Help your baby develop a lifetime of healthy eating habits. Deciding how you're going to feed your baby in the first year means making a choice that works best for your family.
No matter how you feed your baby, it's a great chance for you and your baby to bond. You can make it a special time for both of you by smiling and talking to your baby while feeding.
We have services to help you with feeding your baby.
Breastmilk is the only food your baby needs for the first six month. At about six months, it is recommended to introduce babies to solid foods while continuing to breastfeed up to two years and beyond.
You can express your breast milk using your hand or a breast pump.
A breast pump may be needed to remove breast milk from mother's breasts. Choosing a pump that's appropriate for your situation can be confusing. If you have questions, speak with a public health nurse at Niagara Region Public Health.
|Type of Milk||Storage Time|
|Chilled breast milk brought to room temperature||1 to 2 hours|
|Freshly expressed breast milk at room temperature (16-29 C)||3 to 4 hours|
|Fresh milk in the refrigerator (4 C or less)||72 hours / 3 days|
|Thawed milk in the refrigerator||24 hours from when it started to thaw|
|Cooler with a freezer pack||24 hours|
|Refrigerator freezer (separate door)||3 to 6 months|
|Deep freezer (17 C or less)||6 to 12 months|
After the baby is finished feeding, throw out any leftover breastmilk. Don't refreeze breast milk once it's thawed. For more information, check out proper storage and preparation of breast milk by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
When storing breast milk:
Parents may consider formula feeding their baby for various personal or medical reasons. For parents who cannot breastfeed or have made an informed decision not to, properly prepared commercial infant formula is a safe alternative. If you have made an informed decision to give your baby infant formula, review the information below to ensure safe and healthy feedings.
Infant formula can be the only source of nutrition for babies aged zero to six months and usually given to babies up until nine to 12 months of age
Formula made outside of Canada is not recommended as it may not meet Canadian manufacturing guidelines.
Powdered formula is not sterile and could cause some babies to get sick. Babies at greatest risk of infections from powdered infant formula are those who are premature, low birth weight and are under two months of age, and have a weakened immune system. Babies who have the greatest chance of infections should have sterile liquid formula such as ready-to-feed or liquid concentrate formulas.
There are three forms of infant formulas as well as different types.
If you're unsure about what type of formula to use, ask your doctor or health care provider. Learn more about infant formula (available in multiple languages) by Best Start, Ontario's Maternal Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre.
This method allows your baby to drink at a comfortable pace and helps prevent choking and overfeeding.
Remove the bottle if your baby is:
Watch How to Bottle Feed your Baby: Paced Bottle Feeding video by Region of Peel. Review our factsheet on propped bottle feeding to make sure your baby has a safe feeding experience