Pumping At Work

Going back to work after having your baby can be nervewracking, especially if it will be the first time you are separated from your little one. If you have chosen to breastfeed your baby, you'll know all about how important it is to be able to continue expressing milk while at work – it will relieve engorgement, help prevent clogged ducts, maintain your milk supply and allow you to build your milk stash at home!

New Zealand employment regulations give women the right to breastfeed or express milk at work where the circumstances are reasonable and realistic, so before you head back to work, talk with your employer about pumping breaks and the facilities they can provide for you. Figuring out a routine for pumping when you return might seem overwhelming at first, so we at Haakaa are here to answer some common questions about pumping at work to help make #mumlife easier 💕

How do I prepare for pumping at work?

Before you head back into the workplace, it's important that you start creating a stash of breast milk in the freezer for feedings that you will be away for. The night before going back to work, thaw enough milk for your baby in the fridge so that it's ready for the next day, and repeat for the rest of your workweek.

Of course, one of the biggest decisions you'll have to make about pumping at work is which pump you will want to use. For the workplace, you'll need something that's efficient, portable and discreet. 

This is where Haakaa's silicone breast pumps shine! We have our Gen. 1, Gen. 2 and Gen. 3 pumps, all of which are made with food grade silicone to help you collect your let-down using the power of natural suction! They're soft, comfortable and silent, with no cords or batteries required - making them ideal for mamas looking to pump at work. Read more about our different pumps here.

What should I pack in my baby bag for pumping at work?

Bringing all the right things in your baby bag can make pumping at work a whole lot easier. Alongside your breast pump, you should also pack breast milk storage containers or bags in your baby bag so you can safely store your liquid gold after expressing. 

TOP TIP: Haakaa offers a wide array of storage solutions for your breast milk - we have our Gen. 3 Silicone Storage Containers that work seamlessly with our Gen. 3 Breast Pump, Silicone Breast Milk and Food Containers that stack neatly in your fridge and our brand new Silicone Milk Storage Bags, which are the perfect alternative to plastic milk storage bags!


You may also consider bringing a cooler bag to keep your milk safe, especially if your workplace doesn't have a fridge you can use, or if you have a long commute back home. We recommend our Insulated Storage Bag - it's the perfect size for your pump and storage bags/containers!


To protect yourself against potentially embarrassing milk stains, you might also want to bring disposable nursing pads to absorb any leaks in between pumping sessions, or even an extra shirt in case you need a change of clothes.


How often should I pump when I'm back at work?

It is recommended that you breastfeed your baby in the morning before you head off to work – completely emptying your breasts if you have the time. Once you get to work, aim to pump around every three hours. If you go for any longer than four hours without pumping, your breasts might become too full and engorged, which can be a little embarrassing! 

Make sure you are fully draining your breasts every time you pump. Even if you're having a super busy day with lots of things on your to-do list, it's important not to skip any pumping sessions!

You might find that it's a lot more difficult to kickstart your let-down when you're away from your baby. This is totally normal! The key to these situations is trying your best to relax. Take a few deep breaths, listen to soothing music, meditate - whatever works for you. Once you are relaxed, encourage your let-down by finding something that reminds you of your baby. It could be looking at a photo of them, watching a video on your phone and listening to them make those adorable baby sounds, or sniffing a piece of their unwashed clothing. Stimulating the senses with reminders of your baby can do wonders to start the flow of your let-down! You can also try massaging your breasts or using a warm compress to promote milk production. Over time, as you continue pumping at work, your let-down reflex will start to become conditioned to express milk without those cues, making the process faster and more efficient!

How do I store pumped milk at work?

If your workplace has a fridge that you can access, store your milk in there. Of course, every workplace is different - if this isn't possible for you, then you can bring multiple ice packs to keep your milk cool for the whole day to prevent it from spoiling. Once you get home, stash the milk you pumped at work in the freezer. 

How can I multi-task while pumping?

Some days at work you might find you're busier than usual and that you'll need to multi-task while pumping to get those important things done. In these situations, a hands-free pumping bra can be a lifesaver! It can keep your pump secured and close to your chest, collecting your let-down while you focus on getting other things done. 

The Haakaa Hands-Free Breast Pump Bra is perfect for busy, multi-tasking mamas. It gives you the ability to move around while ensuring your breast pump stays in place, allowing you to maintain your productivity without having to skip a pumping session! 


No matter how busy you get, remember to stay hydrated and well-nourished throughout the day. Your body is doing so much to produce that precious liquid gold for your baby, so it's important to fuel it right so it can keep doing its amazing work!

To become a mother is such an incredible feat, and the amount of women who work to support their families while being a new mama is nothing short of awe-inspiring. We hope our tips can help all those new mums returning to work - our community will always be here for you as we go through the hectic journey of motherhood together!

Majit Himel
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Tips for Getting Your Baby to Sleep

You've been waiting for this moment all day. After countless feedings, diaper changes, clean-ups and chores… it's finally the end of the day, and it's time for your baby to go to bed so you can get some thoroughly well-deserved rest.

However, there's just one thing in the way… sometimes bub just doesn't want to go to sleep! This can be one of the biggest obstacles to overcome, but fortunately, there are methods you can use to help your baby to settle down more quickly. Here are our tips to help your baby unwind so you both can get some much-needed sleep after a long day!

Swaddling

Swaddling is an incredibly popular, time-honoured method of settling babies down to help them sleep. This is because tight swaddling replicates the feeling of being in the womb, where your little one has just spent the last nine months! As well as calming and soothing your baby, swaddling also offers a number of benefits that help your baby sleep more soundly, including preventing them from startling themselves awake and keeping them cosy and warm. Be sure to follow the guidelines and recommendations of health organisations, as well as your paediatrician, to ensure you are swaddling your baby correctly and safely.

Reading to your baby

Many parents like to add reading to their little ones' bedtime routines as they find it helps them settle down. While they may not understand the words or the plot, your baby loves to listen to the soothing sound of your voice because it makes them feel happy, safe and secure – especially if it's combined with snuggling up close to you! Reading is also fantastic for bonding with your bub, so next time your little one has trouble falling asleep, pick up a bedtime story in one hand and hold your little one close with your other arm to help them drift off.

Check out our blog on reading to your baby here.

