When should i start feeding my baby real food

When, What, and How to Introduce Solid Foods | Nutrition

For more information about how to know if your baby is ready to starting eating foods, what first foods to offer, and what to expect, watch these videos from 1,000 Days.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend children be introduced to foods other than breast milk or infant formula when they are about 6 months old.  Introducing foods before 4 months old is not recommended. Every child is different. How do you know if your child is ready for foods other than breast milk or infant formula? You can look for these signs that your child is developmentally ready.

Your child:

  • Sits up alone or with support.
  • Is able to control head and neck.
  • Opens the mouth when food is offered.
  • Swallows food rather than pushes it back out onto the chin.
  • Brings objects to the mouth.
  • Tries to grasp small objects, such as toys or food.
  • Transfers food from the front to the back of the tongue to swallow.

What Foods Should I Introduce to My Child First?

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that for most children, you do not need to give foods in a certain order. Your child can begin eating solid foods at about 6 months old. By the time he or she is 7 or 8 months old, your child can eat a variety of foods from different food groups. These foods include infant cereals, meat or other proteins, fruits, vegetables, grains, yogurts and cheeses, and more.

If your child is eating infant cereals, it is important to offer a variety of fortifiedalert icon infant cereals such as oat, barley, and multi-grain instead of only rice cereal. Only providing infant rice cereal is not recommended by the Food and Drug Administration because there is a risk for children to be exposed to arsenic. Visit the U.S. Food & Drug Administrationexternal icon to learn more.

How Should I Introduce My Child to Foods?

Your child needs certain vitamins and minerals to grow healthy and strong.

Now that your child is starting to eat food, be sure to choose foods that give your child all the vitamins and minerals they need.

Click here to learn more about some of these vitamins & minerals.

Let your child try one single-ingredient food at a time at first. This helps you see if your child has any problems with that food, such as food allergies. Wait 3 to 5 days between each new food. Before you know it, your child will be on his or her way to eating and enjoying lots of new foods.

Introduce potentially allergenic foods when other foods are introduced.

Potentially allergenic foods include cow’s milk products, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, and sesame. Drinking cow’s milk or fortified soy beverages is not recommended until your child is older than 12 months, but other cow’s milk products, such as yogurt, can be introduced before 12 months. If your child has severe eczema and/or egg allergy, talk with your child’s doctor or nurse about when and how to safely introduce foods with peanuts.

How Should I Prepare Food for My Child to Eat?

At first, it’s easier for your child to eat foods that are mashed, pureed, or strained and very smooth in texture. It can take time for your child to adjust to new food textures. Your child might cough, gag, or spit up. As your baby’s oral skills develop, thicker and lumpier foods can be introduced.

Some foods are potential choking hazards, so it is important to feed your child foods that are the right texture for his or her development. To help prevent choking, prepare foods that can be easily dissolved with saliva and do not require chewing. Feed small portions and encourage your baby to eat slowly. Always watch your child while he or she is eating.

Here are some tips for preparing foods:

  • Mix cereals and mashed cooked grains with breast milk, formula, or water to make it smooth and easy for your baby to swallow.
  • Mash or puree vegetables, fruits and other foods until they are smooth.
  • Hard fruits and vegetables, like apples and carrots, usually need to be cooked so they can be easily mashed or pureed.
  • Cook food until it is soft enough to easily mash with a fork.
  • Remove all fat, skin, and bones from poultry, meat, and fish, before cooking.
  • Remove seeds and hard pits from fruit, and then cut the fruit into small pieces.
  • Cut soft food into small pieces or thin slices.
  • Cut cylindrical foods like hot dogs, sausage and string cheese into short thin strips instead of round pieces that could get stuck in the airway.
  • Cut small spherical foods like grapes, cherries, berries and tomatoes into small pieces.
  • Cook and finely grind or mash whole-grain kernels of wheat, barley, rice, and other grains.

Learn more about potential choking hazards and how to prevent your child from choking.

