Why are my bottles leaking?

We always hear how so many of you mums absolutely love Haakaa’s baby bottles, whether it’s our Gen. 3 Silicone Bottle that transforms into a 5-in-1 feeding system, or our ergonomic Gen. 3 Glass Baby Bottle with its off-centre nipple. And it’s no wonder why! With gentle medical grade silicone teats that mimic the shape of a mother’s own breast while feeding, our bottles are more readily accepted by babies, making them fantastic for transitioning to bottle feeding or for mixed feeding!

Every now and then, some mamas will have their bottles leak in certain situations. While some brands’ baby bottles can leak because of defects, it is more often the case that the bottles are not being used properly. We’re here to explain some easy solutions to ensure you get the most out of your Haakaa baby bottles, without leaking any of your baby’s precious food!

If your bottle leaks while feeding…

Then it may be because the nipple flow is different to what your child needs. Haakaa bottles come with three different sized nipples to suit the different stages of your baby – Slow Flow, Medium Flow and Variable Flow. If the flow rate is too slow for your little one, they will have to suck harder to get more milk. This can push air up into the anti-colic vent, causing pressure to build and pushing liquid out of the neck of the bottle – causing leaks! To fix this situation, your baby may be ready for the next nipple flow level. As a general rule of thumb, the older the child, the faster the flow rate that is required.

If your bottle leaks while preparing formula or warming milk…

There can be a range of reasons why your bottle might leak when you’re preparing milk for a feeding. One of these reasons might be that the temperature of the milk is too warm. This can increase the air pressure inside the bottle and cause leaks, as the air tries to find its way out.

Over-tightening the pieces of the bottle while assembling it can also cause your bottle to leak, surprisingly enough! To prevent this, ensure that the attachment ring is not tightened too much on the bottle. Twist on until you feel resistance – and when you do, do not twist any further as the ring is screwed on tight enough. If you over-tighten the ring onto the bottle too much, it may lead to damage – which is something you definitely want to avoid!

Got any more questions? Let us know via our live chat on the website, or flick us an email at customerservice@haakaa.co.nz and we'll be happy to help!

Majit Himel
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Tips For Getting Your Baby To Take A Bottle

Written by midwife, perinatal mental health specialist and creator of Bumpnbub, Aliza Carr.

Most of the time, there is a large focus on breastfeeding and how we can encourage this biological process. But what about bottles, you may ask? This is SUCH a common question - there is not nearly enough information out there for mamas who bottle-feed their babes. A seamless transition from breast to bottle can be a challenging task! If you are thinking "how can I get my baby to take the bottle? They just keep "refusing", then this blog is for you!  As a midwife, I support a wide range of women in their transition to motherhood and want to share my tips with you. 

Every baby is different, and latching (bottle or breast) can take a little patience. A bottle-fed baby demands the same amount of nutrition as a breastfed baby, so it is essential to gain a good understanding on how to prepare formula, and when and how much to give. Your midwife can support you through this process and provide a thorough demonstration when you are in hospital. A specialised quota can guide you according to your baby's weight in the first few days. Following this, it is crucial to always follow the instructions of the formula tin. 

If your bottle feeding journey starts a little later, seek medical advice from a GP or community nurse. Preparing formula is a vital step that should be done safely. Here are some key points to remember:

  • Add formula powder to cooled, boiled water, following instructions on the tin. Shake well and test temperature.
  • If your baby doesn’t finish all the formula, throw it away within one hour.
  • If you need to prepare infant formula in advance, put it in the fridge within one hour of making it, and use within 24 hours.
  • If you are pumping mama, make sure you are storing the milk in the fridge or freezer safely! Each country has its own recommendations on how to do this. 

    Now onto the real chat! What tips can I give YOU to help bubba take the bottle better? This whole process really depends on trial and error. Sometimes the shape of the teat or bottle may affect how well your baby can suckle and retain the feed. Choosing the right bottle can be overwhelming because there are just so many out there on the market. Speak to friends and family about what worked for them. Haakaa has baby bottles made of glass or silicone and won't leach into milk. Take a look at the range here

    Trial and error with various teats and flows

    Sometimes the teat of a bottle can flood your baby's mouth far too quickly and they can't keep up. Assessing the 'flow' of the bottle you are using can be a handy tip. Teats that release milk more slowly can mimic the way a baby breastfeeds - they have to work a little harder to get that milk. If your baby has previously breastfed, this could be the option for you. Through the 'slow-flow' teat, the milk is only extracted in small amounts so that the baby can 'keep up' and swallow more easily. Hospitals often have a variety of 'flows' for mamas to try and to accommodate premature babies! 

