Page updated: 23 Jan 2012
You can give your baby the best start in life by breastfeeding exclusively until he or she is six months old. Breast milk arms your baby with all the nutrients he or she needs to grow and also protects against infections, obesity, asthma and other illnesses.
The health benefits also extend to mums, who have a lessened chance of developing ovarian and breast cancer and weak bones.
Call the national NHS breastfeeding helpline on 0300 100 02 12 or visit the NHS breastfeeding website.
For NHS breastfeeding support in Bengali and Sylhetti, call 0300 456 2421
Weaning - Food for Life DVD
You should begin to wean your baby at six months of age. The health visiting team within NHS Trafford has produced a weaning film to help you do this.
The aim is to support improvements in infant nutrition and reduce future obesity and its related problems (such as type 2 diabetes). The long-term goal of this initiative is to improve the eating habits of the nation by focussing on a baby's first introduction to food.
This 21-minute video is intended as a weaning guide for parents and a promotional aid for health professionals. It features parents recounting their real life experiences of the highs and lows of weaning their babies, and also includes expert advice from a health visitor, a dietitian and a speech and language therapist.
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To order a copy of the Food for Life DVD, e-mail Linda Morris and she will provide you with an order form.
Sleeping through the night - Sweet Dreams DVD
Babies tend to sleep for up to 19 hours a day, waking when they are hungry. As it is hunger that wakes them up, babies don’t tend to sleep for more than four or five hours at a time.
As your baby gets older, he or she will sleep for longer periods at night. When your baby is about six months old, you can start leaving him or her for a few minutes before going to him or her if he or she cries. This helps teach your baby that nighttime is for sleeping, not playing.
Over half of children under five experience sleep problems, which can cause great stress within the family.
To combat these problems, health visitors in Trafford have been running a very successful sleep clinic for a number of years now. Evaluation of the sleep group has demonstrated a 90% success rate. Unfortunately not every parent can attend a sleep clinic and for this reason health visitors in Trafford have produced a video to help parents.
The Sweet Dreams video lasts 15 minutes and explains simply and clearly how parents can improve a child's sleep pattern. It contains real life experiences of parents of children with sleep problems and how these problems were addressed. It also includes visual information about solving infant sleep problems.
This video will undoubtedly be of great use to any parent or carer involved with a sleepless child. It is also useful for health visitor's training schools, GP and community clinics, and occupational health departments, from where it could be loaned to families in order to improve the sleeping habits of babies and pre-school children.
To order a copy of the Sweet Dreams DVD, e-mail Linda Morris and she will provide you with an order form.
Your baby will require a number of immunisations as he or she grows. Your GP will administer all of them, and will call you up to have them.
The vaccinations are:
DTaP/IPV/Hib or 5-in-1 vaccine
Protects against: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio and Hib (haemophilus influenza type B).
Given at: 2, 3 and 4 months of age.
Protects against: some types of pneumococcal infection.
Given at: 2, 4 and 12-13 months of age.
Meningitis C (MenC)
Protects against: meningitis C (meningococcal type C).
Given at: 3 and 4 months of age.
Protects against: haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) and meningitis C.
Given at: 12-13 months of age.
Protects against: measles, mumps and rubella.
Given at: 12-13 months and at 3 years and 4 months of age, or sometime thereafter.
DTaP/IPV (or dTaP/IPV) ‘pre-school’ booster
Protects against: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and polio.
Given at: 3 years and 4 months of age or shortly thereafter.