Q: How do I get started with breastfeeding?
A: However natural it may appear for other people, breastfeeding takes some getting used to. Your healthcare professional will be able to help you get started. Here are some simple steps:
Q: What is colostrum?
A: Colostrum is the first milk your breasts produce. This thick, yellowy milk is one of nature’s super foods. It’s high in protein and carbohydrates, and full of antibodies that protect against infections. It is easy for your baby to digest, and helps with bowel movements in those first few days of life.
Q: When will my proper milk come in?
A: Around the third or fourth day after your baby is born, your breasts will start to produce mature milk and lots of it. This will appear thinner and much lighter in colour than colostrum.
Q: How often should I breastfeed?
A: In those first few days it’s vital to breastfeed nine to 12 times in every 24 hours or more often if you can. This stimulates milk production so that you have a plentiful supply for your baby.
Your newborn will probably want to feed every two hours and this frequent feeding tells your body how much milk to produce. The time between feedings will gradually lengthen as your baby grows.
Q: Is my baby growing properly with my breast milk?
A: Some breastfed babies grow quickly, while others are slow to gain weight. Your healthcare professional will measure your baby's weight and length shortly after birth, and keep track of his growth using growth charts. The best indication of good health is your baby's alertness and responsiveness.
Q: Is my breast milk the same throughout the feeding?
A: No. It’s worth remembering that breast milk is made up of two parts. First comes the foremilk, which is a thirst-quenching milk that is followed by hindmilk, a richer, more substantial food. So it’s a good idea to let your baby eat for as long as he wants, to make sure he gets both parts of the milk.
Q: My breasts are sore – should I carry on feeding?
A: Breastfeeding isn’t always easy but most problems are short-lived. Aching or cracked nipples is also a common complaint and is usually caused by your baby not attaching properly. Some women find that rubbing a little breast milk into the nipple area can help. Ask your healthcare professional if problems persist.
Q: Can I combine breastfeeding and formula feeding?
A: Combining breastfeeding and formula feeding can be a practical option especially if you're planning to go back to work. You can leave pumped breast milk for your baby to have from a bottle while you are out, or you can use infant formula as a replacement. You can still enjoy cuddling up together for a really special breastfeed before you leave in the morning and when you get home from work.
If you want your little one to carry on having just breast milk, then try to find out whether there's somewhere you can pump and store milk at work.
When making a choice to combine breast and formula feeding, it is important to keep in mind that reducing breastfeeding will also reduce your supply of milk. Please speak to your healthcare professional to determine what is best for you and your baby.
Q: How long should I breastfeed?
A: How long you breastfeed depends very much on your individual circumstances and what else is going on for you and your baby. Some mothers struggle to get breastfeeding established and may manage only a short time while others are happy to breastfeed for more than a year. It's really up to you. Remember however, that breastfeeding is the best way to feed your baby.
Health professionals recommend either breastfeeding or formula feeding until one year of age. After that, full fat cow's milk may be given as your baby's main drink, not before.
Q: What are antibodies, and how do they help my baby’s immune system?
A: Antibodies are present in the blood and help to fight infections. Babies are born without resistance to infection and take some time to build up their own immunity. Mature breast milk contains high levels of antibodies, giving your baby protection, particularly in the first few weeks when he is most vulnerable to infections. As your baby spends more time in the outside world, his immunity will grow both from the antibodies received from your breast milk, as well as the ones formed on his own.
Q: How much should I feed my baby?
A: At first your newborn may not take much more than 60 ml of milk at each feeding. But as your baby grows, he will want more. If your little one is draining the bottle at every feeding, then increase the amount of milk by 30 ml at a time. Take things gradually and take your cue from your little one’s appetite. Speak to your healthcare professional if you have any concerns about how much you should be feeding your baby.
Q: How long can I keep a prepared bottle of formula?
A: Prepare each new bottle as you need it and immediately throw away any formula not used after a feeding. It is important not to re-heat or re-use unfinished formula.