    If your babe is a pro at suckling one day and refuses the next day, try upping the flow of teat. They could be demanding more when they suckle, so you could try a teat that releases a 'faster flow' and gives milk more quickly. Your baby might also prefer this type of teat if you had a large breast milk supply and this is the speed they are used to. 

    Different bottles too!

    The shape and width of bottles can often replicate the shape of mama's breast, which can be a great thing for those transitioning from breast to bottle. Haakaa's teats not only help to mimic a natural feeding experience, making them more readily accepted by babies, but they also feature anti-colic vents to help control the airflow in the bottle. This can help with minimising issues like gas, reflux and colic!

    Finding that perfect feeding 'window'

    In the first few weeks, your baby may not follow that typical 'feeding routine'. Stay in tune with what works for your baby and family, and capture that 'sweet spot' for feeding time. Newborns generally feed every 2- 4 hours (and can vary a lot)! Bubs should have minimum 8-12 feeds in a 24 hour period. By feeding frequently, you make sure that your babe is getting enough and remind them 'yep, it's that time again, I need that delicious goodness'!

    When it's feeding time, it is important your baby is in a calm yet alert state. Mama, it can be heart-wrenching when your baby is screaming because they are hungry, but they won't take the bottle. A tip I have for calming your baby is to get them stripped down to the nappy. Place your baby on your chest skin-to-skin. Use calm tones and 'shhh' noises to settle them. Movement can help too! Once your baby is calm they will be more willing to feed (this is the same with breastfeeding as well). 

    A calm, alert and not overtired babe will take the bottle best. 

    Allowing someone else to give the bottle

    You may think this tip is a little funny, but it's one of my most valuable. When your bub is being fussy mama, get someone else to give them the bottle. This is a great job for your partner to get that bonding experience. The reasoning behind this is because of your baby's five senses - more specifically, what they can hear, see, and smell. If you have previously breastfed, your baby is very familiar with how you sound, look and smell. Don't forget those nine months they spent inside hearing your heartbeat and voice! Your baby may associate these things with breastfeeding and refuse the bottle. By allowing someone else to give the bottle, their senses are reactivated, and they should be more willing to accept this new experience. 

    Remember they are still learning too. If they are used to the breast, the bottle can be foreign. Once they familiarise with someone else giving the bottle, they will reassociate their senses, and you can try giving the bottle yourself. 

    The environment

    WHERE you feed your baby plays a part to this as well! Eliminating distractions is vital. You can try feeding in the same place every time so your baby knows its milk time! Before you begin, rock them and ensure they are calm. Familiarise them with the space. A quiet room works best as they can be more focused on feeding. Sometimes, I would even recommend mama leave the house and leave the feed to your partner. Again, this works with baby's five senses and them being so close to mama.  

    When your babe is still a newborn, a tight swaddle works well with bottle feeding. This allows you to get a good grip on babe, as well as keeping their hands out of the way. 

    Alternatively, if you have tried a focused and distraction-free approach with no luck, give the opposite a go! Feeding the baby whilst standing and rocking can provide that bit of distraction that makes them accept the bottle. They feed without even realising!

    YOU have the power in YOUR journey, mama!

    Your individual choice and your breastfeeding journey can have an influence on how well, and when these babies transition to bottle feeding. All mamas have a completely different story, and breastfeeding can be quite a tough gig. The nipple pain, mastitis, and sleepy mama/baby can be some of the reason mothers may want to try a bottle. This can happen at any time during parenthood. If you have breastfed before, and want to transition to bottle feeding, try some of these tips that mimic breastfeeding - you will notice your baby might prefer it.

    I empower you, mama, to have the final say in your journey. Take advice from others; however, when it comes down to it, you have the intuition and strength to choose your own preference for your gorgeous baby.  

    Some other handy tips...

    • Give your baby a little 'taste'. Drop some milk on the baby's lips. This may remind them of the sweet goodness that they are about to get. 
    • Wait for that big open mouth. Forcing the teat into your baby's mouth is going to cause them to spit it back up. Once they give that nice big mouth, putting the teat completely into their mouth can help them rhythmically suck. 
    • Try different positions! Again, if your baby has been breastfed, try and replicate this process. Have you tried nice and close, and cuddled? What about in the football position? If your baby is small enough, you can even prop them onto your knee and support them with your other hand. 
    • Another problem that mamas face is their baby not finishing the bottle. A way we can help this is by burping in the middle of the feed. This gives them a break and helps their little tummies.

