Tools, Tips, and Resources for New Parents
|On this page:||Breastfeeding and bottle feeding >|
|Tips for a successful transition from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding >|
|First pediatric appointments >|
Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding
Baby feeding journal
Whether your child is breastfed or bottle-fed, it can be very useful to keep a journal of their eating habits. It may help if you suspect that your child is reacting to a protein in either breast milk or commercial infant formula.
Journal – baby’s first meals
When your baby starts eating solid foods, the use of a journal is recommended. This will allow you to remember meal times, as well as the amount and variety of food eaten. If your child has an allergic reaction, this journal will make it easier for you to determine the cause and signs of the reaction. Remember to follow the 3-day rule: when a child starts eating a new food, this food must be given to them for three consecutive days. Give only one new food at a time, while continuing to offer foods that have already been introduced and are well tolerated.
Tips for a successful transition to the bottle
When mother and child are ready to make this transition, introduction to bottle-feeding should be carefully planned. It often requires a certain amount of time to learn and adapt on the part of both child and parent.
Here are some tips for a successful transition to bottle-feeding:
- Make the transition gradually. To avoid wasting breast milk, you may decide to mix a small amount with the chosen formula. This will help the child accept the transition.
- When offering the bottle, choose a convenient time of day and maintain an established routine.
- Wait until your child shows signs of hunger before offering the bottle.
- If possible, ask those close to you to offer the bottle to your child for the first few times.
- If necessary, try a few different bottle brands and experiment with teats of different shapes and sizes until you find the right one.
Breast milk is the best thing for your baby. However, if you plan on using a commercial infant formula, either exclusively or to complement breastfeeding, here is a step-by-step guide:
- Always follow the instructions and hygiene recommendations on the product label, including sterilization instructions.
- Add the right amount of water.
- Too much water dilutes the formula and decreases the amount of nutrients and calories per feeding – nutrients and calories that your baby needs.
- If not enough water is added, the formula will be too concentrated, and there will be a greater risk of dehydration. The baby may also gain weight too quickly.
- Be careful NOT to add water to ready-to-feed formulas.
- Generally, powdered formulas, once prepared, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, while liquid formulas can be stored for up to 48 hours after opening the container.
- Prepared powdered formulas can be stored in airtight containers or bottles in the refrigerator at a temperature between 2°C and 4°C (35°F – 40°F) for 24 hours, or for 2 hours at room temperature, or for 1 hour if it has been previously heated.
- A teat, once used by a baby, can develop bacteria and contaminate the milk in the bottle. Therefore, an opened bottle should not be put back in a cool place or warmed up for future use if more than one hour has elapsed since the baby put his or her mouth on the teat.
- Never put a bottle in the microwave. Instead, use a cup filled with hot water to warm up the bottle. There are several bottle warmers on the market; they can be adapted to most bottle sizes.
Though every child is unique, this chart can give you an idea of how much an average baby drinks per day.
|AGE||NUMBER OF BOTTLES PER DAY||APPROXIMATE AMOUNT OF FORMULA PER BOTTLE||APPROXIMATE AMOUNT OF FORMULA PER DAY|
|0-2 months||5-10||59 ml to 89 ml|
(2 to 3 oz)
|3-5 months||4-7||89 ml to 150 ml|
(3 to 5 oz)
|6-12 months||Varies||Varies||750-850 ml|
First pediatric appointments
Your child may be under the care of a pediatrician (i.e. a doctor who specializes in the care of children). A family doctor can also care for your child, unless your child has major health problems.
Pediatricians recommend babies get checkups from birth to 18 months old: on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd days, then at 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, and finally 18 months.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your first meeting with the doctor and make regular visits even more beneficial for your child.
Bring everything you need:
- Health insurance card
- Vaccination (immunization) record booklet
- List of medications your baby is taking
- Questions to ask the doctor
- Observations to be discussed with the doctor
Prepare a list of questions
Write down your questions in advance. Be as specific as possible and prioritize your questions. If you suspect your child has a digestive problem or food allergy, it may be worthwhile to submit a list of observations to your doctor.
This list could include the following elements:
- Your baby’s eating habits (details on breastfeeding, commercial infant formula used, etc.)
- Observed discomfort when your child lays down
- Continuous crying
- Excessive wriggling or squirming
- Gastrointestinal abnormality (projectile vomiting, mucus or blood in the stool, diarrhea, etc.)
- The number of soiled diapers per day
- Any other unusual observations
First appointment with the allergist
An allergist is a doctor who specializes in allergies and the immune system. In order to obtain a consultation with an allergist, you must present a medical referral from either your family doctor, a pediatrician, or a general practitioner consulted in a walk-in clinic.
Over 60 allergists practice in Québec. Some offer their services in hospitals or outpatient clinics. Ask about the waiting time for a consultation when calling to make an appointment.
Here is a list of allergists practicing in Québec.
Here is an important checklist (PDF) designed to help you prepare for your consultation with the allergist.