Your local children's centres provide support with responsive breastfeeding, responsive bottle-feeding and introducing solid food.
You can visit children's centres before your baby is born for support on becoming a parent.
Remember – pick up your free Healthy Start vitamins at your children’s centre.
Whether you're breastfeeding, bottle-feeding or introducing solid foods, there are support groups around Hertfordshire to help you.
Responsive feeding tips
When feeding your baby, there are some important things you can do to make sure you're closely responding to your baby’s needs.
Skin to skin contact
This is when you hold your baby close, skin to skin, as soon as possible after birth. Your warmth, smell and heartbeat will make your baby feel safe and calm.
Skin to skin can continue for several weeks after birth.
Learning your baby's cues
Keeping baby close to you so that you can recognise feeding cues is helpful.
Most babies will “ask politely” in the first instance. This is a much easier time to feed than when crying.
Feeding at baby's pace
When breastfeeding your baby, feeds can be long or short. When bottle-feeding, feed at your baby's own pace. Like an adult, there will be times when they're hungrier than others.
More about feeding cues – signs baby is hungry
Bottle-fed babies may not finish every feed. Look for signs that they've had enough and avoid overfeeding.
Looking at and holding baby close
Babies need this for healthy brain development. There are simple things you can do to ensure you're enhancing baby’s learning, both before and after baby is born.
Plenty of cuddles
You can’t spoil a baby by picking them up and keeping them close. It helps your baby to feel secure and loved.
Remember, baby cries as a last resort and mostly wants to be close to you. If you're bottle-feeding, limit the number of people who give them a feed in the early days. Your baby is getting to know you and is still building up resistance to bacteria.
Breastfeeding out and about
You shouldn't feel uncomfortable when breastfeeding in public.
It's actually illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place.
All children’s centres and libraries in Hertfordshire are already breastfeeding welcome venues.
For more information about breastfeeding out and about.