    I hope that some of these tips can help you when giving your babe a bottle. It can be a challenging process, but I promise, with perseverance and patience, it will happen. If you have any concerns or require additional assistance in giving your baby a bottle, seek medical advice from your GP or a community nursing service. All the best mama, motherhood is truly a crazy, yet wonderful experience - you've got this!

    Majit Himel
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    Colic - What Is It & Does My Baby Have It?

    Written by midwife, perinatal mental health specialist and creator of Bumpnbub, Aliza Carr.

    Please note, this article is general advice only and does not replace the need for medical advice. Please consult your GP or paediatrician for any concerns around your baby.

    Firstly, colic has nothing to do with your ability to parent. Most people haven’t even heard the word colic before they have a baby that suddenly won’t stop screaming! You are doing well and it WILL get easier. 

    So what is colic?

    Colic is a bit of a mystery. This term applies to any healthy, well-fed infant who cries for more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks. All babies cry and a fussy baby doesn't necessarily have colic, but sometimes a baby will cry for hours at a time, no matter what you do. This extreme type of crying is defined as colic. Thankfully, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! Colic tends to peak at around 6 weeks and then improves significantly between 3 and 6 months. 

    There is no doubt bubs are often in pain during episodes of colic - many professionals believe the issue is caused by an immature digestive system or obstruction and wind in the intestines. 

    Some of the other causes identified are:

    • Bub is reacting to something in mum’s diet if bub is breastfed (keeping a food diary can be a great way to track and see when bub is more irritable).
    • A reaction to formula/lactose if formula feeding. Some mums try alternatives to dairy.
    • Baby is getting overstimulated/overtired/stressed by their environment. 

    Some other reactions from bub who might have colic include:

    • Clenched fists 
    • Arching of the back
    • Bloated tummy 
    • Trying to or passing wind during crying 
    • Tight/firm abdomen 

    Check your baby's belly. If gas is causing your baby's colic, their stomach may become slightly enlarged. Pay attention to the amount of gas your baby passes. If the amount seems especially large during his or her crying fits, there is a good chance your baby is suffering from colic. Colic can stem from ingesting of too much air during breastfeeding and can be corrected by a lactation consultant with assistance in latching. The same can occur for bottle-feeding infants - Haakaa’s anti-colic teat is perfect for minimising your little one’s air intake as they drink.

    Ask your doctor to rule out other possibilities. Other conditions, such as a twist in the intestine or a hernia, may cause similar symptoms. If your paediatrician rules these conditions out, the doctor may feel more confident in diagnosing your baby with colic.

    Colic seems to be very common. It is thought to affect one in five babies in the early months of life. You are not alone if you have a baby with colic, even though you might feel it at times!

    Some tips to soothe a colicky baby:

      • A warm bath can provide relief for your baby in the colicky times and can also help them to fall asleep.
      • Regular baby massages will also do wonders for any baby suffering from colic pain. They help to calm your baby, regulate their vital signs and ensure proper digestion. You can also massage the tummy area to relieve painful trapped gas that may otherwise be causing your little one discomfort. Using baby oil, gently massage your baby’s tummy in clockwise circles, and repeat several times a day if bub is enjoying it. Haakaa’s Lotion Bar range is also wonderful for this!

    • After you feed your baby, hold them upright and gently rub their back and tummy. Keep rubbing until bub burps. Keeping bub upright for 10-15 minutes after a feed may help relieve any tummy pains. 
    • Take a walk outdoors to a calming place like the park, which can help you relax too. The movement of the pram might be soothing for your baby.
    • Babies are often soothed when cuddled or held close to a parent’s chest and heartbeat since this is reminiscent of the comfort and safety of the womb. Walking, rocking and movement are very comforting to most infants.

    Having a baby who cries a lot can be very wearing and stressful for parents. Make sure you look after yourself! Discuss your worries about your baby with your health visitor or doctor, and seek help from them if you feel very down or anxious. Don’t hesitate to take up offers from family or friends to help so you can take time out for rests and time for yourself. You and your partner will need to support each other, so take it in turns to spend time consoling your crying baby. Talking with others who have babies with colic may help too, or try contacting a support group. 

    Remember that colic does go away, and it is a phase your baby will come through.

    Majit Himel
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    Ladybug Silicone Milk Collector FAQs

    Hey mamas – we’re back this time with another product FAQ, this time on our ever-popular Ladybug Silicone Milk Collectors! We’ve received sooo many messages asking about it, what it is exactly and what it does. All the answers you’ve been seeking are on this page, so keep reading!

