, rinsed and sterilised.
The cleaning and sterilising instructions are the same, whether you are using
expressed breast milk or infant formula milk.
You need to keep sterilising your feeding equipment until your baby is at least
six months old.
Infections (like gastroenteritis) are rare, but if they do occur, can be very serious.
Introducing solid foods or ‘weaning’
Babies can get all the nutrients they need from breast milk or infant formula until six months old. Waiting till then to wean helps give their digestive system time to develop fully so it can cope with solid foods.
Gradually, you’ll be able to increase the amount and variety of solid food your baby eats until the main part of their diet is solid food and they can eventually eat the same food as the rest of your family, in smaller portions.
For an excellent booklet about weaning your baby, click here. Introducing Solid Foods
Have you been
shown how to
This is a really
and it's free.
For further breastfeeding
support or one-to-one
assistance contact the
Infant Feeding Helpline
during office hours
020 8496 5222.
The Best Start team host infant feeding cafes, ‘starting solids’ workshops
and drop-in sessions in Children & Family
Centres, visit www.walthamforest.gov.uk/cypd
to find out what’s on near you.
Other mums and Peer Supporters will be there
to give you lots of tips.