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Solids, Finger Foods, and More

Written by Gina Shaw

In this Article

  • Baby Milestone 1: When They Can Start Solids
  • Baby Milestone 2: When They’re Ready to Move From Puree to Chunks
  • Baby Milestone 3: When They Can Sit in a High Chair
  • Baby Milestone 4: When They Can Manage Finger Foods
  • Baby Milestone 5: When They Start Using Spoons
  • Baby Milestone 6: When They Can Try Highly Allergenic Foods
  • Baby Milestone 7: When They Can Drink Water
  • Baby Milestone 8: When They Can Completely Feed Themselves

There are many milestones that need to be achieved when a baby is ready to start to eat solid foods. Here are some of the big ones.


Baby Milestone 1: When They Can Start Solids

Most pediatricians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend introducing solid foods to babies when they are between ages 4 and 6 months. That’s when they start to lose the “tongue-thrust reflex” or extrusion reflex, which is important for sucking the breast or bottle when they are younger, but interferes with feeding. Babies at this point can also lift their heads up independently and hold their necks high.

If your baby is around this age, can sit up well with support, and shows interest in the foods they see you eating, it’s probably a good time to venture into feeding your baby solid food. If your baby is exclusively breastfed, it is recommended that you wait until they are 6 months to start solids.

Baby Milestone 2: When They’re Ready to Move From Puree to Chunks

“Chunking up” babies’ food is a process -- obviously, they shouldn’t go straight from rice cereal to raisin bran. But after the first few weeks of adjusting to eating rather than just drinking their food, your baby should be ready to handle a little more texture in solid foods.

Introduce new textures slowly. Good starters are mashed bananas or mashed avocados. You can also use the “staged” store-bought baby foods -- going from the smooth puree of stage 1 to the slightly thicker stage 2 and then the chunkier stage 3 by around 9 months of age. (Babies don’t necessarily have to have a lot of teeth to handle more texture in their foods -- they can often gum soft foods very well!)

Baby Milestone 3: When They Can Sit in a High Chair

When babies are ready to eat solid foods, they can sit upright with support and hold up their head and neck. They're capable of sitting in a high chair! That's a serious milestone, but you'll need to follow these safety rules: Always buckle a baby into their chair for safety, even if they are unable to get out with the tray in place. As they get older and become more active, they may be able to squirm out. It is a good habit to buckle a child as soon as you place them in their chair -- even if you think there's no chance they could fall out or climb out. You may get distracted for a moment, which happens really easily when we are trying to do a million things at once!


Baby Milestone 4: When They Can Manage Finger Foods

Babies between ages 7 and 11 months usually tell you they’re ready to eat more grown-up foods by trying to grab them from you. Almost any food that is healthy and nutritious and has a soft texture makes a good finger food, if it’s cut small enough: diced pasta; small pieces of well-cooked vegetables such as carrots, peas, or zucchini; and pea-sized bites of chicken or soft meat. Small, unsweetened round cereals and cereal puffs are also a good choice. Avoid feeding your baby grapes, hot dogs (even cut up), nuts, and hard candy, as they are choking hazards.

At first babies “rake” food into their hand, but soon they develop the “pincer grasp” that allows them to pick up small objects between thumb and forefinger. At that point, your baby can become a pro at self-feeding, so encourage finger foods and let your baby explore!


Baby Milestone 5: When They Start Using Spoons

Almost as soon as babies adjust to being fed with a spoon, they'll want to hold and grab the spoon themselves and put it in their mouths. That doesn't mean they're graceful, of course.

Most babies don’t learn to use a spoon effectively until after their first birthday, but let a younger baby who’s interested give it a whirl for practice. Try giving them a soft-tipped spoon to hold while you feed them with another. They can get used to holding the spoon themselves and will also be distracted from grabbing yours.

When you think they are ready to actually navigate the spoon into their mouth, try thicker, stickier foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, or cottage cheese. Another tip: Put some cream cheese on the spoon and then a few pieces of O-shaped cereal on top. The cream cheese won’t fly everywhere, and the baby can get the experience of actually getting the cereal into their mouth.