    1. What does the Ladybug Silicone Milk Collector do?

    Haakaa’s Ladybug is designed to help you collect your breast milk leakage and let-down during the day as you’re on-the-move. It attaches to your breast and sits in your bra, using gentle suction to maximise the amount of breast milk leakage it collects. Instead of letting your liquid gold go to waste in nursing pads, our little Ladybug makes sure every drop is saved!

    1. How is the Ladybug different from the Haakaa pump?

    The Ladybug Milk Collector is simply that – a milk collector. It collects your let-down as you get on with your day – unlike our silicone pumps, which generate continuous suction that draws out your milk.

    The Haakaa pump is designed to help you express milk, while the Ladybug is simply a tool to collect the milk that you naturally happen to produce during the day. The suction the Ladybug produces is not strong enough to help you express milk on its own.

    1. How long can I wear the Ladybug for?

    According to the breastfeeding guidelines of New Zealand and other international organisations, breast milk can only be safely kept at room temperature for up to four hours maximum. We recommend that you wear your Milk Collector for no longer than 4 hours at once, to ensure that the milk you collect does not become unsafe.

    If you need to wear your Ladybug for longer stretches of time, you can simply empty your milk into a safe storage container after 2-3 hours of wear and store away in the fridge or freezer. Then wash your collector with warm soapy water, dry thoroughly and wear again. Repeat periodically as needed.

    1. Can you see the Ladybug under your clothes?

    The Ladybug is not visible under clothes. That’s because it features a one-piece design made of super soft and flexible food grade silicone, allowing you to tuck it discreetly into your bra with no awkward lumps or bulges!

    1. How do I wear the Milk Collector?

    To attach the Ladybug, lightly press the back, centre the opening over your nipple, attach onto your breast and release your grip. Watch the below video for more guidance:

    1. Why don’t I seem to get much milk?

    Because the Ladybug is only meant to be used as a collector, and not as an expressing device, you may find that you do not get as much milk as you had hoped. It doesn’t mean that the Ladybug you’ve received is faulty or dysfunctional. It simply means that you may not produce a lot of breast milk leakage during the day – and that’s completely okay! Every body is different.

    1. Can I empty my Milk Collector throughout the day into the same bottle?

    You can store the milk you collect during the day into the same bottle – just make sure the milk is cooled before adding it to the milk you’ve already stored away. For further information, please see the guidelines by your country’s health organisation on storing breast milk into the same container.

    1. Can I sleep with my Milk Collector on overnight?

    You can sleep with the Ladybug on to prevent leaks and stains from getting on your clothes and sheets. Please bear in mind that any breast milk collected overnight cannot be stored at room temperature for more than 4 hours. If you sleep with your Ladybug on overnight (longer than 4 hours) then the breast milk you collect in the morning will not be safe for your baby.

    Majit Himel
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    Keeping The Kids Cool In Summer

    Summer often conjures up thoughts of stunning weather, long days and a wonderful time overall. Unfortunately, this vision can be quickly interrupted by the sound of your baby’s crying, because they’re too warm! Babies can quickly become overheated and get heat rash, as they’re still very much dependent on you as their mama. Thus, it’s your responsibility to help them cool off in the summer heat. Here are some ways, compiled by us at Haakaa, to help you relieve your child’s discomfort in the hot temperatures that come with those beautiful, sunny days!

    How do I keep my baby’s nursery cool in summer?

    During the summer, your baby’s nursery will turn into their haven away from the hot and scorching sun. To make sure their room stays cool, close all the blinds and curtains to block the harsh sun from coming in. You can keep the windows open to create a breeze, or use a fan to circulate air around the room if it gets too warm (just make sure it’s not pointed directly at the baby!). If you want to, you can even hang a wet towel or sheet in front of the fan or open window to keep the room even cooler!

    Try to remove as many blankets, soft toys, etc. from your baby’s crib when they’re sleeping because they block airflow, making it harder for your baby to cool down. You may want to use a nursery thermometer to help you consistently monitor and keep track of the room’s temperature, in case it gets too warm!

    How should I dress my baby in summer?

    It’s important that you dress your baby appropriately for the weather, as babies cannot self-regulate their body heat. You don’t always have to layer your bub up to protect them – sometimes, a light onesie can be perfectly fine if it’s too warm for anything else. Loose-fitting, lightweight garments made of materials such as cotton are ideal during the summer, as they can cover enough to protect their sensitive skin from the sun while still allowing it to breathe. If it’s sweltering, even just a nappy will be fine, as long as they stay inside.