White noise

Using white noise can also be an effective way of helping your baby fall asleep. After nine months in the womb, your baby is used to low, swooshing sounds such as your breathing, your heart beating, your blood flowing and your muffled voice. White noise that replicates these sounds can be comforting to your baby as they adjust to life outside of the womb, helping them fall asleep faster! You can get a white noise machine to do this for you (make sure the sound level doesn't exceed recommended noise limits) or soothe your baby yourself the old-fashioned way – by "shhhhh" ing your child until they settle. Of course, since every baby is different, not all babies will respond well to white noise, so if this is the case for your little one you may want to try something else!

Dummy

Sucking on a dummy can be a great source of comfort for your little one, and it's also a popular way amongst parents to help their babies settle down to sleep. The dummy mimics the feel of your nipple, soothing your little one so they can fall asleep in their bed rather than on you.

Haakaa offers a range of one-piece, 100% food grade silicone dummies for different ages. With an ergonomic shape that promotes natural breathing through the nose and won't leave marks or rashes, our dummies are perfect for helping your little ones settle themselves. We have our regular Silicone Dummy for babies three months plus, our Newborn Silicone Dummy which is specially sized for newborns and our Nanosilver Silicone Dummy which harnesses the natural antibacterial power of microscopic silver fragments to maintain cleanliness.


Stroking their head

Stroking your baby's head is a great secret for getting them to doze off. You'll find that slow, gentle strokes work well for calming down both babies and adults alike! It makes your baby feel safe and loved, soothing them and allowing them to drift off to sleep peacefully.

Our Goal Wool Baby Hair Brush is wonderful for soothing and relaxing your child, with incredibly soft goat wool bristles that guarantee no itching or scratching. Brushing your baby's hair not only has significant benefits to their wellbeing, but it also helps to stimulate blood flow to prevent cradle cap while removing dry skin at the same time.   


Baby massage

A gentle massage helps your baby relax and get ready for bed while allowing you to express your care for your baby and bond with them. The gentle strokes of your hands and the skin-to-skin contact with your bub releases oxytocin, the feel-good hormone in both you and your baby, reassuring them and making them feel safe and secure.

Our Sweet Dreams Lotion Bar is perfect for helping babies unwind as your hands gently glide over their soft, delicate skin. It's made with all-natural ingredients to nourish your little one's skin and includes essential oils of lavender and chamomile, which are known for their naturally calming and relaxing effects.

 


It might take a few tries for you to figure out what works best for soothing your baby, but with time and patience, you’ll be able to establish a bedtime routine that quickly gets your baby ready for sleep. We hope some of our tips and tricks can help both bub and you get a good night’s rest, so you can wake up ready to tackle another day of #mumlife together!  

Majit Himel
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Getting More Sleep As A Mum

 

Welcome to motherhood. Your baby has become your number one priority: they’re completely dependent on you, you love them with all your heart, and you want to be there to tend to their every need. Nobody said the first few weeks of being a mama would be easy, but no words could have prepared you for this experience either!

Unfortunately, taking care of your beloved little one has required you to make some significant sacrifices. One thing that every mother will miss more than ever is a good night’s sleep! The days of laying down and waking up fully rested are now a thing of the past. You will probably, more often than not, find yourself waking up bleary-eyed and hazy from the sounds of your baby crying instead 😫

Getting enough rest is essential when you’re looking after your baby – if you can’t take care of your own body, then it’ll be even harder to take care of another. Here are Haakaa’s tips to help all those struggling mamas out there get some more shut-eye to make raising your baby just a little bit easier.

Why should I get more sleep?

There have been many studies over the years linking a lack of sleep to poorer mood. Not only does getting more sleep help you stay sane during the hectic period of looking after a newborn, but it’s also essential for your health. By not getting enough sleep, further health complications may arise from symptoms including elevated blood pressure, higher heart rate, weaker immune system, reduced cognitive ability and more. It also causes stress which ages your skin! 😱

Sleep deprivation can also be dangerous as it affects your ability to do everyday tasks. This makes it basically essential to try and get as much of it as you can, when you can, so you can fulfil your mama duties to the best of your abilities!

How can I get more sleep with a baby?

You’ve probably heard this many, many, many times – but sleep when your baby sleeps! Although it’s much easier said than done, this advice still rings true. Don’t use the time your baby is asleep for any other chores or catching up on social media. Try and fit as much rest as you can in those moments of peace. Even if you can’t fall asleep, lying down is still restorative and will benefit you.

Another way to get more sleep with a baby is by not being afraid to ask for help from those that you trust, and accepting help from those that are willing to give it. Although you may feel like you’re being too much of a bother to others, more often than not the people you reach out to will be more than happy to look after your baby for a few hours! They get a chance to bond with your new bub, and you get the opportunity to catch up on some lost sleep. It’s a win-win for everyone!

You can also enlist help from your partner or have a visitor for those night-time feedings. By letting someone else tend to your baby for the night every now and then, you can get some better, uninterrupted sleep.

TOP TIP: Our Generation 3 Silicone Breast Pump can help you express breast milk for your baby before you settle in for the night so that someone else can take over feeding duty. Just warm the milk when it’s time and swap the top for the Silicone Bottle Anti-Colic Nipple and voila! It’s ready to go.


Before you go to sleep for the night, place your baby’s crib near your bed. This will make things a lot easier for you when your bub wakes up and needs tending to. Your baby will only be moments away, and when you’re finished with whatever you have to do, you can slip back inside the blankets and continue snoozing from where you’ve left off.

Although your schedule will be completely thrown out of whack when your baby comes into your life, do try your hardest to keep up with a regular sleeping routine! Follow the same sleep ritual before bed, which over time will signal to your body that it’s time to rest. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and your body will naturally begin to follow its circadian rhythm, which will improve the quality of your sleep.

On a similar note, it’s also important to keep your bedroom as the perfect environment for sleep. Make sure it’s quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature – use light-blocking window shades, lower the brightness of your alarm clock and play some white noise low in the background. Let your body know that this is the place for sleep so it will relax every time you enter the bedroom, ready to catch those z’s.

Sleep tips for new mothers

  • Don’t agree to take on any extra responsibilities or do more than you can. You shouldn’t feel like you’re obliged to say yes to anything! People will understand how busy you are taking care of your baby, so there’s no need to stress too much about it.
  • Start practising good sleep hygiene. Avoid caffeine before bed, and don’t use your electronics before sleeping either – the blue light can cause your brain to think it’s daytime and make you more alert.
  • If you can, try and get in some physical activity during the day. This can help you to become more tired at night and fall into a deeper, more restful sleep.