Expect a mess! Use a plastic or other waterproof bib, and put a mat under the high chair to make cleanup easier.


Baby Milestone 6: When They Can Try Highly Allergenic Foods

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing allergenic and non-allergenic foods, including peanuts, starting around 4-6 months of age, except in babies who have eczema or other food allergies. If peanut butter is tolerated, introduce milk (after age 1), egg products, wheat, and fish.



Baby Milestone 7: When They Can Drink Water

Babies don't need water during their first 6 months of life. They get all the water they need from breast milk or baby formula. Babies under age 6 months should not be given any water at all, because it’s easy to fill up their tiny stomachs -- and they should be filling up on the nutrients they receive from the milk to grow. Once they start eating mostly solid foods, around age 9 months, they can start water with meals using a sippy cup.

If your older baby shows an interest in water that you’re drinking, there’s no harm in letting them have a few sips. Just don’t let it replace the nutritious breast milk or formula they should be getting.


Baby Milestone 8: When They Can Completely Feed Themselves

Mastering eating with utensils is a long process. Most babies do not become really skilled at it until they are well past their first birthday. Encourage your child to practice safely, and again, be prepared for a little mess. (How else will you get the “oatmeal in the hair” pictures that will embarrass them years later?)


How to properly feed your baby

Elena Gvozdetskaya

Pediatrician GMS Clinic

Ask two mothers how to properly feed their baby and you will get two different answers. This is indeed a delicate and difficult issue. But let's look into it together with expert pediatrician GMS Clinic Elena Gvozdetskaya. The doctor spoke about the principles of nutrition for babies, gave recommendations on the choice of products, the method of preparation, and much more. nine0006

What are the 3 main principles of feeding children

  1. Safety.
  2. Variety.
  3. Regularity.

Does the number of feeds depend on the child's age?

Yes, it depends. The younger the child, the more meals should be. After all, the small stomachs of children cannot digest a lot of food at a time. For example, babies are fed every 3-4 hours, and preschoolers - 3 to 5 times a day.

A young child's serving size can be measured with their fists. He should eat 12 such "cams" of food, of which 2-3 are main meals, 1-2 are snacks. Plus, there should be 2-3 servings of dairy products per day. nine0006

Why do you need breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Food is a source of energy and nutrients. It must be done regularly so that the baby is active, grows and develops properly. Complete breakfasts, lunches and dinners are the key to children's health.

Also, thanks to the diet, you can think over the diet for the day so that the child gets the required amount of calories from healthy food. Parents often plan in advance what meals to cook as main meals. nine0006

Is it okay to have snacks between main meals?

Yes, it is necessary. Long breaks between meals can lead to fatigue, fatigue, low blood sugar and concentration, memory.

It is important that snacks include healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains or protein. For example, you can make dried fruit bars, sandwiches with bread and eggs.

Is it necessary to give porridge for breakfast? Which are the best to choose? nine0010

No, not required. Porridge can be replaced with sugar-free cereal or a sandwich made from whole grain bread. During the day, the child should eat 5-6 "cams" of cereals.

You can choose any porridge for breakfast: oatmeal, rice, buckwheat, corn, millet. Be sure to cut out sugar. Instead, fruits, dried fruits are added to some dishes, and honey can be given to children over 1 year old.

How to replace cereals for breakfast to diversify the diet?

Any healthy product will do. The main thing is that the first meal gives satiety for at least 2.5 hours - before a snack. Breakfast usually includes: nine0006

  • cereals: porridge, cereals, muesli, granola, healthy pastries;
  • protein: scrambled eggs, meat, fish;
  • dairy products: yoghurt, milk, cheese, syrniki;
  • vegetables or fruits.

These products can be combined in various ways. For example, this morning offer your child cheesecakes with strawberries, and tomorrow - an omelette with whole grain bread and cheese.