    If you are taking your little one outside, long pants and long sleeves are best so that their delicate skin doesn’t get sunburnt. Don’t forget the hat as well! Be sure to check out our blog article on sun safety here for more details.

    How can I keep my baby hydrated during the summer?

    Hydration is particularly important for your baby during the hot summer days! While babies under six months can’t drink water, you can still feed them extra milk to help them keep up their fluids. For the older bubs, you can give them our Silicone Baby Drinking Cup to encourage them to drink by themselves! It’s made of 100% food grade silicone, so unlike with plastic, there’s no chance of any contaminants or nasties leaching into the water your little one drinks. They get to practice independence, AND they’re staying hydrated – a win-win!

    How do I cool my baby down during the summer?

    One clever way to cool your baby down during the summer is to give them an icy treat! If your baby has started solids, you can come up with endless combinations for home-made ice blocks with whole food ingredients. These are an excellent and healthy way to help your child cool down – not to mention absolutely delicious too! Try our Silicone Ice Pop Moulds, which you can use to make waste-free icy treats for your bub. These can also be used to freeze breast milk, for little ones to suck on – just make sure you’re supervising them and watching for any large pieces that might break off. When you’re not using them to freeze treats, you can use them as an easy-to-carry container for snacks on-the-go!

    Our Baby Food and Breast Milk Freezer Tray is also another fantastic solution when you want to make frozen goodies for your child to help them cool off. No need to use plastic freezer trays and cling film anymore. The 100% food-grade silicone trays are super easy to use – just twist the tray to pop out the frozen cubes inside. They can be used not only to make frozen treats, but they’re also handy for freezing and storing breast milk and pureed baby food in perfect, meal-sized blocks. These trays come in three different sizes for varying needs and are completely heatproof, microwave safe and dishwasher safe.

    We hope that our ideas can offer some solutions for you to help your little bub stay cool and comfortable this summer. If you have any more questions or concerns about your baby in the heat, we recommend you consult with a medical professional. Enjoy the beautiful weather, mamas!

    Majit Himel
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    10 Amazing Ways to Use Breast Milk!

    Written by midwife, perinatal mental health specialist and creator of Bumpnbub, Aliza Carr.

    Did you know that breast milk has antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties? Hear me out on this, mama - breast milk is like the best two-in-one gadget you can find at your local store… except there is an unlimited amount of uses in one, and it’s FREE! 

    Breast milk is made up of millions of living cells, over a thousand proteins, and hundreds of complex sugars. It’s much more than just milk. Its perfect composition can be used for SO many purposes other than feeding bub, from treating diaper rash to even making jewellery! 

    The following are different ways that you can use breast milk in your home:

    Nappy Rash

    Nappy rash is something that many babies will encounter during their early years. It’s usually caused by wet diapers, chafing or nappies that aren’t breathable. Skin sensitivity is also a factor that may make a baby more prone to nappy rash. The rash can leave the skin red, inflamed, and painful. 

    Soaking cotton wool in breast milk and applying it to the rash can help soothe itching and burning, and encourage the skin to heal faster. Breast milk’s antibacterial properties also potentially reduce the risk of infection. To prevent the rash from worsening, you should change the nappy as soon as possible or as soon as it is wet. A study from 2015 (linked here) has shown that when treating nappy rash, breast milk worked just as well as hydrocortisone (a mild steroid cream used for eczema, nappy rash and other conditions). How incredible!!


    Eczema is characterised by dry, inflamed, sensitive and itchy skin. Anyone who has ever had eczema, or had a child with eczema, will tell you that it can be a horrible condition. Flare-ups can happen out of nowhere, and treatments can be expensive.

    Many bubs grow out of their eczema or only have mild flare-ups, but this isn’t as simple for others. Don’t fret if your little one has been dealing with eczema for a while - there is hope, mama! Your very own breast milk is known to have topical anti-inflammatory effects. This study showed an 81.5% frequency of healed infants when treating eczema with breast milk, compared to just a 76% frequency when treated with 1% hydrocortisone. Breast milk reduced the inflammation and facilitated the healing of skin.  It also contains palmitic acid which acts as a moisturiser on dry, flaky skin. 

    Baby Acne

    Baby acne, sometimes known as a newborn rash, usually presents itself in the first few weeks after a baby is born. It appears as a fine rash of red bumps, usually on the face. While the exact cause is not known, it is believed that hormones may play a role. Baby acne may resolve on its own without treatment, but breast milk can speed up the process and ease any discomfort the baby may experience. Applying breast milk with cotton wool can encourage healing of the skin.