If you need to prepare a day’s formula in advance make sure you cool it quickly and store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours until it is needed. Warm each bottle by standing it in a bowl of hot water and do not use a microwave oven. Throw away any milk not used within an hour of heating.
Q: How often should I feed my baby?
A: Within a few weeks, your new baby will probably be enjoying about six feedings a day – roughly one every four hours. Don’t insist on a rigid routine; the most important thing is to be in tune with your baby's needs.
Q: Why is my baby sometimes sick after a feeding?
A: Many babies bring up a little milk after a feeding. It could be because your baby has eaten more than he can cope with, or because milk and air have mixed in his tummy during feeding. Try sitting your baby up a little more during feeding and make sure the nipple is kept full of milk for the whole feeding. Gentle burping during and after feeding should help, too. But if your baby regularly vomits you should talk to your healthcare professional at once.
Q: Should I burp my baby after every feeding?
A: Burping helps to let out air that might get trapped in your baby's stomach while eating. But it’s not compulsory as some babies are more 'gassy' than others. You only need to burp if you think trapped air is making your baby uncomfortable.
Q: I thought babies weren’t supposed to be given cow’s milk, but can you use it as an ingredient?
A: You shouldn't use cow's milk before 12 months as your baby's main milk drink because it doesn't contain the correct balance of nutrients. However, small amounts of milk, cheese and yogurt can be used in cooking, as they contain lots of protein. They are also a good addition to a healthy diet once your baby is being weaned.
Q: I’ve heard that babies are born with reflexes – what does this mean?
A: Babies are born with some instinctive ways of reacting to things, called primitive reflexes.
Q: How much weight should my newborn baby be gaining?
A: Most babies actually lose weight during their first week. This is generally thought to be because babies are born with extra fat to help with the stress of the birth, and to tide them over the first few days before the mom’s mature milk comes in. They then usually get back up to their birth weight by the time they are two weeks old. Newborns usually gain about 20 g each day. Your healthcare professional will weigh your baby regularly from birth, and it will be recorded on a percentile chart, which is part of your baby’s health record. This chart is only one way of checking your baby’s growth, and how your child is growing can be more important than a position on the chart. Talk to your healthcare professional if you have any concerns over your child’s weight.
Q: When I hold my baby and talk to him, he seems to be looking at me – but can he actually see my face?
A: Babies love faces and can see and respond to them within minutes of birth. They are the first thing newborn babies recognize. To start with, your baby’s focus is only about 25 cm, so get up close and have a good look at each other, as eye contact is important for your baby’s development. Your baby’s sight will gradually develop and by around eight months your baby will be able to see as well as you do.
Q: I was excited when my newborn seemed to be smiling at me, but my husband said he’d read the baby was just passing gas. Is this true?
A: You can hardly wait for your baby‘s first smile, but unfortunately they usually only smile by accident the first time they do it. It could be that they’re exercising their facial muscle, or it could possibly be gas. The excited reaction your baby gets when he does it means he'll soon give it another try. By about five to seven weeks babies are giving their first real smiles and by four months they are saving their biggest smiles for people they know and feel safe with.
Q: I’ve heard that talking to your newborn is good for his development. Is this true?
A: To start with, crying is your baby’s only way of communicating with you, but by seven or eight weeks, babies are already beginning to discover their voice and make cooing noises and vowel sounds. By about eight weeks your baby will be listening to your voice as you speak and making noises back as he ‘talks’ to you. So even if you feel a bit silly chatting to your newborn, it really is an important way of encouraging communication. And don’t forget songs and nursery rhymes too – they are a fun way of getting your baby used to the rhythms and patterns of speech.
Q: When can I start playing with my baby? What kind of activities will be stimulating for him?
A: There are ways to ‘play’ even with a newborn baby. Bright colours and patterns attract a newborn's attention, so hang a bright mobile over your baby’s crib and he will enjoy watching the gentle movements. Other simple activities for your baby include:
Q: How would I know if there was a problem with my child’s development?