When will my baby sleep more on their own?

Don’t fret mamas; your sleep deprivation won’t last forever! At around 3-4 months, your baby will start sleeping for about 6 to 8 hours at a time each night, leaving you more time to rest and recuperate. While the next 3-4 months might seem to go on forever when you’re going through the sleeplessness yourself, there will be an end in sight! We at Haakaa are behind you every step of the way through your journey into motherhood – you got this mama!

Majit Himel
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Reducing Waste in the Kitchen

Plastic packaging creates a massive problem for the planet in terms of the amount of waste it produces – and one of the biggest culprits? Single-use food packaging. Every day we throw out so much from our kitchens into our rubbish bins – from one-time coffee pods and food wrappers, to plastic bags we get from the grocery store.

Plastic is particularly devastating to our environment because it takes such a long time to decompose. This means all these bits of plastic rubbish contaminating our beautiful planet will last for hundreds, even thousands of years to come! It’s an enormous issue, and we at Haakaa feel like it’s a vital topic to address.

To encourage more people to transition to a greener, eco-friendlier life, we have compiled some tips and tricks below to help reduce the amount of plastic waste we throw out – especially from our kitchens. If we can combine our efforts to reduce our impact on the earth, we can protect the environment that our little ones grow up in.

What are clingfilm alternatives?

Clingfilm is one of the biggest culprits for plastic food waste in the kitchen. So many of us use it mindlessly to wrap sandwiches, store leftovers, refrigerate or freeze things, and more! While it doesn’t seem like much at the time we use it, clingfilm is difficult to recycle, pollutes our oceans, kills marine life, and releases toxic chemicals when incinerated.

A great eco-friendly alternative to clingfilm is beeswax food wraps. These are made from waxed cotton, and not only are they safe to use, but they can also be easily found in local stores or online! Alternatively, you can also try your hand at making your own. Beeswax food wraps will last around 6-12 months if cared for properly, and once they’ve gone past their lifespan, you can put them in compost – reducing the amount of waste we throw out yet again!

TOP TIP: If you use clingfilm to freeze things in a plastic freezer tray, try our 100% silicone Baby Food and Breast Milk Freezer Tray instead! It’s safe, practical and free from the chemical nasties found in plastics which leach. Cubes pop out easily with a quick twist of the soft silicone tray – no effort required! Caring for your freezer tray is super simple too – you can put it in the dishwasher or sterilise it by boiling in water for 2-3 minutes.  


How do I stop using plastic containers?

Plastic containers might seem super convenient for storing last night’s leftovers – whether it’s homemade or from a restaurant – but they have a very short lifespan and can leach nasty chemicals into your food when heated! One way to cut down on your usage of these plastic containers is to replace them with longer-lasting, sustainable alternatives. Next time you go out for a big dinner, bring a glass or silicone storage container with you in your bag in case there are any leftovers you want to take home.

Our Silicone Collapsible Food Storage Containers are the perfect substitute for plastic food storage containers. They come in capacities of 860ml and 1160ml, which means they’re more than enough to fill with a generous amount of food. They also can be packed down when not being used, saving on storage space and making them incredibly convenient to take with you on-the-go!


How can I stop using plastic bags?

Plastic bags are one of the worst offenders in terms of plastic waste. They are commonly given out by stores for free to help customers carry their items, but all the effects of this builds up and leads to a devastating impact on the environment. The good thing is, governments around the world are starting to take actions to reduce the use of them – including right here, in New Zealand!

Many people are now instead relying on reusable cloth bags made of materials like cotton or non-woven polypropylene, which is much more durable than the standard plastic bag. However, these bags are only useful if you remember to bring them along with you! Keep them in your car or folded tightly inside your handbag so you don’t forget them when you go shopping.

If you want to go the extra mile, you can further reduce your usage of plastic bags by purchasing reusable mesh bags to help you pack produce from the grocery store. Unlike plastic bags, mesh bags also allow your food to ‘breathe’, extending their shelf life! A double win.

TOP TIP: If you use plastic milk storage bags to store your milk, switch to our world-first Silicone Milk Storage Bags instead! Unlike single-use plastic bags, our silicone bags can be used time and time again and are perfect for keeping your liquid gold safe from any nasties.


How do I cut down on food packaging waste?

Many foods we find at supermarkets and grocery stores are packaged for our convenience – but this comes at a massive cost to the planet! The easy workaround to this is to replace purchased foods where you can with homemade alternatives. For example, instead of buying yoghurt in plastic tubs – consider making your own yoghurt at home. Instead of throwing away individual wrappers as you munch on muesli bars throughout the week, bake your own and store them away in a container. Although it requires a bit more effort, it’s better for us in terms of health and knowing what we’re putting in our bodies, and it’s better for the environment. The more you get used to it, the easier it is to be waste-free!

There are also waste-free stores you can visit to do your food shopping. These shops sell grocery items in bulk bins – just bring your own bags or containers to be weighed, then fill them with what you need and the weight of your containers will be deducted at the register. Such a great initiative to help people go plastic-free and reduce their environmental impact on the planet!

What eco-friendly alternative should I use to wash the dishes?

Many people use plastic scrubbers and synthetic sponges to hand wash their dishes. However, these tools can be incredibly detrimental to not only the environment but our health as well. Plastic bristles often wash off down our drains and into our waterways, killing marine life, and synthetic sponges create the perfect environment for bacteria to breed. These options also need constant replacing as they wear down. An eco-friendlier option for hand washing dishes would be a silicone sponge – they have a lifespan of up to a year and don’t allow bacteria to bread as they are non-porous! There are also plastic-free dishwashing brushes you could consider – not only are they sustainable and non-toxic to the environment, but they’re also great for scrubbing the grime off your dirty dishes.

TOP TIP: Our Silicone Brush makes a perfect plastic-free brush for doing the dishes!

 

There are many steps that you can take to reduce your impact on the environment, starting right here in your kitchen. By reducing and controlling the amount of plastics we dispose of every day at home, we can hopefully eliminate the need for single-use plastics entirely over time, preserving the beauty of the environment for our little ones.

Majit Himel
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What Should You Pack In Your Hospital Bag?

What Should You Pack In Your Hospital Bag?

