Support groups and sessions
Whether you're breastfeeding, bottle-feeding or introducing solid foods, there are support groups and sessions around Hertfordshire to help you.
We've also got baby clinics and introduction to solids groups that offer support and information on feeding choices.
When feeding your baby, there are some important things you can do to make sure you're closely responding to your baby’s needs.
Skin to skin contact
This is when you hold your baby close, skin to skin, as soon as possible after birth. Your warmth, smell and heartbeat will make your baby feel safe and calm.
Skin to skin can continue for several weeks after birth.
Learning your baby's cues
Keeping baby close to you so that you can recognise feeding cues is helpful.
More about feeding cues – signs baby is hungry
Most babies will “ask politely” in the first instance. This is a much easier time to feed than when crying.
Feeding at baby's pace
When breastfeeding your baby, feeds can be long or short. When bottle-feeding, feed at your baby's own pace. Like an adult, there will be times when they're hungrier than others.
Bottle-fed babies may not finish every feed. Look for signs that they've had enough and avoid overfeeding.
Looking at and holding baby close
Babies need this for healthy brain development. There are simple things you can do to ensure you're enhancing baby’s learning, both before and after baby is born.
Plenty of cuddles
You can’t spoil a baby by picking them up and keeping them close. It helps your baby to feel secure and loved.
Remember, baby cries as a last resort and mostly wants to be close to you. If you're bottle-feeding, limit the number of people who give them a feed in the early days. Your baby is getting to know you and is still building up resistance to bacteria.
It’s fine to give your baby a dummy but avoid using them after 12 months of age. Using dummies after this can encourage an open bite, which is when teeth move to make space for the dummy.
More about using a dummy (PDF 338KB)