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by Mathilde Allemand. 

Mathilde,

French Early Childhood

 Consultant in London

You’ve got through the first few months of parenthood congratulations!
 
Parenthood is a never-ending learning curve so now you might have some new questions about looking after your baby.
 
Remember, all babies are different and what works for one baby might not work for another.
 
One baby might be ready to start eating solids at five months and another might not be ready until they are eight months or even older. Babies reach milestones at different times, and that’s OK.
Some topics I often get asked about during early childhood include (but are by no means
limited to):
  • Bottle feeding (breastmilk and/or formula)
  • Burping / winding
  • Teething
  • Weaning
  • Potty training
There are no right or wrong questions to ask me. I’m here to help you and your family in a safe, supportive and non-judgmental way.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I burp my baby?

When your baby feeds, little bubbles of air can become trapped in their stomach. These bubbles can make them uncomfortable and grizzly.
 
By burping your baby, you help them to free up room in their tummy, so they can settle and feed for longer.  
 
There are no rules as to when you should burp your baby. Some babies need burping during their feed, some after. Look for clues; if your baby seems uncomfortable while feeding, have a little burping break.

There are several different ways to wind your baby. Get the technique right and it could provide instant relief for your little one (and less worry for you). There are plenty of techniques I can demonstrate to help you get it right.

What are the symptoms of teething?

When your baby's teeth are on their way, you may notice the following signs of teething: 

  • red and swollen gums 

  • flushed cheeks 

  • heavy drooling 

  • gum-rubbing 

  • biting or sucking

  • sleepless, irritable and unsettled at night 

Every baby is different, and you may have to try a few different things until you find something that helps soothe your baby during this uncomfortable time. I can help you to find the best solution for your baby.
 

How do I know if my baby’s ready to start weaning onto solids?

Babies are ready to wean around their fifth month if they can sit up, hold their head steady, and have enough co-ordination to pick up food and put it in their mouths.

 

Baby’s first introduction to solids is an exciting time but it can also be stressful for parents. At this stage, some parents like having someone at home for advice and practical demonstrations of the entire weaning process.

 

Some help on meal planning, what to introduce and when, allergy advice, recipes, meal preparation, food storage, advice on baby-led weaning and spoon feeding, infant nutrition and weaning from milk to solids is invaluable.

 

It’s also good to know the difference between gagging and choking, and what to do in either situation. I can give you medical advice about all of these things, too.

How and when should we start potty training?

Every toddler is different, and it will take time for your toddler to master using the potty. Potty training usually starts between 18 – 36 months, but outside of these parameters is also OK. When a toddler and parents are ready it’s time to start potty training!

 

Here are some initial tips:

Toddlers can be fearful of change so start slowly and never push them. Don’t be afraid to pause and try again later if it’s not going well.

If possible, let your toddler spend some time without their nappy on during the day and keep the potty close at hand. This helps them get used to the sensation of going to the toilet without their nappy on, which is a great first step.

  • Start sitting your toddler on the potty without a nappy for a few minutes at regular times each day, such as after breakfast or before bath time can help. 

  • Don’t force your toddler to sit on the potty if they don’t want to. They might begin to associate the potty with negative feelings if they are forced to sit on it unwillingly.

  • Try giving your toddler a book to look at or a toy to play with to distract them so that they will happily sit on the potty for a bit longer.

  • Some children dislike using a potty and prefer to use the family toilet with a child’s toilet training seat added. If you think your child might prefer this approach, give it a try.

  • Praise your toddler whenever they use the potty. Offering your toddler a small reward every time they use their potty, such as a sticker, can also help.

  • If your toddler has an accident, encourage them to use the potty next time rather than disciplining them for getting it wrong. Positive reinforcement goes a long way.