    Clogged Tear Duct

    When babies’ eyes are teary, or a dry residue is present around their eyes, they may have clogged tear ducts. Clogged tear ducts are relatively common in babies. The use of breast milk to treat eye problems has been documented as far back since Ancient Egyptian, Roman and Greek times! This traditional treatment has preventative effects against conjunctivitis or eye infections. A few drops of breast milk into the affected eye can help resolve the clog. Clogged tear ducts may be uncomfortable and breast milk can help relieve the irritation. On top of the application of breast milk, the eye should be kept clear of any drainage to prevent an infection. A doctor should be consulted if there are any concerns. 

    Pain Relief

    Breast milk is known to have pain-relieving properties. When babies go through painful procedures, such as immunisation, drinking breast milk may help to alleviate some of the pain they feel. 


    Cuts, scrapes, bites and stings are all things that babies encounter in their first year of life. When they start learning to walk and exploring outdoors, injuries can occur. These injuries may be soothed by breast milk. As above, drinking breast milk can be soothing for babies but applying breast milk directly to superficial wounds may also alleviate pain or discomfort. The application of breast milk can also prevent the wound from becoming infected or inflamed.


    Protection from the sun is especially important, in both children and adults. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are powerful and can cause some serious sunburn. While prevention is better than cure, sometimes the sun is more powerful than it appears and sunburn can occur. If the sunburn is localised, breast milk can be applied with cotton wool. Breast milk can relieve the pain of sunburn and promote healing. If the sunburn is on a large area of skin, a breast milk bath can also help ease the pain. 

    Breast Milk Bath

    A breast milk bath is exactly what it sounds like – breast milk in the bath! Breast milk baths have many healing properties and can aid with a number of conditions, including eczema, baby acne, nappy rash, and sunburns. 150-300ml of expressed breast milk may be diluted in lukewarm water for a breast milk bath. This can be repeated between 1-2 times per week, depending on the severity of the skin irritation. 

    Sore/Cracked Nipples

    Now mamas, breast milk isn’t only for bub! Breast milk has been linked to a quicker recovery of sore or cracked nipples. Simply hand express a small amount of milk at the end of a feed and rub into your areola and nipple. The topical application of expressed breast milk onto the areola can help reduce pain and encourage healing. 

    Breast milk, however, contains sugars. Yeast, commonly known as thrush, feeds on these sugars. By applying breast milk to a yeast infection, you may worsen the infection. If your nipples are painful, it’s best to consult with your care provider to rule out thrush before applying breast milk to the nipples. 


    Breastfeeding is a beautiful, long, and sometimes difficult journey. The bond that is shared between you and your baby is one that will last forever. Breast milk jewelry is a wonderful way to honour and remember your breastfeeding journey. The process involves heating it up, cooling it, and combining it with preservatives to make a substance that can be moulded into a stone for a necklace, bracelet, ring, or earrings (there are people who specialise in this)!

    It’s called liquid gold for a reason. We hope you enjoyed learning about more magical ways that breast milk can be used!

    *Please note, this is general advice only. If you have any questions or concerns, please consult your health care provider. Always follow the guidelines and recommendations of the country you live in, for safety around storing and expressing breastmilk.*

    Majit Himel
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    How Do I Deal With Baby's Separation Anxiety?

    Being a parent is challenging already, and having your baby cry and scream whenever you leave the room doesn’t make things any easier! All you need is a tiny bit of alone time, but Bub seems to be going through a phase where they can’t be away from you for even just a second – making motherhood all the more stressful.

    The reason? A thing called separation anxiety. It’s a totally normal developmental stage that your little one may go through, usually around 6-7 months. There’s no need to worry too much as it WILL be something they’ll grow out of – but it can make things a tad more difficult for both you and your little one. At Haakaa, we’ve prepared this week’s blog post to explain why separation anxiety occurs and how you can handle this tricky part of your baby’s development.

    When and why does separation anxiety occur?

    Separation anxiety usually starts up around 6-12 months and can last for a while – but it’s usually gone by the time your little one is two and a half years old. It happens around this time because this is the stage that your child begins to understand object permanence: the understanding that objects continue to exist, even when your baby can’t sense them anymore. After your little one realises you’re gone – whether you’ve put them down for sleep, or dropped them off at daycare – they may become unsettled as a result.

