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Brought to you by Philips AVENT

Congratulations on your gorgeous new baby. You must be feeling excited and a bit overwhelmed, and probably quite exhausted! The early days can be tricky. You may worry about doing everything properly. To help you, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide.

What equipment will I need to feed and care for my baby?

Aside from the basics – a cot, a moses basket, a pram, a changing table and bag and a chest of drawers, you'll need a selection of the following essentials.

Baby Monitors from Philips AVENT

Nursing, Feeding and Sterilising

Philips AVENT 3-In-1 Steriliser

£60.00 £29.99
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Philips AVENT SCF281/02 Microwave...

£26.00 £12.99
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There is nothing better you can give your baby than the health-enhancing benefits of breast milk. Philips AVENT's range of breast pumps and accessories have been designed to help you do so for as long as you like, as easily as possible. The revolutionary design of our pumps has been acclaimed by mothers and health professionals worldwide.

Breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months of baby's life, but can continue during and beyond the introduction of solid foods. When you are breastfeeding, good nutrition is vital for you and your baby. Continue with the varied and healthy diet you were following during pregnancy, and try not to skip meals.

Although some new mothers find it easy to breastfeed right away, others need a bit of practice and patience before it goes smoothly. Don't forget that your midwife, health visitor or other healthcare professionals are there to give you any help and support you need in getting started. In the meantime, Philips AVENT has put together an overview of breastfeeding basics for you.

A step-by-step guide to breastfeeding

Breastfeeding tips from Philips AVENT

1. Positioning yourself

If you're lying in bed, your midwife can help you find the best position. Otherwise, sit up straight in a chair, holding your baby at breast level across your lap. Since you'll be breastfeeding for about 30 minutes, it's important that both of you are as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Strategically placed pillows and a low footstool can provide support.

2. Positioning your baby

Hold your baby's body closely facing you. The head should rest on your forearm, not in the crook of your arm. You can support the neck and head from behind with your other hand. Remember to bring your baby to the breast - not your breast to the baby.

3. 'Latching on'

Brush the baby's lips against your nipple until the mouth opens wide, like a yawn. Smoothly bring the baby's mouth to your breast so it covers as much of the areola as possible, with the nipple well inside-not at the front-of the mouth. There should be a small gap between your breast and the baby's nose. Be patient. It may take a few tries to 'latch on' properly.

4. During feeding

Once your baby has started feeding – relax! The baby always gets a thin 'foremilk' first to quench the thirst. The calorie-rich 'hindmilk' that satisfies hunger will come afterwards. That's why it's important not to hurry a feed. Let the baby nurse as long as desired from one breast and then offer the other. If the baby has had enough, offer the other breast first at the next feed.

The more you breastfeed, the more milk you will produce. If you feed 'on demand', you should produce all the milk the baby needs. Breastfed babies generally cry when they are hungry, which can be every 2-3 hours in the first weeks. How long a full feed lasts really does vary with each mum and baby - anything between 10 and about 40 minutes.

> Download a handy Philips AVENT feeding diary here

How can I prevent sore breasts and nipples?

If your baby is correctly positioned at the breast from the beginning, you shouldn't get sore or cracked nipples. Squeezing a drop or two of your milk onto your nipples at the end of the feed and spreading it around the areola can help. Make sure you keep your nipples dry, and change breast pads frequently. Also available is Philips AVENT Moisturising Nipple Cream. Apply it between feeds or as required to help maintain healthy supple skin. There is no need to remove the cream prior to breastfeeding.

How can I prevent my breasts becoming too full of milk?

When your milk 'comes in', your breasts may become hard and uncomfortable. Breastfeed your baby as often as possible, and if necessary express a little milk with your breast pump before a feed if you need to soften the breast to allow baby to latch on. The swelling can be reduced by applying cold flannels or ice packs from the fridge.

Feed your baby long enough to remove the swelling and lumpiness and in between use Philips AVENT Breast Shells inside your bra. Their gentle pressure will help relieve the engorgement and collect leaking milk.

If your breasts become very full and uncomfortable between feeds and you really don't want to wake your baby, use your breast pump to express your milk. You will be able to use it to build up your own breast milk store.

Bottlefeeding and Expressing

You don’t always have to be there to feed your baby – it’s quick and easy to express milk using a hand or electric pump straight into a bottle and leave this for someone else to feed to your baby. You can store your milk in the fridge or freezer too, so you always have some handy if you need to go out.

It’s best to wait a few weeks after the birth to allow breastfeeding to become established before you start expressing, unless your healthcare professional recommends otherwise.

It’s important that your baby’s feeding technique at your breast is good, and that your milk supply is given time to fully replenish after each feed. You can gradually start introducing bottle feeds so there are no sudden upsets if you are planning to go back to work or want to go out and can’t be there to feed.

What kind of pump should I use to express?

There is nothing better you can give your baby than the health-enhancing benefits of breast milk. Philips AVENT's range of breast pumps and accessories have been designed to help you do so for as long as you like, as easily as possible. The revolutionary design of our pumps has been acclaimed by mothers and health professionals worldwide.

Expressing is really easy, especially with a pump. Philips AVENT has two types of pump: manual and electronic. Both allow you to express your milk directly into a feeding bottle for storing in the refrigerator or freezer. Expressing is also a great way of getting someone else involved in feeding your baby.