Remember that according to statistics, children who do not eat breakfast eat sweets more often and drink carbonated drinks. Because of this, they have an increased risk of obesity, the development of cardiovascular diseases and caries. nine0006

Does the child really need soups?

Actually, no. Some parents often prepare soup for their children because it is easier for babies to chew and it passes through the esophagus to the stomach faster. After all, there is already liquid in the dish. This is more convenient than chewing dry food for a long time and carefully so that the required amount of saliva is released.

Soup is water, vegetables and meat. It will be just as helpful if the child eats them simply sliced, chewed thoroughly, and drinks enough liquid throughout the day. The main thing is to make sure that the meal includes different food groups. It doesn't matter if it's borscht or vinaigrette. nine0006

What is the ideal dinner for a child?

The main thing is that the child does not experience hunger at night. So choose foods that saturate well. For example:

  • cereals: buckwheat, rice, bulgur;
  • proteins: chicken, turkey;
  • vegetables.

For example, buckwheat with boiled turkey and broccoli is a great dinner option. Or bulgur with steamed chicken cutlets and cucumber and tomato salad.

Toddlers can have a second dinner 20-30 minutes before bedtime. Choose foods such as kefir, yogurt or some kind of fruit. Just don't forget to brush your child's teeth afterwards. nine0006

Do kids only need freshly prepared food, or is yesterday's soup okay too?

Food that has been stored for more than two hours at 6 to 8 °C is no longer safe for the baby. We do not recommend giving it, because pathogenic bacteria begin to multiply there and toxins are released. If you want to store the dish for about two days, you need rapid cooling to 6 degrees and below.

How to prepare food?

The best methods are steaming or boiling. The latter is considered the best option for killing harmful bacteria because the entire surface of the product is in hot water. And steaming preserves the maximum of vitamins. nine0006

Food can also be baked and fried, but with a little oil. But the formation of a black crust should not be allowed - the rarer the dishes of this method of preparation in the child's diet, the better.

What kind of meat and fish to choose for children?

Our recommendation:

  • red meat - 1 portion three times a week: beef, pork, lamb;
  • white meat - 1 serving per day: chicken, turkey, rabbit;
  • fish - 2 times a week: hake, cod, perch, red fish. nine0013

Please note! Do not give your child the meat of large predatory fish, such as shark, tuna. After all, they can accumulate mercury and other harmful substances.

What is the norm of fruits and vegetables for a child per day?

Recommended for young children: 2-3 "fist" fruits and vegetables per day. Remember that dried fruits and baked foods also count.

Cooked vegetables, fruit purees and some raw fruits such as avocado, mango, peach, banana can be given at the start of complementary foods. After a year, we recommend starting to introduce soft-skinned fruits into the diet - this is good for digestion. nine0006

Milk in the diet of children - for or against?

If the child is not lactose intolerant or allergic to cow's milk protein, he can drink it and eat dairy products.

When parents notice that their children are consuming too much of this micronutrient-rich drink, it is important to find the cause. Perhaps the baby is not enough from the diet of any substances. Offer a healthy substitute - you need the child to eat a variety of foods and get the whole set of nutrients from different foods. nine0006

What drinks are good for babies and schoolchildren?

Give preference to the following drinks:

  • pure water;
  • mors;
  • compote;
  • natural juice or smoothie in small quantities;
  • fermented milk drinks;
  • milk.

All of these drinks should be free of sugar. When buying in a store, read the ingredients, even if it says "specially for children." nine0006

We do not recommend giving children the following:

  • sugary drinks (packed juices, sodas) up to 3 years;
  • tea, coffee, other caffeinated drinks up to 5 years;
  • healing mineral water.

There are special children's teas, often containing sugar and herbal extracts. Therefore, we do not recommend giving them to a baby until he is 2 years old. Keep in mind that herbal drinks can cause an allergic reaction and reduce iron absorption, and are also not recommended for babies under 2 years of age. nine0006

At what age can sweets be given to children? What exactly?