Midwife and brand ambassador Aliza Carr from @bumpnbub shares her checklist of key essentials to take with you to the hospital. 

Packing your hospital bag means you’re getting closer to meeting the little love of your life! As a midwife, I normally suggest packing your hospital bag around the 34-36 week mark. Just remember, you created this baby and you will be able to birth this baby, strong mama!

5 of my must-have items and why

1. Haakaa’s Thermal Stainless Steel Drink Bottle + Stainless Steel Straw

There is no harder work than labour and birth. The body is working so hard to bring your little baby earthside, and it is so important to stay hydrated. Dehydration in labour can lead to fetal tachycardia (increased heart rate for bub), so your birth partner has the important job of remembering to offer you some water a few times an hour. Having a straw means it is easier to drink in any position you may be in during labour. 

Shop our bottle and straws now!


2. Camera 

At the time, pictures of you labouring, or giving birth may not seem like something you want, but one of the most common things I hear as a midwife is “I am SO glad we captured some of the labour and birth, to keep forever”. Most of our phones have incredible cameras these days so if you’ll be getting some snaps on your phone, remember to pack a phone charger! 

3. Speaker

One of the easiest ways to turn a space into somewhere you feel comfortable and safe is with your favourite music or affirmations. Many women who do a Hypnobirthing or Calmbirth class will often play birth affirmations during labour which can be incredibly beneficial in creating a positive birth experience.

You can create a playlist for different stages of your labour or how you anticipate you’ll be feeling, e.g. early labour may be more fun upbeat songs, active labour may be songs that inspire you and give you strength and while you are pushing… what songs you can see your bub being born to! Music always makes the birthing space more positive and comfortable. 

4. Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump 

There are so many reasons a mama may need to pump after birth, some completely unpredictable: if you or bub are separated for any reason, if you are needing to increase your supply once your milk has come in, if bub is struggling to attach etc. It is worth taking your Haakaa pump for those few days in hospital just in case :) 

Shop our full range of pumps here.


5. Lip Balm! 

This is the number one thing women in labour ask for, and if it was allowed, I would share my own! Mamas’ lips can get so dry, especially if they are using and breathing on the nitrous oxide gas with each contraction. Pack a natural, nourishing lip balm to use not just during labour and birth but for the postpartum period as well. 

Majit Himel
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Plastic Free July

Hey mamas! Welcome to July – can you believe that half the year is gone already? 😲 Time flies!

At Haakaa, it’s part of our mission to protect the environment for the future of our little ones. That’s why it’s vital for us to keep coming up with innovative, sustainable products that help to replace single-use plastics and reduce the impact we leave on the environment. 

Plastic Free July is a global initiative that encourages and challenges people to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in their lives every day. By cutting down on plastic waste and relying on eco-friendly alternatives instead for a month, we can hopefully form some better, greener lifelong habits that will help preserve our planet instead of slowly destroying it. 

Here are some of our ideas and tips to help you take on Plastic Free July!

What is Plastic Free July?

Plastic Free July is a yearly initiative in which millions of people all around the world participate! This campaign aims to raise awareness about the amount of single-use plastic in our daily lives. It encourages us to look for sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives in the place of plastic so we can have cleaner streets, less polluted oceans and beautiful communities. Every little step towards a greener future counts, and collectively, our efforts can make a massive difference in helping to protect the planet!

What are the environmental impacts of plastic?

According to scientific studies, many plastics take hundreds (or even thousands!) of years to degrade. It doesn’t simply just disappear once you’ve finished using it – it breaks down into billions of tiny particles that litter our beaches, pollute our landfills and fill our oceans.

It’s not just the accumulation of plastic that harms our environment either – it’s also the fragments and toxins released by plastic during the process of breaking down. These nasties pollute our soil and water and end up harming human health as well!

Plastic leaves such an enormous, devastating and wasteful impact, especially considering that around 50% of plastic is only used once and then thrown away. The battle against single-use plastics has seen countries all over the world, including New Zealand, step up to eliminate single-use plastic shopping bags. But there is still so much we can do to cut down our dependence on single-use plastic in our day-to-day lives!

How can I go plastic-free?

1. Single-use plastic breast milk storage bags are super popular among pumping mamas. They’re convenient, handy to keep around and easy-to-store – but they can leave quite an impact on the environment, especially if you end up using hundreds of them throughout your breastfeeding journey!

Made of 100% food grade silicone, Haakaa’s Silicone Breast Milk Storage Bags are the perfect alternative! They’re super durable and can be easily sterilised for reuse over and over again – just boil in water for 2-3 minutes. The Silicone Breast Milk Storage Bag is fridge and freezer safe and can be stored laying down or standing up. It also comes with a leakproof stopper to keep your milk secure when you’re on-the-go!


2. We all know there’s so much waste with conventional period pads and tampons – from the product itself, to the plastic packaging that it’s wrapped in. But do you know about the cumulative effect menstrual products have on the environment? 

The average menstruator bleeds for 3,000 days over a lifetime – this equates to approximately 12,000 pads or tampons used. This in turn accumulates to 120kg of period waste per person, which either slowly degrades in landfill or floats around in the ocean! Surely there’s an eco-friendlier alternative to managing our periods?

Haakaa’s Flow Cups are the perfect environmentally friendly alternative for those looking for a safe, simple and economical menstrual hygiene product! They’re made from 100% soft and flexible silicone, and are free from BPA, chlorine and other harsh chemicals that found in conventional pads and tampons. They can be worn for up to 12 hours and reused once your cycle has finished – simply sterilise with boiling water place inside its storage case, ready for next time. With proper cleaning and care, flow cups can last for up to 10 years!


3. Plastic straws are one of the biggest culprits in creating plastic waste that pollutes our beaches and oceans, with more than half a billion being used every day around the world!

If you want to cut down on single-use plastic straws, Stainless Steel Straws offer a fantastic alternative that can be used by both adults and kids alike, time and time again. Because they are incredibly durable, they are also super safe! To clean, use the brush that comes with the product and put the straw into the dishwasher. Our Stainless Steel Straws also come with an easy-carry bag, making them portable and convenient for when you’re on-the-go.


Silicone Straws are another convenient, eco-friendly option to replace plastic straws. Their fun, bright colours and soft bendy silicone make them perfect for children’s delicate mouths! 

