mother breastfeedingWith the current hot weather, it’s important to remember that babies and children overheat and dehydrate quickly so it’s vital to keep them hydrated.

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s strategic breastfeeding lead Jane Dickens says: “Whether you are breast or bottle feeding remember to follow your baby’s feeding cues as usual, you do not need to give any additional feeds or drinks other than your baby’s usual milk.”

Jane explains: “If you are breastfeeding, your body will adapt your milk to meet your baby’s specific needs, so will produce more hydrating milk on hot days in response to your baby’s needs. Your baby may want to feed more frequently so keep an eye out for those feeding cues, as well as breastfeeding when you feel the need or simply wish to relax with your baby.”

It’s important for mums, dads and carers to keep hydrated too and offer children extra drinks of water (fruit juice, fruit-based or fizzy drinks are not recommended) in hot weather.

Keep kids cool in light, loose clothing as well as protecting them from the sun with hats and sunscreen. When babies and children need to sleep, keep the heat out by closing the curtains.

Jane says: “Just a few simple precautions can keep babies and children safe and healthy in this lovely but hot weather. If you are breastfeeding and would like some friendly support, advice or information, please do get in touch with Bradford Breastfeeding Buddies on facebook.”

A wide range of reliable information and support for local parents and carers is available on the Trust’s Family Health Services website ‘Better lives, healthy futures’ – search 0-4 or 5-11 on the information zone according to the age of your child.