Helping Your Baby Grow and Develop

Your baby will have a strong need to be close to you as parents, as this helps them to feel secure and loved. Your baby will not become “spoilt” or demanding if you give then too much attention. 

When your babies’ needs for love and comfort are met, your baby will be calmer and grow up to become happy, healthy, secure child and adult. 
When your baby feels secure your baby will release a hormone called oxytocin, which helps your baby to be happy, and also help his/her brain to grow and develop. 

By holding, smiling and talking to your baby also releases oxytocin in you, which will help you to feel calm and happy. 

Breastfeeding provides everything your baby needs in terms of nutrition, protection and comfort. The hormones that make your milk are also the hormones that help you form a loving bond with your baby. 

Oxytocin levels are high during breastfeeding, helping your baby’s brain to grow.If you are bottle feeding your baby, you can help raise oxytocin levels too by holding your baby close, looking into his/her eyes, talking to your baby and also by spending time in skin to skin contact. 

Your baby will love looking into your eyes: when we look at babies in a loving way our pupils (the dark circle in the centre of our eyes) become bigger. Babies pick up on this and know that they are loved. This makes them feel happy and secure.

A good baby is a perception held by our society that babies should act in a certain way. Watch this video clip to find out more about routines, feeding and sleeping.


Talking about should babies sleep through the night?

For more information watch this video clip & download the leaflet Caring for your baby at night. 



You do not need to eat any special foods whilst breastfeeding, but it’s a good idea like everyone else to eat a healthy diet.  It is also recommended that all pregnant and breastfeeding women take a daily supplement of 10mcg of Vitamin D.

All babies living in the UK are vulnerable to a low vitamin D status.

A new-born baby’s Vitamin D status is dependent on their mothers vitamin D status in pregnancy and recommendations remain that all pregnant women should take a supplement during pregnancy and breastfeeding.  The amount of Vitamin D in the mother’s breast milk varies throughout the day, and will be dependent on her vitamin D intake and stores; therefore as a precaution, it is now suggested that breastfed babies are given additional vitamin D as well as their mother. Whilst there is little evidence of significant Vitamin D deficiency among breastfed babies, as it is likely that vitamin D is well absorbed from breast milk as fat absorption is particularly efficient, the government is taking a ‘precautionary’ approach to protect everyone.

Babies who are formula fed do not require additional vitamin D if they are having 500ml per day of infant formula or more, as infant formula already has added vitamin D as part of the mix of vitamins and minerals that must be added by law.

If you are breastfeeding and giving baby additional formula milk they may still need a supplement of vitamin D if they have less than 500mls of infant formula a day.

How you Intend to Feed your Baby

Talk to your midwife and health visitor who can answer your questions and give you some tips to help get feeding started.

We want to help and support you look at feeding options and to make the right feeding choice for you and your family.  

Remember you don’t have to make a decision about how you will feed your baby until you hold your baby in your arms.

Please go to the link below where you can access information and tips from NHS feeding experts and real life stories from mums. Whether you want to know about:

  • When to feed baby (responding to baby’s cues)
  • breast feeding, expressing your milk, mixed feeding or bottle feeding
  • when your baby who is being cared for on the Neonatal unit
  • when your baby is feeding frequently in the first few days and/or you are worried about your milk supply
  • when your baby is reluctant to feed  or is jaundiced 
  • sterilising your feeding equipment

You will be able to find everything you need to build your confidence and overcome any challenges you may have all in one place.

Visit and browse around this site for more information. http://www.feedgood.scot/ 

Watch this video clip at http://www.feedgood.scot/ to find out more about how special breast milk is more than just a food.

If you want to know more about breastfeeding, bottle feeding or feeding a preterm baby, follow the care pathways or watch the videos (animation about correct attachments, hand expressing, skin to skin contact and other subjects) click on the below links to find out what standards of support you should expect to receive you can also visit . this information is also available on the Baby Buddy App – support and useful information.