    Their reactions to separations can be worse if they’re tired, ill or hungry, and their behaviour might be even louder and more difficult to stop. So, how can you tell if your baby has separation anxiety, or is just upset?

    What are some signs that my baby has separation anxiety?

    1. Your baby wakes up in the middle of the night often
      Separation anxiety can cause your little one to wake more than usual during the night, as they cry and seek reassurance from you to go back to sleep. They might also find it more difficult to fall asleep, despite following the same bedtime routines.
    2. Your baby cries when they’re left with somebody else
      Suddenly your baby might start being difficult when you drop them off with grandparents, daycare teachers or even when you pass them onto their own dad! They don’t want to be held by anyone except you, making even the smallest separations a lot more complicated. They can be fearful of strangers or unfamiliar people and may show a strong preference for only one parent.
    3. They get upset when left by themselves
      Even if it’s only for a minute or two, babies with separation anxiety will suddenly become distraught when they’re left alone during the day – making getting on with those motherhood chores a whole lot more complicated.
    4. They’re physically clingy
      If your little one has separation anxiety, they’ll refuse to let go when you put them down, grab onto your legs to prevent you from leaving… basically pulling out all the stops so they don’t have to be separated from you.
    5. Extreme crying
      All children cry, but your baby will probably be more emotional than usual if they have separation anxiety. Those with separation anxiety will cry whenever a parent is out of sight but will be easily comforted as soon as the parent holds them. If they continue crying after being picked up, there may be something else going on.

    How can I deal with my baby’s separation anxiety?

    So, what are some ways to deal with your little one’s separation anxiety, mama? Here, we’ve prepared a list of different strategies parents have tried to ease their little one when they’re separated.

    • Don’t sneak away from your baby whenever you leave them. While it may seem like a method that avoids the tears and tantrums, it will confuse your little one over time. They’ll start to worry that you might disappear at any moment without warning, and as a result may become even clingier than before.
    • When you have to leave, talk to your baby and tell them where you’re going, and when you’ll return. As they grow older, they’ll begin to understand your explanations and that you will come back, which can help reduce the anxiety of being separated. Take your time when explaining, to help your little one process the information, but don’t drag it on for too long as it can make the separation more painful. Top tip – explain times in terms that your little one will understand, like “I’ll be gone after lunchtime but be back after nap time”.
    • Convey positive emotions whenever you’re separating from your baby. Your little one will pick up on your mood, and their emotions will mirror yours. If you smile confidently before leaving, they won’t be as scared. If you’re visibly nervous about leaving them, they’ll be worried too.

    • When you tell your baby you’re leaving, mean what you say! Don’t go back into the room if your baby starts crying afterwards – it teaches your baby that they shouldn’t look for anybody else, and it extends the separation anxiety.
    • Try spraying a bit of your everyday perfume onto something your baby can keep when you’re not there – such as a blanket, or one of their favourite toys. They will be reminded of you even when you’re not with them physically because they associate the smell with you.
    • If you need to leave your baby with a new caregiver, you can try arranging times where you’ll all be together so that your little one gets used to this new person. Once they are familiar with them, you can then transition to leaving the two of them alone. This allows for an adjustment period to make things easier.
    • Create a consistent separation ritual when you leave your baby. By following the same steps at the same time every day, your baby can start to trust that you will eventually return and this will help to ease their separation anxiety.

    Majit Himel
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    DIY Baby Photoshoot Ideas

    When you’re a new parent, it becomes incredibly important to try and capture every one of those early moments with our bubs. Some parents love to organise beautiful, extravagant photoshoots with professional photographers – but if you aren’t into that kind of thing, you can achieve fantastic photos by yourself too. Here are some handy tips and tricks for taking stunning pictures of your gorgeous newborn right from the comfort of your own home, to help you treasure those early memories forever!

    When should I do a baby photoshoot?

    The best time to do a photoshoot with your newborn is when they’re between 5 to 10 days old, as this is the age where they can sleep deeply and soundly for longer stretches of time. You’ll be able to pose and photograph them much more easily, and their expressions will also be a lot more relaxed.

    Once your little one hits the two-week milestone, they’ll become much more alert and potentially fussier too! This makes taking carefully arranged photos more of a struggle, but their development also means their personality can shine through a lot more. For this reason, you can also plan a photoshoot for when bub is a few months old – at this stage, they’ll be able to maintain eye contact with the camera, allowing you to take some truly special photographs!

    What kind of lighting should I use for my baby photoshoot?