Follow these guidelines:

  • no added sugar until two years of age;
  • from 2 to 4 years of age, sweets may be limited;
  • Ages 5 to 7 - 3-4 teaspoons of sugar per day is acceptable, including candies, cookies, sugary cereals, juices.

From the age of 5, all sweets can be given in moderation, such as marshmallows, marmalade, marshmallows, ice cream, cereal bars, chocolate. nine0006

What is the effect of dry eating in children?

Poorly chewed dry, dense food moves down the esophagus worse, takes longer to digest, creates discomfort in the stomach and a feeling of "lump". It's not harmful, but it's uncomfortable. To avoid this, it is enough to chew food thoroughly and drink liquids throughout the day.

At what age can children be transferred to a common table?

Usually a year old, the child already eats pieces of most complementary foods, from this age it is possible to eat one meal with everyone. nine0006

It is only important to adapt the baby plate:

  • make meals without salt, salt separately for adults;
  • cook until completely done or boiled, do not give raw;
  • lettuce can be cut into small pieces: the baby should chew the pieces one at a time, adults should season with sauces in a separate plate;
  • the child's meat must be divided into fibers;
  • meatballs and cutlets - finely chop for children, for adults pour sauce separately (the same with pasta and cereals). nine0013

If you are in doubt about whether your baby can take a product, it is best to consult your pediatrician.

What should I do if my child refuses to eat healthy food and asks for sausages and biscuits?

If your child only asks for sausages and cookies, don't buy them. Keep healthy alternatives at home, explain, show by example healthy proper nutrition.

Sausages can be replaced with your baby's favorite type of meat, and biscuits can be replaced with fruit or homemade cakes made from healthy ingredients. nine0006

How can I instill healthy eating habits in my child?

You can't explain to a child that "chips are bad" if dad eats them with pleasure. The kid will not understand that broccoli is healthy if mom has fried potatoes in her plate. The family and environment of children should lead a healthy lifestyle, eat a varied and balanced diet, and maintain a sufficient level of physical activity. Only in this way will you set a worthy example and be able to instill the right eating habits.

Article "Pumping - when and how?"

There are times in the life of mother and baby when breastfeeding is either impossible or difficult for some reason. For example, a child has to be left without a mother for several hours - which means that a supply of milk is needed for him. Or in the case when the baby sucks badly at the breast, but eats well from the bottle, and pumping is the only way to feed him.

This can happen if the baby is born prematurely, and the very process of sucking the mother's breast turns out to be hard physical work for him - such an infant can also be offered expressed milk. nine0006

The same applies to the situation when the baby is ill and feeling unwell prevents him from fully sucking, as he is too weak to make the efforts necessary to "extract" breast milk. In this case, it should be expressed for 2 reasons: firstly, to provide the child with complete and optimal nutrition for him, and secondly, to maintain lactation.

Situations are different, so it is important to understand why pumping is necessary, how to do it correctly and what are the conditions for storing breast milk. nine0006

When and why to express?

Pumping is the process by which a nursing mother manually or with the help of a breast pump extracts milk from her breast.

This is not a mandatory procedure for everyone, and it does not need to be carried out after each feeding, since the milk in the female breast is formed exactly as much as is needed to saturate the baby at a certain age. Those. how much milk the baby ate in one feeding - so much will appear in the breast by the next. nine0006

But if, after applying, you also express the rest of the milk, then by the upcoming feeding it will be produced more than the child can eat - and this often leads to stagnation of milk (lactostasis).

Milk should be expressed when:

  • Having to bottle feed or supplement baby for one reason or another. If at the same time the pediatrician did not forbid the baby to eat breast milk, then the mother needs to feed the baby expressed. nine0006

  • The baby is left without a mother for a long time. There are times when a woman needs to go away, and she cannot take the child with her. In this case, you can leave a supply of milk for several hours, after decanting it.