First Steps Nutrition is an independent site where you can get information about Eating well in pregnancy, different milks available in the UK, simple guide to formula and a statement about formula preparation machines. http://www.firststepsnutrition.org/

Meeting Your Baby for the First Time

A lovely way to say hello is to spend time holding your baby in skin to skin contact whether you are breast or bottle feeding.

This special time together helps calm you both after labour and birth. Placing the baby on your skin so s/he can hear your heartbeat, recognise your smell and listen to your voice will reassure them that they are in a safe place. 

Skin to skin contact will also help keep your baby warm which is very important in the first hours after birth. It’s important that you and baby are not rushed at this time so ask the midwife to either weigh baby quickly just after birth or wait until he has had a first feed.

As baby relaxes s/he  will begin to search around for your breast making tiny mouthing and head bobbing movements. This is the best time for you to make the decision about how you would like to feed your baby.

If you decide to breastfeed or even to offer your baby just one breastfeed let her take her time to seek out and find your breast as she is learning exactly what to do to get that valuable first breast feed.

If you decide to bottle feed this is a good time to offer the first feed while still in skin contact with your baby . The first feed your and your baby share is very special so try to make sure it is you that offers this as it helps baby’s and your hormones levels. 

Partners and other family members  can be involved by staying close and talking to baby, whilst you have skin to skin contact and feed your baby . Baby will   already be familiar with your partner’s voice.  Ask your partner to have skin to skin contact with your baby whilst you are having a shower, if you are bottle feeding they can give baby their 2nd bottle feed in skin to skin.  

For more information 


Useful Sources of Information

From local antenatal and breastfeeding groups, to organisations offering advice and information, to support from family and friends, there's lots of help out there for new mums and families. You just need to know where and how to ask for it! 

First talk to your midwife or health visitor. 
Midwives, health visitors and local trained volunteer mothers (peer supporters) are there to help you get feeding off to a good start. They can give you lots of information and support just when you need it.  Most mothers’ needs for basic help and support about caring and feeding their baby is met via standard midwifery and health visiting provision.

Health visitor contacts   
In Derbyshire:

However, your midwife or health visitor can refer you if required for specialist support services or you can contact specialist services.

Specialist Feeding Support - Local professional Infant Feeding Advisors

Please note availability: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm excluding bank holidays. 

Derbyshire County  
All women discharged from midwifery care in Derbyshire are referred to their Breastfeeding Support Team.

Up to date contact numbers via www.breastfeedingderbys.co.uk

National Support

Helpline Contact number Availability
National Breastfeeding Helpline (Krajowa Infolinia Karmienia Piersia po czym wybierz 2)  0300 100 0212 9.30am - 9.30pm
National Childbirth Trust 0300 330 0771 8am-10pm
La Leche League 0845 120 2918 24 hour Service
Breastfeeding Network 0300 100 0210 9.30am - 9.30pm
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers 08444 122 949 9.30am-10.30pm

Baby Buddy App 
Download the Baby Buddy App for lots of useful information in pregnancy and following the birth http://www.bestbeginnings.org.uk/babybuddy

Baby Check Link 
Go to this website for advice and information on your baby's wellbeing http://.lullabytrust.org.uk/document.doc?id=334  

Breastfeeding DVD 
If you want to watch a DVD clip about breastfeeding your baby, including an animation about correct attachment at the breast, hand expressing, skin to skin contact and other subjects go to:


this information is also available on the Baby Buddy App - see above details

Feeding options 
If you want to know more about breastfeeding, bottle feeding or feeding a preterm baby, follow the care pathways on the below link to find out what standards of support you should expect to receive.

http://www.unicef.org.uk/BabyFriendly/Parents/   or First Steps Nutrition site


Sterilising baby feeding equipment
See the UNICEF website for information:


Breastfeeding and returning to work 
For information on breastfeeding at work see:


Off to the best start - Information for Breastfeeding
See the UNICEF website for information:


Guide to bottlefeeding - how to bottle feed your baby safely.
See the UNICEF website for information:


Feeding Together Café at The Hub
Birdholme Children's Centre on Thursdays at 1pm - 2:30 pm
Gladstone Tearoom, Broadleys, Claycross S45 9JN the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month 9.30-10.30