4. Instead of buying bottled water while you’re out and about, bring your own reusable water bottle to reduce the number of plastic bottles going to waste. Be sure to choose one that’s made of safe, eco-friendly materials like stainless steel or glass.

Haakaa’s Thermal Stainless Steel Drink Bottle is a fantastic choice for the environmentally conscious. These bottles are 100% non-toxic, durable yet lightweight, leakproof and great for both your health and the planet! The wide neck for drinking makes it easy to stay hydrated, and they keep liquids hot or cold for up to 6 hours. They are perfect for when you’re on the move and need to keep things at a particular temperature.

 


Be sure to check our Instagram @haakaanz for more posts about how to reduce your plastic consumption this July. Together, we can make all the difference in helping to protect Mother Earth!

Majit Himel
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Caring For Your Baby's Teeth



You might think that your baby’s oral health only becomes vital once they grow their first tooth, but the truth is, good oral care should start from the day they were born! Your child’s dental hygiene is incredibly important as it helps them eat and speak, and can affect their teeth when they grow up. At Haakaa, we want to help protect your children’s precious little smiles. We’ll be answering some common questions parents might have about looking after their children’s new chompers as well as showing you our favourite products to help.

How can I take care of my infant’s oral health?

Even when your baby has no teeth at all, you can still keep your baby’s mouth clean by wiping their gums to remove sugar and bacteria. Many recommend using a clean and damp baby washcloth, though you can also use Haakaa’s Silicone Finger Brush! Our super soft, 100% silicone Finger Brush is suitable to use from birth to help your child become familiar with the sensation of brushing gums, helping instil good dental habits later on. The Finger Brush has two sides: one with soft silicone bristles, and another with firmer silicone nubs to help relieve pains when your baby begins to teethe.


What do I do when my baby gets their first tooth?

Once your baby gets their first tooth at around six months, you can start brushing with toothpaste twice a day. Remember to only use a small smear of regular fluoride toothpaste each time! The easiest way to clean your baby’s teeth is to have them sit in your lap and facing the same direction as you for easy access to & around their mouths.

When your child is at this stage, they can graduate to their first proper toothbrush! The 360° Silicone Toothbrush features soft bristles all around the brush head to remove more plaque than conventional toothbrushes. Made from 100% soft silicone and with a guard to prevent choking, your child can continue using this brush as they begin independency and start learning how to brush all by themselves! Remember to replace toothbrushes every 3-4 months.


How can I prevent tooth decay in my baby?    

Tooth decay is an unfortunate yet common occurrence in babies which can lead to pain and infection, as well as further consequences later on in their lives. Fortunately, it only takes a few simple steps to prevent tooth decay from affecting your baby.

Although it is a debated topic, it is widely recommended that you use fluoride toothpaste for your baby. This is because fluoride strengthens teeth, reducing decay. Other measures you can take include enrolling your child at your local dental clinic and getting regular check-ups. While at home, be sure to gently lift your baby’s top lip once a month to check for tooth decay inside their mouth.

Your baby may be ready to start solids around the time their first tooth comes in as well. If this is the case, choose healthy and tooth-friendly food for your child. Avoid giving them sugary and sticky food which increase the chances of tooth decay.  

You may be tempted to give your baby a bottle before bed to help them sleep. Unfortunately, the sugars in the milk you give your child can also contribute to tooth decay! If your child is determined to have something to suck on to settle themselves down, you can use a dummy. If you’re after a safe and eco-friendly option, Haakaa has the Silicone Dummy which is made from one piece of super soft silicone. It’s free from any nasty chemicals, with an ergonomic shape that doesn’t leave marks or a rash.

TOP TIP: Chuck this Silicone Dummy in the freezer to provide cooling relief when your child is teething.


Haakaa also offers the Nanosilver Silicone Dummy which uses the latest science & technology to create a naturally anti-bacterial product. The microscopic silver fragments in the soft silicone body maintain cleanliness up to 99.9% without additional disinfection or sterilising, and prevents secondary virus inflammation!

How should I care for my toddler’s teeth?

Once your bub is around a year old, they can graduate to using another soft, small-headed toothbrush as they will now have more teeth than before – meaning more gaps and crevices that bacteria can sneak through. Fortunately, protecting your toddler’s teeth is no more difficult than taking care of their teeth as an infant. Be sure to keep brushing their teeth twice a day – after breakfast and before bed – for at least two minutes, reaching around the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of all their teeth! You can encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste after brushing without rinsing, as the amount of fluoride toothpaste remaining will further protect their teeth. Keep checking for tooth decay every month at home by lifting their top lip and taking them for dental check-ups. Finally, continue choosing healthy food and drink options for your child with less sugar to reduce the chances of tooth decay.

Teaching your child the importance of dental hygiene when they’re young promotes good habits as they grow older. Brushing your baby’s teeth together not only protects their adorable smiles, but it can also be a fun & enjoyable bonding experience.

Majit Himel
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Breastfeeding in Public

Now that regulations have lifted after lockdown, we can slowly return to our normal lives. We’re now allowed to head back to our favourite brunch spots, shop at malls and enjoy all the beautiful parks and gardens our country has to offer!

If you ever decide to bring your baby with you while you’re out and about, there’s no doubt that you will eventually encounter a situation where your baby won’t stop kicking up a fuss because they’re hungry. As mamas, we know that hungry babies NEED to be fed, no matter where they are. There’s no waiting until you get home, or until it’s more convenient. So… what’s stopping us from feeding them right there and then?

For starters, breastfeeding in public can be awkward and daunting, especially if it’s not something you’ve done before. We at Haakaa are here to help explain all the ins and outs of breastfeeding in public, so you can do so with confidence next time bub starts getting restless while you’re away from home!

Where am I allowed to breastfeed?

Under New Zealand’s laws, you are 100% legally entitled to breastfeed anytime, anywhere and at any place. Whether you’re at work, on public transport, in parks and reserves or cafés and restaurants, or anywhere else – you ARE allowed to breastfeed your child! There’s really no place where you aren’t allowed. 

It is completely illegal for someone to stop you breastfeeding in public, and it’s important to know that if someone does ask you to stop or to leave because you of feeding your child, you can make a complaint against them to the Human Rights Commission. Breastfeeding is a beautiful and entirely natural act, and there’s nothing wrong with it at all. Don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed or embarrassed for fulfilling your duties as a mother! 