    Natural light always looks the best in photos, so consider where and when you get the most natural light in your home. North facing windows are great because they let plenty of natural light without the rays being too direct, otherwise creating harsh glares or shadows. If the sunlight still seems too bright, you can hang a thin cloth over the window to try and diffuse the light.

    What kind of setting should I use for my baby photoshoot?

    Set the scene by placing your baby on a soft surface like a blanket or a rug – this will be your background. Coordinating neutral colours can let your baby’s natural beauty shine – but also have fun with it! If you use something like a couch or bed, make sure you always have someone next to your baby to keep them safe.

    Using other props in your baby’s photoshoot can also help elevate your pictures – even if they’re just things you can find around the house. A well-padded basket to keep your baby safe and comfortable can be a great idea for those looking to take some rustic photos of their little ones.

    How should I pose my baby for their photoshoot?

    There are a million different ways in which you can pose your baby – but if you’re doing your own little photoshoot at home, it’s always easiest to keep it simple. While the frog pose, tushy up pose and taco pose look ADORABLE, it can take a long time to get it right. Even professional photographers have spent hundreds of hours simply perfecting the skill of newborn posing!

    If you’re DIYing your own baby photoshoot, try posing your little one in simple, natural poses – such as lying on their side or their tummies, with their legs tucked in. You can still take amazing photos, and it’ll be much more comfortable for your little one too. Take your time with it, especially if you want your baby to be asleep for the photos.

    REMEMBER: If you’re taking a photo of your baby from above, put on the neck strap or wrist strap to make sure the camera does not slip. Popular photoshoot poses for newborns (such as sleeping on their tummies, bundled in blankets, etc.) are not actually safe for your little one to sleep in. These positions are simply for taking photos, and infants should ALWAYS be supervised. Never leave them unattended.

    As you’re doing your photoshoot, you may have a nagging feeling at the back of your mind about trying to get that “right”, “essential” or “perfect” shot. Don’t worry mama – just take as many pictures as you can. Focus your thoughts on which details you’ll want to capture and save for later. Your newborn’s tiny feet or hands? Their sweet angelic face? Their chubby little cheeks? You may regret not taking enough photos, but you’ll never regret taking too many of them!

    Majit Himel
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    Cleaning Your Haakaa Products

    Something that we get asked a lot by our mums is “What’s the best way to clean my Haakaa gear?” With so many options, suggestions and recommendations from other parents, it can get super confusing – especially if you’re a first-time mum! But no fear – here’s our easy-to-follow guide to help answer all your questions about washing and sterilising your Haakaa essentials.

    How do I wash my Haakaa products?

    The best way to wash your Haakaa products on a daily basis is to use warm, soapy water. Although our products are dishwasher safe, we highly recommend hand washing to make sure you get a thorough clean.

    As for detergents, we recommend our Dish Soap Bar, but you’re free to use any gentle, mild detergent/dish soap if you prefer. Make sure that the soap is pH-balanced (neutral) to prevent any product markings or measurements coming off. Soapberries are also a great all-natural option for eco-conscious parents!

    You should not use any detergents or soaps that contain bleach-based agents as these can reduce the lifespan of your products by causing the materials to break down faster – especially silicone, as it will become sticky and unusable.

    What should I use to wash my Haakaa products?

    Only soft bristle brushes or soft sponges should be used to clean your Haakaa products. Do not use hard scourers to scrub as they can scratch the surface or damage the materials used. We recommend using the Haakaa Silicone Brush as its soft silicone bristles are gentle on your gear. It features a detachable brush head that can be sterilised on its own to prevent the spread of bacteria and debris between the bristles.

    How should I sterilise my Haakaa products?

    The easiest and simplest way to sterilise your Haakaa products is to boil in water for 2-3 minutes. You can also use a steam steriliser (although do not to put any stainless steel products in a microwave steam steriliser). Do not use bleach or sterilising tablets.

    We do not usually recommend the use of UV sterilisers for our products as it can reduce their lifespans by causing the material to degrade faster than usual. However, we do have a Portable UV Steriliser for handy on-the-go sterilisation for small items such as dummies, teethers and toys. Our UV steriliser has been tried and tested thoroughly, with less powerful UV rays and a shorter cycle time to prevent any damage or degradation of the items you put inside – while still eliminating 99.9% of germs. As this is the only UV steriliser we have tested ourselves, this is the only UV steriliser we can recommend.

    Majit Himel
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    Haakaa Freezer Tray

    Things to consider when storing your breastmilk

    So, you've pumped some precious milk, what's next...
    Jossette Naiken
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