Your baby will require breast milk or cow’s milk formula as her main drink up to 12 months of age. This is to ensure she receives sufficient calories, protein, calcium and other essential micronutrients. As you plan on returning to work and weaning her off your milk, it is advisable you introduce a follow-on formula until she is at least one. Between 500-600ml of formula per day will be adequate at this stage. Cows’ milk can be introduced into cooking from 6 months of age, however it is not suitable as a drink until after 12 months of age. When you do introduce cow’s milk, use full-cream milk until at least two years of age to ensure sufficient calories and vitamin A to support your child’s needs.
Goats’ milk and sheep’s milk; condensed or evaporated milks; as well as dairy-free alternatives such
A newborn can’t understand the sounds around him, but he is already learning to know the world through his ears. Babies prefer human voices to any other sound. They also prefer high voices. Your instinct to do “’baby talk” is therefore spot on!
As your baby gets older, his ability to hear and distinguish between sounds will improve. Between three and seven months he will distinguish between sounds and even recognise his own name at seven months. Between eight and 12 months your baby will listen when spoken to and he will recognise simple words such as ball and bath.
Chat to your baby often. Play music for him to enjoy. Avoid unnecessary noise, such as the television on when nobody is watching. ✓ Sing to your baby. He loves your voice. This is your baby’s strongest sense at birth. He is very sensitive to smells and does not like bad smells.
If you observe your baby carefully, you will become aware of how his sense of smell develops. Somewhere between three and seven months he will start to smell the food you prepare for the family and he might begin to show an interest.
Once he has mastered solids, you can start giving him a softer version of your food. This is how he learns to connect smell and taste with each other. From eight months you can start to stimulate his sense of smell. Walk outside and give him things to sniff, from flowers to the smell of a rubber ball.
✓ Avoid strongly perfumed soap and washing powder because they can over stimulate baby’s sense of smell. ✓ Avoid perfume while breastfeeding. In the first few months of life, your baby is dependent on you for touch. He does not have the hand-eye coordination to touch things himself.
He is very sensitive to touch and prefers soft materials. Babies also feel with their mouth, and from four months they learn to bring objects to the mouth for further exploration. Now is the time to introduce your baby to different textures. When he begins to move, he will be free te explore the world and textures and surfaces in your house and garden.
✓ Make a lot of skin to skin contact with your baby. This makes him feel safe and even gives his immune system a boost. ✓ Massage your baby. ✓ Introduce your older baby to different textures or temperatures. ✓ Let your baby enjoy messy play.