How do I cover up breastfeeding in public?

If you’re feeling a little shy about breastfeeding in public, or you’re worried about accidentally exposing your body while doing so, you can use a special nursing cover to help give yourself some privacy. Nursing covers are specially designed to be comfortable and discreet to use while breastfeeding, while still allowing you to look at your baby as you do so. They’re compact, so they’re handy to keep in your baby bag while you’re on-the-go, plus they come in a wide range of patterns and designs so they can be coordinated to match your outfit for the day!

What are the best clothes for breastfeeding?

Many maternity brands offer breastfeeding-friendly clothing that are specially designed for mamas to provide “easy access” for your bub. These include nursing tops, dresses and breastfeeding tunics, which are designed with discreet openings to allow you to feed your baby comfortably and effortlessly – and they’re especially convenient for when you’re out and about!


You can still be discreet without having to buy specific breastfeeding clothing too. Button or zip-up shirts and dresses are perfect for helping you breastfeed subtly, as well as clothes with side openings. One solution many mamas use is to layer up two standard tops. When it’s time for feeding, pull down the inner top so it hooks under the breast and pull up the outer top so your baby can latch.

How can I feel less anxious about breastfeeding in public?

When you breastfeed in public for the first time, you might be worried about people watching or judging you. These feelings are normal, but remember – you are well within your rights to feed your child in any space, whether that’s inside or outside your home.

Bringing a friend with you while you’re out and about can be a huge help when you have to breastfeed in public. They can assist you by helping to hold onto your bags or fetching anything you need as you feed. Having a friend around can also help you to feel more confident and relaxed, as you won’t feel like everyone is staring if there’s two of you! 

Take baby steps to breastfeed in public. You can start with breastfeeding your child at a friend’s house and begin learning how to be comfortable in an environment away from home. Afterwards, you can start feeding in newer, but supportive surroundings like mothers’ groups. Slowly but surely, you can build your way up to feeding in public while with a friend, and then feeding in public by yourself! 

You can also try breastfeeding your baby in front of a mirror to start with, so you can see what you look like. Many mamas often have misconceptions about how obvious they’ll look when they’re breastfeeding when in reality, it’s likely that the people around you will barely notice! Your baby’s head and body will cover most of your breast from being exposed, so there’s not much that will be seen by others. 

Remember mamas, what you’re doing is natural and there is absolutely NOTHING to be embarrassed about. Breastfeeding is beautiful, and it’s not something that you should be made to hide away! The first few times you breastfeed in public can be nervewracking, but the more you do it and embrace it, the more confident you’ll become. The Haakaa team and community are behind you 100%, as we believe it’s so valuable to normalise breastfeeding in our society. You’re amazing, mama!

Majit Himel
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What is the difference between foremilk and hindmilk?

Mamas, if you have been breastfeeding for a while, you would have likely seen how your breast milk changes colour at different times. Did you notice how the composition and colour changes from the early days of feeding? Or did you even see the change in your milk from the beginning of a feed to the end?

Let’s chat through the different compositions of breastmilk!

Colostrum: In the first three to five days after birth, mamas will produce colostrum. This is the first breast milk. Colostrum is generally very thick and has a yellow/orange colour to it. Although babies don't need much of it in those first few days, it is incredibly nutrient-dense and packed full of antibodies to protect your little one’s gut!

Transitional Milk: Normally between day 3-5 post-birth, your milk transitions from colostrum to 'milk'. This breast milk is much higher in volume than colostrum. During this (approximate) two week transition period, the colour of breast milk typically changes from being thick and yellow to being white and much thinner, with a higher volume content, for your growing baby.

Mature Milk: After about two to four weeks, your breast milk reaches its mature stage. This composition of milk won't change too much unless you or your baby gets sick (in which your body will develop an immune response and increase the white blood cells in your milk, amazing hey!). The most significant changes are from birth to this stage. Depending on the fat content of mature milk, it may appear slightly different to transitional milk.

Other colour changes in breast milk: 

Some mamas will notice a slight red tinge in their milk if they have any nipple damage that has caused slight bleeding. Other things such as certain foods, supplements and herbs can also alter the colour of your milk! This is completely normal. However, if you are ever concerned about the colour of your milk, you can simply consult your GP or lactation consultant.

Now let’s chat about foremilk and hindmilk! 

>This topic can often confuse mamas, so let’s break it down a little bit.

Although there are two different names, foremilk and hindmilk, both of these make up the composition of breast milk. When feeding, there isn’t a clear point of division between them when one turns to the other, and both are nutritionally important for your baby. 

Foremilk is generally higher volume but lower in fat whereas hindmilk typically has a higher fat content and a lower volume. If you have not pumped before this might be something you never even noticed, which is 100% fine. Our bodies are amazing at taking care of our babies! 

The concepts of foremilk, hindmilk and if bub is getting the correct amounts of each can sometimes create anxiety in women, but this is very rarely an issue. As long as bub has full feeds at some points during the day, this is completely fine and will even out with regards to shorter feeds or pumped milk. The overall breast milk consumed daily, including bub’s weight gain and wet nappies, is what’s important as considered by most health professionals. 

When using the Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump... 



The Haakaa Silicone Breast Pump was originally designed as a manual pump for mums, but can also be used as a tool to catch let-down. When we breastfeed from one side, we generally have a let-down from the other breast - though this milk is often wasted in a breast pad or your bra. The Haakaa pump is perfect for capturing this to make sure it doesn’t go to waste. Simply pop on your pump at the beginning of a feed for a few minutes to catch your precious liquid gold! Once your initial let-down has slowed, you can then remove your pump. You will likely capture mostly foremilk in these first couple of minutes (which is 100% fine!). If you want to use the pump to empty the breast, simply leave on until the breast is drained (usually about 10-12 minutes) to get both fore and hindmilk. 😊


Some ideas for using the precious let-down you capture:

  • Start a freezer stash (always good to have a backup supply of stored milk!)
  • Give to bub to top them up after a feed
  • Use when cooking for your bub if they have started solids e.g. in porridge or pureed fruit 
  • Give bub a breastmilk bath - women swear by this for any skin irritations for your baby! 

Of course, with any breastfeeding concerns, we recommend you see a lactation consultant or your health professional to discuss your personal circumstances with them.