  • Mom is sick. It happens that during lactation a woman becomes seriously ill and is forced to take medications that penetrate into breast milk, which is strictly forbidden to give to a child. Medicines contained in milk, once in the child's body, can have an adverse effect on it. To prevent this from happening, the pediatrician will help you choose the milk formula that you need to feed the baby during the mother’s illness. Pumping in such a situation will help a woman maintain lactation until recovery. nine0006

  • Mom goes to work. A mother's return to work before the end of lactation can put her before a choice: transfer the baby to formula milk or feed it with expressed milk. Recently, more and more parents are choosing the latter option, since breast milk is much healthier than artificial nutrition.

  • Injured nipples. With improper care and attachment of the child to the breast, cracks may appear on the nipples. Feeding in this condition of the nipples becomes very painful for the mother, and then the baby should be briefly transferred to expressed milk from a bottle. This is useful because the nipples are less likely to get irritated when they are expressed than when they are sucked by an infant. In a few days, the nipples will heal, and it will be possible to resume feeding the crumbs directly from the breast. nine0006

  • There is a danger of lactostasis. A child, especially in the first days after birth, is not always able to suck out all the milk. To avoid lactostasis, mom needs to express excess milk. If this is not done in a timely manner, stagnation of milk can lead to inflammation of the mammary gland - mastitis. However, you must follow all the rules of pumping and do not resort to it after each feeding: this will only increase the flow of milk.

  • nine0005 Not enough milk is produced. Pumping will help normalize lactation, as it leads to an increase in the production of milk in the breast, which can be useful during a lactation crisis.

5 pumping inhibitions

In order not to harm herself and not leave the baby without breast milk, the mother must know and be sure to follow the basic rules of pumping:

  1. Do not express more than 3 times a day if pumping is combined with breastfeeding, because this will lead to excess milk production. If the mother is sick and the baby is not applied to the breast, it is necessary to express with a frequency approximately equal to the number of feedings (on average, once every 3 hours - 8 times a day). nine0006

  2. Do not express immediately after feeding, this can lead to hyperlactation, i.e. increased milk production.

  3. Do not express "to the last drop". The main indicator by the end of pumping should be a feeling of relief in the chest. The female body regards the emptying of the breast without a trace as an increased need for milk by the child - and begins to produce more milk, which the baby cannot eat, therefore, there will be a threat of milk stagnation. nine0006

  4. Do not express at night as this may also lead to excess milk production. The main hormone responsible for milk production - prolactin - has a daily rhythm of formation, most of all it is produced at night, in response to the baby sucking or pumping.

  5. You can not express on the first day after the arrival of milk. Usually, when lactation begins, more milk is produced than the newborn needs, and it is necessary to get rid of its excess. Therefore, just at the time of the arrival of milk, you can not express everything without a trace. If the breast is very dense, then it is recommended to express only a small amount of milk so that it becomes softer and the baby can fully capture and eat it. nine0006

Substances that signal that milk is being produced in excess appear in the filled breast after about 1 day. If you express all the milk accumulated in the chest earlier than in a day, then it will be produced in the same amount.

Hand Expression Technique

There are two ways to express - manually and with a breast pump. Usually, each mother chooses the most convenient option for her. It is better to do it manually at home, when a woman has enough time, since the whole process will take some time. Breast pumps will help a working mother, which greatly facilitate the pumping process. nine0006

Rules for hand pumping

It is best to express milk 10-15 minutes after the end of feeding the baby. Wash your hands thoroughly beforehand. If you use any breast cream, wipe the skin and nipples with a cotton swab or pad soaked in breast milk. Prepare a wide-mouth milk container by first washing it under running water and then sterilizing it (by boiling, in a steam sterilizer or in a dishwasher). nine0006

Sit comfortably and keep your back straight as pumping can take some time and awkward positions can cause back pain.

Carefully grasp the chest: the little finger is under the chest at the ribs, the remaining fingers are positioned so as to support the chest from below. The thumb lies on top, about 3-4 cm from the nipple. In this case, the thumb and forefinger are located opposite each other, forming the letter "C".

nine0005 Use your thumb and forefinger to gently press down on your chest and hold this position for a few seconds. In no case do not bring your fingers together, they should remain in the same position, the letter "C".

