Breastfeeding helps lay the foundations of a healthy life for your baby. Breastfeeding is good for your health and wellbeing too. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended until your baby is ready for and needs extra food - usually around six months of age. Most women can breastfeed but many mothers need help when they begin breastfeeding, especially with a first baby.
It can be common for babies to develop red angry skin in the nappy area, especially in older babies who sleep through the night without a nappy change. Disposable nappies now make nappy rash less common. It is better to try to prevent the rash developing. Keep your baby's skin as dry as possible. Give your baby some nappy-free time. Use protective creams and ointments.
Positional head-flattening may occur in a baby who spends too much time lying on the same part of their head. You can help to prevent a flat spot from occurring by varying your baby’s head position when you put your baby to bed. You should always sleep your baby on their back, but from birth you should try to turn their head to a different side at each sleep.
Every year, about 60 babies die suddenly in their sleep. Most deaths are preventable. Safe sleep means face up, face clear, smokefree every time and place a baby sleeps. Sleeping face up (on the back) protects babies through a critical stage of development. A clear face protects babies from suffocation. A smokefree start to life makes babies strong.
All babies need vitamin K. Vitamin K helps blood to clot and prevents serious bleeding. Babies have low levels of vitamin K in their bodies. The most reliable way to give babies vitamin K is by one injection into the muscle (intramuscular injection). One injection given just after birth will protect your baby for many months.