Majit Himel
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Keeping Your Baby Warm In Winter

Going through the journey of motherhood and raising a baby already comes with its fair share of challenges. However, looking after your little one during the winter can make things even more stressful, especially if it’s your first time being a mama! Not only do you have to make sure you’re keeping your little lovebug warm and dry, but you also want to do your very best to protect them against getting sick from viruses and other nasties.

Why is it important to keep my baby warm in winter?

As much as we want to keep our babies snug and cosy to make sure they’re happy and comfortable, it’s also important to keep them warm to help ward off potential illnesses. This is because they are less able to cope with the cold and don’t have much body fat to warm themselves back up. If their tiny bodies are using all their energy to raise their own temperature, it can’t use that energy to fight off any nasty illnesses!

How can I prevent my baby from getting sick during winter?

It’s important to try and help prevent our little ones getting sick, as small babies do not have fully developed immune systems. This, combined with underdeveloped nasal passages and lungs, means any symptoms of the illnesses they do contract will affect them much more than they do with adults. Although you can’t prevent the chances of your baby falling ill 100%, there are things that you can do to help minimise the chances of your little one coming down with a nasty bug!

To keep your baby warm to help ward off illnesses, dress your child in layers. These should be easy to remove so you can adjust if your baby gets too warm – zips are great for this as they allow for super easy and quick dressing. You can choose breathable fabrics like cotton, or merino which naturally regulates temperature. As a general rule of thumb, dress your little one in one layer more than what you are wearing.

You might start with a zip-up bodysuit, then add leggings and pants, then a long sleeve shirt, a zip-up jacket, then a hat, mittens, booties and so on as needed!

How can I tell if my baby is too hot or too cold?

If your baby is fussy or irritable, it could be a sign that they aren’t comfortable at their current temperature. To check this, try feeling the temperature of their skin on their nose and the back of their neck. If their nose is cold, it might be an indicator that the temperature of the room is too cold for them. If the back of their neck is warm, it means that their body temperature is adequate. If their hairline is sweaty, it most likely means they’re too warm, and you might want to remove one of the layers they have on.

What should I do if my baby gets sick?

As a mum, you’re already busy with sooo many things to do every day. Dealing with a fussy, grumpy and sick baby can really make things much more stressful! While it breaks our hearts to see our little ones in discomfort, there are at least some things we can do to help alleviate this.

First and foremost, if you have any doubts or concerns about the health of your baby at all, you should always go see your doctor. They will be able to diagnose their symptoms properly and prescribe medication, if needed, to help your little one recover.

If your baby has come down with the common cold and is snotty and congested, you’re going to have to help them clear their nasal passages. Babies don’t know how to blow their noses, so they’re going to require a bit of assistance from you (even if it is a bit yucky to deal with!). You can look in your pharmacy for products specially designed for infants to help ease congestion, like nasal aspirators, or place a cold-mist humidifier in your baby’s nursery to add moisture to the air and help loosen mucus.

TOP TIP: Our Breathe Easy Lotion Bar is specially formulated to help ease your little one’s cough and cold symptoms and can be easily incorporated into any bedtime routine. With lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, thyme and lemon essential oils, our aromatherapeutic lotion bar is perfect for helping clear those stuffy noses and airways, using only all-natural ingredients!


How can I help my baby’s dry skin?

Dry skin is especially common during winter, for both babies and adults alike! This is because not only does the cold air outside not carry as much moisture as warm air, but also because the indoor heat can further dry out skin. To help your baby avoid dry skin, it’s best to keep your indoor temperature to a level that’s as cool as you can tolerate during the day – around 20 to 22°C.

Surprisingly, bathing your little one too often can dry out their skin as well! For this reason, it’s best to use comfortably warm water, not hot, to wash your baby, and to limit their time in the tub to no more than 10 minutes. After drying them off, you can apply a moisturiser immediately on their skin as it is best absorbed by clean, damp skin.

If you have any surplus of stored breast milk, you could try giving your baby a breast milk bath! Breast milk contains so many amazing components and healing properties that can significantly benefit your baby’s skin. It’s an excellent moisturiser and a perfect all-natural remedy!

TOP TIP: If your baby’s skin is particularly dry and itchy, try bathing them with our Oatmeal Baby Bath Milk. The colloidal oatmeal in our formula binds to the skin to form a protective barrier that locks in moisture. It’s best used with our Restore and Adore Lotion Bar, which contains only natural ingredients to provide rich hydration for bub’s skin!


At the end of the day, some babies might like to be warmer than others, and some babies might not mind the cold so much. Each baby is unique, and you are their mama, so you know them best. Do what seems right according to your child! And be sure to enjoy the winter with plenty of quality time and snuggles with your bub throughout the season, to help keep them warm.

Majit Himel
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Introducing Your Dog To Your Baby

When you bring your new baby home, you know your whole life is going to be changed forever. Not only is your world going to be turned upside down – but so will your dog’s! To help your fur baby adjust to your human baby, it’s best to prepare them and get them ready for the baby’s arrival, even before they are born. Life might seem like it’ll be harder when you’re trying to juggle between baby duties and spending time with your dog, but it doesn’t always have to be that way! We adore our furry friends at Haakaa, so we’ve written a guide to help you introduce your pet to your new bub.

How will my dog react to my baby?

To your dog, a baby is an incredibly strange creature. Why do they sound and smell so weird? Why can’t they move by themselves? And suddenly, they’re taking up all of my owner’s time and attention too???  It’s almost impossible to predict how your dog is going to respond to your baby. Even the most well-behaved of dogs can suddenly get overexcited and cause accidents!

When you suddenly bring your baby home to your dog with no prior preparation, it can be tricky for your dog to adapt to their new life immediately. This means that it’s incredibly important to start teaching your dog behavioural skills and gradually adjust their routine before the baby arrives so that they remain under control when the bub is finally here!

How do I prepare my dog for my new baby?

One of the first things you’ll want to do, if you haven’t already, is to take your dog to an obedience class. This is to make sure that your dog won’t jump on you or the baby when you’re doing important things and will listen to you when you tell them to sit, lie down, stay or come to you when called. Though they’re basic commands, your life will be a lot easier when you don’t have to fend off an overexcited dog while holding your precious baby!