A: Babies develop at different rates, so don’t get too worried about what your baby ‘should’ be doing at a particular stage. When moms get together, everyone’s keen to talk about what her baby is doing – but just because one baby can roll over before yours, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to worry. Listen to your instincts, and if you do feel worried by anything concerning your baby’s development, it’s important to talk to your healthcare professional.
Q: What is colic?
A: About one in five babies suffers from colic, crying intensely for more than three hours a day, often in the evening. If your baby has it, he will typically draw his knees up and have a rigid back. It can continue for as much as a month or two, and even though it’s a relatively short time, it can make your life a misery. But remember, it’s a harmless condition, and doesn’t mean your baby is in any danger.
Q: What causes colic?
A: Nobody is sure what causes colic, although trapped gas is sometimes blamed. There is no single cause for colic and no single cure. But experts think it could be a combination of a number of things:
Basically, this means that your baby feels a bit overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds around him now that he's out of the snug womb. Until it all starts marking more sense to him, the only reaction available is to cry.
Research is still underway into the causes of colic, but one theory is that your colicky baby might not yet have a fully developed digestive system.
If you’re breastfeeding, perhaps you’re eating something that’s unsettling your baby. Experiment with cutting out certain foods to see if it makes a difference.
If you’re formula feeding, make sure that the nipple is always full of milk so your baby doesn’t take in too much air, and try to stop him from gulping down the milk too quickly. Excessive gas can make a baby unsettled and colicky.
Studies have shown that new moms who smoke around their babies, or who smoked during pregnancy are more likely to have colicky babies. It’s thought that the toxins in the smoke could cause your baby’s system to produce a certain type of protein, which can upset digestion.
Q: How can I deal with colic?
A: Sometimes you just have to wait it out. In the meantime, here are some things that you can try:
Q: When should I start to feed my baby cereal?
A: The Canadian Paediatric Society Nutrition Committee recommends the introduction of solid foods at six months to meet your baby's increasing nutritional requirements and development needs.1
1. Canadian Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada and Health Canada, 2005
Q: What foods should I start with?
A: The most common first food for babies is cereal with iron, such as Heinz's Stage 1 baby cereals. Try rice cereal first, as your baby is least likely to be allergic to it and it is easiest to digest.
Q: How much should I feed my baby?
A: Let your baby tell you. All babies have different appetites. Start with small amounts. Look for signs that your baby is full, such as pushing the spoon away, looking away, or spitting out food.
Q: Should I feed my baby food with a soft plastic or metal spoon?
A: It's better to use a soft plastic spoon, and not a metal spoon, as soft plastic is gentler on your baby's gums. It is also recommended that you dispense jarred baby food using a soft plastic spoon to minimize the chance of accidentally breaking the glass jar.
Q: Can I feed baby food directly from the jar?
A: It is not recommended to feed baby food directly from the container. Enzymes from the baby's (or caregiver's) saliva cause the carbohydrate content to break down. This results in the food becoming very watery.
We recommend that you remove the portion to be consumed from the jar with a clean spoon, and place the product in a clean feeding dish. The remainder of the jar can be immediately stored in the refrigerator. It is important not to touch the unused portion of food with any feeding utensil that has been in contact with the mouth, as even very small amounts of saliva can contain sufficient enzymes to cause the food to go watery.
Q: My baby doesn't like new foods. What should I do?
A: It usually takes a little while for babies to grow to like a new taste. Try several times, once every few days. If he still doesn't want it, try to reintroduce it at a later date. If he does not eat it, simply remove the food. Never force your baby to eat.
Q: Should I choose organic foods for my baby?
A: Heinz has a wide assortment of 100% Certified Organic products, baby cereals and foods, juices, and toddler snacks. That being said, in accordance with our Purity Assurance Program, all Heinz® products must meet very strict safety and nutritional requirements. Our requirements are five times more stringent than those enforced by the Canadian government.
Q: What is gluten?
