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1. About this guide

Welcome to the 2018/19 edition of The Guide to Infant Feeding – the independent, comprehensive and essential training guide for community practitioner and health visitor teams.

2. Behind the headlines

The health and wellbeing of pregnant women and babies is never too far from the news. Here are a few of the stories that have hit the headlines, with an explanation of the facts behind them.

3. Order more copies

If you find our guide useful, the latest Guide to Infant Feeding for community practitioner and health visitor teams is now available to order.

1. Breast is best!

The Department of Health recommends exclusive breastfeeding until a baby is six months old. Some mums will need advice and support when trying to achieve this.

1. Coping with colic

Colic affects up to one in five babies, making it one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints in babies.

1. Feeding equipment

The vast array of feeding equipment and guidelines for safe sterilisation can make this category confusing for parents, but getting it right can save them time and trouble in the long run.

1. The weaning process

From the age of six months, babies’ nutritional requirements change to meet their bodies’ growing demands, and the natural process of learning to eat solid food begins.

1. When breast milk isn't an option

Breast milk is the gold standard for babies up to six months of age, but infant formula milk does have an important role to play when a mother cannot or chooses not to breastfeed.

2. Bottle feeding

If a parent chooses to bottle feed their baby, there is plenty of advice that can be provided, from how best to feed the baby to how much milk they should be drinking.

2. How to prepare a bottle feed

To help protect babies from infection, knowing how to make up feeds and sterilise equipment correctly is essential.

2. Practical advice

Moving on from milk to adding solid food to a baby's diet can be daunting for both the baby and the parents. But some simple tips can make the process run as smoothly as possible.

2. Reflux

Reflux, or gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR), affects 30 per cent of infants. Also called regurgitation, it occurs when the stomach contents are brought back up into the oesophagus or mouth.

2. The benefits of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mum and baby, but what makes it so good?

3. Constipation

It can be difficult to know what’s ‘normal’ when it comes to an infant’s bowel movements. The frequency and consistency of stools can vary, but symptoms of constipation are easy to spot.

3. Feeding problems

There are a wide range of feeding problems that can occur in breastfed and bottle fed babies.

3. Homemade versus ready-made

Choosing to give babies homemade or ready-made food is often a big decision for parents and so ensuring parents have all the information they need to decide what's best for them and their baby is important.

3. Sterilisation

Babies are most vulnerable to infections during their first year of life and as milk provides a perfect medium for the growth of bacteria, it is essential that bottle feeding equipment is sterilised for the first year.

3. Top tips for mum's nutrition

A woman needs to look after herself while pregnant and breastfeeding to give her baby the best possible start in life, and eating a healthy diet really makes a difference.

4. Diarrhoea

It is quite normal to see some variation in the consistency of a baby’s stools, but if there is a sudden change in consistency to loose or watery stools, it is classed as diarrhoea.

4. Moving on to weaning

Weaning is the process of moving babies on from only drinking milk to eating solid foods. Babies should be weaned at around six months of age, recommends the Department of Health.
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