Starting to make changes to your dog’s routine before the baby arrives is essential, as to prevent the dog from associating these changes with the baby. Things such as being fed at varying times, not allowing them to sleep on the bed, not being allowed in the future nursery, etc., should all start being reinforced before the baby is born. You can also start reducing the playtime and attention you give your dog a few weeks before baby comes home so that your dog won’t blame this on your bub. You can even start going through the baby’s routine and acting it out with a doll so that when your baby does come home, your dog’s life won’t be turned around all of a sudden!

It’s also possible to familiarise your dog with a baby’s presence before they even arrive! You can set up the baby’s gear around the house, so your pup gets used to all these new objects, and play sounds of the baby crying in the house so the dog can adjust to the new sounds. A dog’s sense of smell is their absolute most powerful tool to help them navigate the world, so get them used to a baby’s smell by applying baby lotion and baby powder. After the baby is home, get someone to help you bring home an article of clothing that the baby has worn, or a blanket they have used, for your dog to sniff.

When should I introduce my dog to my baby?

When you’re coming home after having your baby, make sure to greet your pet first! If you welcome them and play with them so they can expend their pent-up excitement, they’ll be calmer when you eventually bring in your baby.

After a few days of adjusting to the smell, sight and sound of a real baby, you can then introduce your pup to your bub by letting them have a sniff up close while still being controlled on a leash. You should praise your dog when he sniffs so that they know they are doing right by being gentle with your newborn.

You should allow the dog to approach you and the baby – don’t force your baby in their face! Give them the choice of interacting with the baby to prevent any sudden, adverse reactions.

Can dogs be around newborns?

After your dog has gotten used to your baby and you know it is safe, you can let your dog off-leash around your newborn. However, it is imperative that you continuously supervise them and NEVER leave them alone, not even for a second! Make sure the baby is elevated and that you are between the dog and the baby at all times. If the baby suddenly starts crying or kicking, the dog may interpret this in their own way and react unpredictably. Keep an eye out on your dog’s behaviour and body language, and intervene if you think the dog is becoming uncomfortable around the baby.

You may want to create a “safe space” for your dog to go to where the baby is not allowed. This lets your dog feel secure and allows them to self-soothe when they are feeling stressed, and helps them to control their potential fear and anxiety when dealing with this new, mysterious baby.

As the baby grows and starts developing their motor skills and hand-eye coordination, teach them to pet the dog gently. Make sure that they don’t pull on the dog’s tail or ears or annoy the dog in some other manner which may cause them to become aggressive.

Do dogs get jealous of babies?

Dogs most certainly are capable of being jealous of babies! Especially when they are no longer the centre of attention at home. As a result, it’s important that you also try to give your dog attention when your baby is around, as well as when they aren’t. This prevents your dog from thinking that good things happen only when the baby ISN’T there!

If you’re still having issues with your dog’s reactions to your baby, it is recommended that you consult with a dog behavioural specialist. Hopefully your dog can form a strong and close bond with your bub once they have gotten used to this new tiny human so that you can enjoy the double cuteness!

Majit Himel
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Haakaa Product FAQs

Hey mamas! This week we’re going to go through some frequently asked questions about your favourite Haakaa products.

General

Why is my silicone product cloudy?

Silicone is an absorbent material and can absorb the colours and smells of substances it comes in contact with. Although your silicone products can go in the dishwasher, we recommend hand washing with hot, soapy water. To sterilise, we recommend boiling in water for 2-3 minutes of using a steam steriliser.

We strongly recommend not using any bleach-based agents or sterilising tablets to clean your Haakaa products as it can affect the clarity of your product. Although your products might become cloudy after using detergent to wash them, silicone does not leach and it is still completely safe to use. If you are still concerned, you can sterilise your pump again by boiling in water, just to be safe!

Some mums have said that boiling the pump in water with a touch of white vinegar can help improve the clarity of the pump, so you may wish to give this a go.

Can I use a UV steriliser for silicone?

The easiest and simplest way to sterilise silicone is to simply boil in water for 2-3 minutes. If you use a UV steriliser, you may end up reducing the lifespan of your product which can eventually cause the silicone to become sticky and unusable over time. For these reasons, we do not advise using UV sterilisers for your Haakaa silicone products.

I accidentally used a bleach-based detergent for my products! Is it still safe to use?

Bleach-based cleaners can reduce the lifespan of your silicone products and cause them to become sticky and unusable. If your products still look and feel fine after briefly coming in contact with a bleach-based cleaner, then they are still safe for you to use. If you feel unsure, you can always sterilise your products by boiling in water for 2-3 minutes.

Breast Pumps

Why has my pump lost its suction?

Have you tried a stronger suction? Sometimes, when our bodies are constantly changing after the birth of our babies, the suction strength needed changes as well.

When attaching, do you fold the flange back, squeeze the bottom of the pump, centre it onto your nipple, unfold the flange and release? This is the most effective way of attaching. The more you squeeze the bottom of the pump, the stronger the suction will be.

Another tip would be to assist your breast by holding or cupping it in one hand while attaching the pump in the other so you can really get a centre onto your breast and allow the pump to grasp a bigger area. 

If you find none of these tips work and it still won't suction on properly, it may be that the silicone material has worn and lost its suction. Sometimes this can happen depending how often it is used and sterilised, as well as the method of how it's washed and sterilised – the more you sterilise your pump, the faster it will lose its suction. Some mums find they need to replace their pumps after a few months while others have theirs for years. It really differs for each person based on each of those factors!

Nipple Shields

Why is my nipple being pulled into the shield?

A few suggestions would be trying to feed baby without initially suctioning it onto your breast. Instead, lay it onto your breast and allow baby to suck to suction it on naturally and see if that helps. Sometimes, if you suction it on already, baby’s sucking will pull your nipple in even more and cause pain or cause the nipple to compress and the flow to slow down.

Another tip is to express some milk into the teat before allowing your baby to latch on. I find that a lot of mums who attach their babies, especially when they are extremely hungry, suck harder to get the milk flowing quickly. If there is milk already available in the teat, they are more likely to drink more gently preventing the nipple from being pulled in.

Try the above and see how you go!

Bottle Teats

How can you tell the difference in sizes for the Generation 3 Nipples?

If you look at the top of the teat where the milk comes out, the differences are as follows:

Slow Flow = one small hole

Medium Flow = two small holes

Fast Flow = Criss-cross (X shape)


If none of the questions above match what you would like to ask, send us an e-mail to customerservice@haakaa.co.nz or message us through our social media channels on Instagram or Facebook!

Majit Himel
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