A: Gluten is the protein found in wheat and in smaller amounts in rye, barley and oats. Gluten occurs in many foods such as bread, cereals and pasta. Some babies will need to avoid gluten due to a condition called Celiac Disease or an intolerance or allergy to wheat.
For the vast majority of babies, wheat-based cereals and foods are not a problem, although it is advisable that gluten-free foods be the first weaning foods.
Q: What’s the difference between intolerance and allergy?
A: Some people think the terms 'food allergy' and 'food intolerance' mean the same thing but they don’t.
Food allergies are rare and happen when a harmless food is wrongly interpreted by the immune system as being harmful. The symptoms of allergy include tingling lips and rashes. In some cases the reaction is severe, and the problem food must be carefully avoided.
A food intolerance is an adverse, food-induced reaction that does not involve the immune system. Lactose intolerance is one example of a food intolerance. Someone with a lactose intolerance lacks an enzyme that is needed to digest milk sugar. When these people consume milk products, symptoms such as gas, bloating and abdominal pain occurs.
Q: What are some of the more common food allergens?
A: While any food can trigger an allergic reaction, Health Canada identifies nine priority food allergens. They are:
Q: How can I tell if my baby is having an allergic reaction to a food?
A: Allergic reactions may be identified by a variety of symptoms. They include:
Q: Do I need to dilute the Heinz® Infant Juices?
A: It is not necessary to add water to the Heinz® Strained Juice products (including jar & plastic bottle format) as means to dilute the concentration. These products are prepared according to baby’s needs and have been appropriately diluted prior.
Q: Are any of the Heinz® Baby Food products certified Kosher?
A: All Heinz® Baby Food products packaged in the plastic containers (fruits & desserts) are certified Kosher. Since we run both meat and non-meat products (glass jar format) on the same line at our Leamington facility, these products are not certified Kosher.
Q: How can I be sure that the baby food I buy hasn’t been tampered with?
A: Every jar of Heinz® baby food has two safety checks: a safety button on the top of the lid and a tamper band around the neck. Always check that the vacuum seal button on the lid of the jar is flat and that the plastic ring around the neck of the jar is unbroken. If in doubt, don’t use it and take it back to the store where you bought it.
Q: Can I use a microwave to warm baby food?
A: Microwaves heat unevenly, creating hot spots within the food which could burn your baby’s mouth. Avoid using microwaves if possible but if you use one, always stir the heated baby food or shake the milk thoroughly so the heat is evenly distributed. And always make sure you check the temperature of the food before you feed your baby.
Q: My baby won’t eat a whole jar of baby food. Can I keep the leftovers and use them later?
A: Uneaten baby food can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days (2 days for meats) as long as it hasn’t been in contact with the spoon you used to feed your baby. Use a clean spoon to transfer food to a bowl.
When you are ready to use the uneaten portion, make sure you heat it until it is piping hot, then cool it naturally until it is a safe temperature before feeding your baby. You should only reheat baby food once – if your child doesn't eat it all, you should make sure that you throw any leftover food away.
Q: Why do leftover baby foods sometimes become watery?
A: If you're feeding your baby directly from the jar, chances are you've transferred his saliva to the jar. Saliva contains an enzyme which breaks down carbohydrates, creating a watery consistency. Use a clean spoon to remove each portion to a bowl and feed from the bowl.
Q: What is the shelf life of unopened baby food?
A: All jarred baby foods are vacuum sealed and sterilized, so they will not spoil, provided the vacuum seal is intact. When you open the jar at home, you should hear the familiar "pfft pop" sound. If you don't hear the POP, or the button is up, or the plastic seal is broken, do not feed the contents to your baby. Take the jar back to the store for a replacement.
While vacuum-sealed food won't spoil, for optimal taste and complete vitamin retention, product should be consumed prior to the "best before" date printed on the top of the jar or plastic tub.
Q: Are any food colourings added to Heinz® Baby Foods?
A: Definitely not.
Q: Are any preservatives added to Heinz® Baby Foods?
A: No. Heinz® jarred baby foods are vacuum packed in sterile jars and therefore preservatives are not necessary.