Philips AVENT SCF310/20 Manual Breast Pump
Philips AVENT SCF312/01 Electric Breast Pump

The Philips AVENT Manual Breast Pump is the easiest to use breast pump, as recommended by UK Mums*. It was the first ever designed to stimulate milk flow in a way that closely mimics the suckling action of a baby. There is simply no gentler, faster or more natural way to express milk. Our manual breast pump has not only been clinically proven to be as effective as a hospital-grade electric pump - it was rated significantly more comfortable and pleasant to use.

The Philips AVENT Single and Twin Electronic Breast Pumps take the clinically-proven design of our manual breast pump to the next level. They are No.1 rated in performance by UK Mums*. They help you express milk quickly, naturally and effortlessly thanks to an electronic memory. The unique electronic memory learns from you and continues your personal pumping rhythm.

An independent clinical trial conducted by leading British paediatricians and infant nutrition specialists compared the performance of the Philips AVENT Manual Breast Pump and a hospital-grade electric pump. Published by Pediatrics (the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) in June 2001, the randomised trial proved that mothers using the Philips AVENT Manual Breast Pump expressed more milk than those using a hospital-grade electric breast pump.

* Based on December 2009 TNS online satisfaction survey conducted among more than 960 female users of childcare brands and products in UK.

How many bottles will I need?

The best bottles to choose are those that are designed to give your baby a feeding experience that is as close to breastfeeding as possible, and that makes mixing bottle and breast or the transition from breast to bottle smooth and easy. You’ll need three or four bottles to get started and a selection of teats. Newborn teats with the smallest feeding hole are best at the beginning.

Philips AVENT bottles are designed to work with your baby’s natural feeding rhythm. The teat helps your baby to control milk as she would do at the breast, making it easy to feed with a bottle only, or combine bottle and breastfeeding.

When baby grows, you can continue to use the same bottles: simply change the teats to medium, fast or variable flow.

Unsettled and irritable behaviour, known as fussing, is by far the most commonly known crying behaviour in babies. Clinical studies show that the Philips AVENT Classic bottle significantly reduces colic and fussing.

A randomised clinical trial was carried out to see whether infant feeding bottle design affects infant behaviour. The Philips AVENT Classic bottle was shown to significantly reduce fussing by approximately 28 minutes a day as compared to the comparator bottle. This was especially true during night-time.

How often should I bottle feed?

Ideally, try to wait until breastfeeding is established before giving your baby a bottle. As with breastfeeding, you should bottle feed your baby on demand.

In the first few days, it’s normal for your baby to demand very small and frequent feeds. Babies are expected to lose weight in the first few days and regain it by about day ten.

Newborns may take very small volumes of milk. The volume of feeds demanded will gradually increase until you start weaning, and then the frequency and number of feeds should be decreased. Average feeding amounts are:

Babies don’t always drink the same amount at each feed and should always be allowed to stop when they’ve had enough, rather than being coerced to drink the same amount at each feed or finish every bottle.

In exceptionally hot weather, your baby may become thirsty in between their usual feeds. You can offer them drinks of boiled then cooled water. Don’t give them flavoured or sweetened waters.

A step-by-step guide to bottlefeeding

Bottlefeeding tips from Philips AVENT

1. Hold your baby close to you on your lap in a semi-upright position where she can make eye contact with you. If necessary, put a pillow on your lap to raise her up.

2. Your baby will enjoy feeding more if you smile and chat to her as she takes the bottle.

3. Place the teat carefully in your baby’s mouth, making sure you tilt the bottle so that the neck and teat are full of milk and your baby doesn’t swallow any air bubbles, which could cause gas.

4. If your baby seems unsettled during the feed, she may have wind. You could sit her up and try to get her to burp by rubbing her back.

5. As with breastfeeding, alternate your hold positions from side to side. This will help your baby’s eyes and neck to develop more equally. Try alternating halfway through the bottle after burping your baby. By doing this from the very start, your baby has a better chance of not choosing a preferred side.

6. Try to get into the habit of burping about halfway through the feed and after feeding. This may also help prevent spitting up.

> Download a Philips AVENT guide to bottlefeeding here

Is it really necessary to sterilise my baby's bottles and feeding equipment?

For the first 12 months, it’s crucial to make sure milk feeding equipment is properly sterilised, as your baby’s immune system isn’t properly developed and can’t fight off certain types of germs.

Philips AVENT sterilisers use the hospital method of steam sterilisation, which is quick, easy and efficient, with no chemicals involved.

Can I put my Philips AVENT bottles in the dishwasher?

Yes. All Philips AVENT bottles are dishwasher safe. The Philips AVENT electronic steam sterilisers include a dishwasher rack to keep small items together in the dishwasher.

How do I know when it's time to change to the next teat size?

It’s important to get a teat with the correctly sized hole for your baby. You can choose newborn, slow, medium or fast flow teats.

If your baby seems to take a long time to finish a bottle or gives up in the middle, the hole may be too small and you may want to change to a medium-flow teat. If your baby is spluttering as they feed, the hole in the teat may be too big. You may also like to try variable-flow teats that can give a slow, medium or fast flow using just the one teat.