• How can I be sure my baby has drunk enough?
Babies know how to regulate their appetite and recognise when they have had enough to eat. Once satisfied, your baby will stop feeding naturally.
• Will breastfeeding ruin my breasts?
It is pregnancy which changes your breasts, not breastfeeding. Wear a special bra while breastfeeding for good support and to make it easy for baby to access your breast.
• What if I am embarrassed about breastfeeding in public?
You will soon find it easy to breastfeed discreetly.
Wear loose clothes or a shawl which you can slip your baby under.
• What happens if I need to take medication?
The doctor or pharmacist will be able to tell you whether or not the medication is compatible with breastfeeding. This will also depend on you baby’s weight and age. Always avoid self-medicating.
• What can I do about engorgement?
Engorgement is a surplus of milk in the mammary gland, generally due to lack of feeding. The breast becomes swollen, red and painful. The nipple is flattened, making it difficult for the baby to latch on. To give you relief, you will need to try to release milk by breastfeeding your child or by manually or mechanically pumping your milk.
• Why choose “follow-on” milk formula or second stage formula?
Follow-on milk formula contains the nutrients essential to the growth and development of your child, in accordance with the applicable regulations.
They are carefully formulated to meet the needs of infants from 6 to 12 months who are beginning food diversification .
• What can I do if my baby refuses to give up breast milk?
Some babies will not appreciate this change, and may categorically refuse bottles offered to them.
The right approach:
- avoid tempting them with the breast by turning them to face outwards when you present the bottle to them.
- try to find a teat which suits them. Some are designed to imitate the shape of a nipple.
- ask dad or someone you know to take your place and feed them, and move out of the way so that they are not expecting your breast.
- take advantage of times when you are having them looked after by someone else to make the transition.
• What can I do if I have to wean my baby to go back to work even though I want to continue breastfeeding?
After 3 months, baby can take a bottle when their mother is working and be breastfed when she is at home. You may, however, experience milk flow difficulties.
Manual or mechanical breast-pumps allow you to collect your milk and make a bottle with it to be given to baby in your absence, meaning they can still receive breast milk. But storing your milk requires strict compliance with hygiene rules. Sterilise all equipment used and keep the milk in the coldest part of the fridge (the door) at 4°C maximum.
Your doctor or your child’s paediatrician will be able to give you advice and help you to pass this important milestone.
• How do I clean and sterilise a baby bottle?
The idea is to avoid any contamination by micro-organisms which could make baby sick.
This procedure is particularly recommended if water quality is uncertain:
- Step 1 – Wash the bottle with washing-up liquid. It will be easier to use a large bottle-brush to get to the bottom of the baby bottle and a small bottle-brush to clean the teat. It is advisable to do this as soon as baby has drunk their bottle, to avoid the milk drying up, sticking, and becoming difficult to remove.
- Step 2 – Sterilise the bottle and teat using a special device or by boiling it in a large saucepan of water.
To destroy the microbes, the temperature must exceed 100°C. Boiling should last for at least 15 minutes for the baby bottle and 20 minutes for the teats, rings and caps.
You also have the option of cold sterilisation using a bleach solution. It must be measured out according to the packaging instructions and all parts must be soaked for around one hour.
In both cases, the bottle must be wiped, cleaned and stored in a clean, dry place. Reuse within 24 hours, otherwise the process must be repeated.
N.B. “For a few years, the WHO (World Health Organization) has held the view that sterilisation is not essential for babies in good health. Careful cleaning is sufficient, and it is not necessary to sterilise the baby bottle. And, of course, it must be stored in a clean place and handled with completely clean hands.”
For any questions you find yourself asking (baby bottle sterilisation, etc.), do not hesitate to ask your doctor for advice.
• How do I choose the right baby bottle?
It is best to have several of them to enable rotation between meals while they are being washed and sterilised. They must all meet child safety standards.
They are available in glass or plastic, and in various capacities and designs:
- glass baby bottles are better able to withstand repeated sterilisation and washing. They retain heat better, but are heavier and more easily broken. You may prefer to use them for the initial period.
- plastic baby bottles quickly become tarnished but are solid and light. They are ideal when baby begins to handle the bottle by themselves.
It is important that the gradations on the bottle are legible and accurate.
• As of 12 months, can my baby do without growing-up milk formula?
At this age, even if their diet is similar to yours, growing-up milk formula remains an essential food. It is therefore essential for your child to continue to drink 500ml of growing-up milk formula per day.
Useful info: cow’s milk is not yet recommended at this age because it does not contain sufficient fatty acids, iron or vitamins and is too rich in protein.
• What should I do if my child does not like a new food?
If a new taste or texture does not appeal to them, do not force them. Try again on another occasion.
Find a small spoon for baby: give them time to learn to use it without getting stuff everywhere. The smaller the spoon, the less food will end up getting spilled! The baby bottle remains an essential familiar object which must not be taken away from them.
What if they refuse the spoon? This means they are not yet ready for it. In this case, go ahead and try again in a few days. Your baby will adopt it in the end.
Be patient, parents! During this period, you are setting the template for tranquil family meals in the future. You could begin to give them their food before you eat in order to devote all your attention to them.
• What if my child refuses water and will only take fruit juice?
All babies are attracted by sweet tastes. It is important for your child to want to drink again due to thirst rather than the sweet taste. You could dilute their juice gradually until you are giving them water only.
• What should I do when they ask for pizzas, sweets, biscuits or chocolate bars?
These products are generally too fatty, too salty and/or too sweet. They provide no benefit from a nutritional point of view, since they are mostly lacking in vitamins and minerals. They should therefore be limited and kept for special occasions. They will then enjoy them all the more!
• Should I say no when my child asks for sweets?
Sweets have no nutritional value, but your child will enjoy them.
Allow them to have something sweet now and again or on special occasions, preferably after their meal.
• My child is always hungry, can I give them something to eat between meals?
It is preferable not to give your child anything to eat between meals. To achieve this, ensure that they eat enough during meals. If the growth curve is considered normal by your doctor, reduction is not necessary provided they have a balanced diet. You could, for example, increase the quantity of vegetables and offer them a small piece of bread.
• My child has a very small appetite. Should I make them finish what is on their plate?
Their growth curve is the only real indicator that the doctor will follow. If the doctor tells you that this is normal, then they are eating exactly what they need. Do not force your child to finish their food, and adapt quantities to suit their requirements and appetite. It is better to serve small quantities and give your child second helpings if wanted.