What is your best advice for new parents?
When travelling, especially if staying with friends or relatives, try to stick with your routine. This may mean saying no and not joining in activities, always put your child’s sleep and rest first. This will mean a much more enjoyable trip. Mother of Rachel 14 months
Wash baby’s toys in a pillow case or bra bag on a gentle cycle, rather than hand washing everything. Mother of Brody 7 months.
When your baby has a drool rash use a little paw paw ointment or similar as a barrier cream. This stops any irritation and it will clear up quickly. Mother of Selina 9 months
The maternal health nurse has lots of resources available many of which can be borrowed for short periods of time. They have books and dvds on sleep, settling and lots of other baby topics. This is often better than buying books only to find they don’t suit you. Also check out your library for good parenting resources. Mother of Jacob 10 months
Keep trying with breast feeding! It hurts like hell and is difficult and tiring especially with a very slow feeder like my baby (an hour each feed even at 4am is hard) ended up having to supplement with formula but she is a fine happy bubbly baby so don’t feel guilty Sleep, sleep sleep when you can! Get used to your mothers group ladies, you will grow to rely on each other. Routine is best! Dont use a dummy,baby doesnt know what one is unless you use one, my baby never had one, sleeps on a routine and self settles. Mother of Saskia 10months
Wrap them – even if they don’t like the traditional way, find another way. Find what works for you and your baby and DO IT…don’t listen to others opinions. Breastfeeding hurts for the first 6 weeks, even if you are doing it right. Stick it out, you won’t regret it. Mother of Hannah 20 months.
Cut baby’s finger nails while they are breastfeeding or sleeping to minimise the struggle. Mother of Thomas 3 months
Most medications cannot be used for babies with a snotty nose. Saline drops and an aspirator, I use Fess brand, has been great for my daughter. They work really well to clear her nose and allow her to feed more effectively. Mother of Lucy 8 months.
Baby swim classes are great way to get exercise for mum. My husband also liked to attend; it was great bonding time for him with our daughter. We attended classes at the physio hydrotherapy pool, which was nice and warm for the baby. Mother of Isabelle 5 months.
Subscribe to a parenting magazine. They have great ideas and it is a nice treat to sit down and read once a month when they arrive. A subscription makes a great gift for a pregnant friend. I like Practical Parenting magazine. Mother of Alex 4 years.
Above all, trust your instinct. Mother of Jason 22 months
You will never understand what it is to be a parent until you are one. And by then, it’s too late to change it! Mother of Poppy 3, Harry 21 months
Follow your own instincts and do what you think is right. Mother of Thomas 14 months.
Do what you feel is right for you and your baby and don’t listen to anyone else. Mother of Lukas 10 months
You know your baby best, so do what you think is best for your baby. You can’t spoil a baby. Mother of Isabelle 3, Blake 20 months.
Do what works best for you. Listen to advice (and everyone has different advice) find what works for you and stick to it. Mother of 3.
Do what works for you – routines don’t suit everyone if you need to hold your baby to sleep so be it – happy baby happy mum. Mother of Tuscany 4, Morrissey 3, Valen 6 months
Read the baby not the book! Every baby is different so yes read the books but listen to what your baby is trying to tell you. Put your baby to sleep when it is tired not when the book tells you too. Train your baby to go to sleep by itself. Mother of Blake 3, Chelsea 1y
Go with your instincts and don’t worry if someone tells u that u are doing something wrong or not right whatever works for you & baby at the time. Mother of Jorja 21 months.
Go with your instincts. Mother of Rose 3 y.
Writing things down… how long they fed for, how long they slept, which side you fed them on last… knowledge is power ) And following a routine. Mother of Melayna 5y.
Listen to your instincts and try everything! Mother of Jake 15 months
Just when you think you are getting into a routine, it changes… and that’s okay. Mother of Annick 3y.
Just go with the flow as to what is best for you and child. Everyone has their own opinion. Seek advice but don’t take it all on board if it doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it. Mother of Haleemah 6y, Muneerah 4y, Jawaad and Khaleel 3 months.
It gets better!!! Having a hot water flask in the bedroom for making bottles overnight. Having a feeding routine. Mother of Kayla 4.5months.
Trust your instincts
Babies grow quickly in the first year of life, so they need plenty of energy (kilojoules) and nutrients. A child’s growth isn’t always steady and even, which means that appetite and hunger can be unpredictable.
The amounts of foods eaten by your baby and their interest in food may be a little different from day to day. This is normal and shouldn’t cause any concerns if your baby is growing well.
Introduce solids at about six months of age
Breast milk is an important food for babies until at least 12 months of age, or longer if the mum and baby desire. Infant formula is important until 12 months. By about six months of age, a baby’s iron stores are low and extra foods will be needed to maintain healthy growth and prevent nutritional problems such as iron deficiency. Start to introduce solids around six months of age – when your baby starts showing interest in food.
Clues that your baby is ready for solids
When your baby starts to need the nutrients that solid food can provide, there will be obvious signs they are ready to try solid foods. These include:
Good head control and able to sit up with support
Watching and leaning forwards when food is around
Reaching out to grab food or spoons to put in their mouth
Opening their mouth when food is offered.
Physical readiness for solids
Your baby’s organs and body grow and develop certain physical traits between four and six months. This indicates that their body is ready physically for solids. This maturing process includes:
Digestive system – digestive enzymes that help to digest food are developed.
Immune system – immune gut defence mechanism is fully developed.
Mouth and tongue – your baby is able to move food to the back of their mouth and swallow safely.
Head and neck – your baby is able to hold their head up; head control helps them to sit up straight and swallow.
Kidneys – your baby’s kidneys can now handle the increased load produced by solids.
Starting solids too early can cause problems
Hungry babies should be offered more breast or formula feeds until they are ready for solids. Some parents want to try solids early, believing this may help baby grow, sleep or settle better. Giving solids too early rarely helps these problems and may lead to other difficulties including:
Poor growth, if the solid food replaces breast milk or formula
Loose bowel actions or diarrhoea, if the baby cannot digest the food.
Don’t leave starting solids too late
It’s also important that starting solids is not left too late, as this may lead to problems including:
Poor growth due to low energy intake
Iron deficiency anaemia
Feeding problems, particularly if not started before about seven to nine months of age.
Signs that your baby is not interested
Signs that your baby is not interested or is full may include closing the mouth tightly and turning the head away when offered food. They may cry when the food is offered or may push the spoon away. If this happens at your first attempts to feed your baby, relax and try again in a few days. While most babies naturally spit food out when first given solids, they soon learn to accept foods if you continue.
Getting to know when your baby is hungry or full is important to having happy, relaxed and enjoyable mealtimes.
Tips for introducing solids
Be calm and relaxed when you start to feed your baby.
Make sure your child is sitting comfortably and is not too hungry.
Be patient. Your baby may only take a spoonful at first, but this will increase with time and practice.
Be prepared – all babies will make a mess as they learn to eat.
Stay with your child while eating to avoid accidents such as choking.
Try again in a day or so if your baby refuses the first time.
Wait several days before introducing a new food
Offer foods on a small, infant-sized spoon.
Suggested first foods