Repeat pressing, moving the palm in a circle - this way you use all the ducts of the mammary gland.

Be patient, milk may not come out immediately, but only after a while. If you are pumping for the first time, check with your doctor or lactation consultant beforehand to show you how to proceed. nine0006

Manual pumping errors

Do not squeeze the nipple: this way you will only hurt yourself and injure the breast, and you will not express milk fully.

Do not press the palm too tightly against the skin, moving the hand across the chest so that there is no irritation and microtrauma.

Do not quit at the first unsuccessful attempts, be patient.

Breast pumps

Breast pumps make pumping much easier, as they are designed to fit all the anatomical features of the female breast. nine0006

Which one to choose? Breast pumps are divided into mechanical and electrical. In the first case, the pumping process is carried out manually: by squeezing the “pear”, the woman starts the suction mechanism. Electric models are good because they work independently: from the mains or from batteries (batteries, accumulators) and do not require additional effort on the part of the woman.

Mom usually chooses a breast pump model according to her taste and financial capabilities. It should be borne in mind that devices powered by batteries lose power faster than devices powered by the mains. nine0006

Many women are confused by the fact that electric breast pumps work quite loudly. To date, there are a large number of silent devices, which is recommended to pay attention to when buying. The most effective are electric breast pumps that express both breasts at the same time and have the option of adjusting the thrust force and suction speed.

When choosing a breast pump, pay attention to the presence of the “boil and sterilize” marking. There must be the possibility of such heat treatment of parts of the apparatus. If the model cannot be boiled and sterilized, it is better to refuse to purchase it and look for another one. nine0006

Rules for expressing with a breast pump

Before pumping for the first time, carefully read the instructions for the device. Check that it is properly assembled.

Sterilize the funnel and sump (boil or use a sterilizer).

Position the funnel so that the nipple is in the center of the funnel.

The lowest thrust should be chosen, especially at first, until the breast is accustomed to expressing with a breast pump. Each breast must be pumped until a feeling of relief, add 2 minutes to this time. On average, the process will take about 15 minutes. nine0006

Pumping, like manual pumping, should be carried out some time after feeding.

Basic mistakes when expressing with a breast pump

Incorrect position of the funnel of the breast pump can cause pain to the woman. Remember: the nipple should be located strictly in the center of the funnel of the device.

Very long pumping. Do not exceed the time required to collect milk, this can lead to hyperlactation (production of excess milk). nine0006

Very strong pull. If your breast pump has a selectable thrust function, you should use the smallest one so as not to hurt your breasts.

Caring for your breast pump. A breast pump, like any machine, needs proper care. It must not be clogged so as not to contaminate the milk.

Each model has a care instruction that you should definitely read before using the device.

When washing, always disassemble the pump completely, removing even the smallest parts. This will prevent stagnation of milk residues in them. nine0006

Before each use, sterilize all parts of the machine that come into contact with milk. This can be done with a sterilizer.

Milk defrosting

Never thaw or heat breast milk in a microwave oven. When heated in the microwave, the milk warms up unevenly, while feeding the baby can burn. Also, due to the rapid heating of frozen milk when using a microwave, most of the useful properties of this invaluable product are lost. nine0006

In order to defrost breast milk, place it on the refrigerator shelf, and when it becomes liquid, heat it up. To do this, lower the milk bottle into hot water or put it under hot water. Also, special heaters can be used to warm milk.

If you have questions or don't know how to express, it's worth talking to a specialist. The doctor will not only tell, but also show how to do it correctly, give recommendations on the pumping schedule and advise which method is better to choose. nine0006

Remember that milk is undoubtedly a valuable food for the baby, but feeding with expressed milk should be used in exceptional cases.

At the School of Moms, our doctors talk in detail not only about how and when to express milk correctly, but also about how to properly attach a baby to the breast, how to avoid common problems with breastfeeding, such as lactostasis, as well as the rules for self-examination mammary glands.

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