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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsBabies triple their birth weight and grow 50% longer in the first year of life. They go from being totally dependent on you for their movement, to holding their heads, sitting up, crawling, and possibly walking all by the time they turn one. In other words, they're on a mission to grow and develop. And this takes some effort, and of course, is fuelled by the food they'll learn to consume. Hi. I'm Professor Karen Campbell from the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University. Parents passionately want their children to do well in life. And the desire to feed our children, to ensure that they grow well, meet their potential, and be as healthy and happy as possible is, of course, universal.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 secondsAround the world parents anxiously monitor their babies’ feeding and growth and take advice from the many who will proffer opinions on what to do and when. As a result, many parents feel uncertain about how to best feed their baby across the first years of life. With this in mind, some of the common questions from parents that this course aims to address are going to include, should I use breastmilk formula milk, or both? When should I introduce solid food, and which ones should I even introduce first? What texture should foods be, and should I offer them before or after the breast and formula milk?

Skip to 1 minute and 27 secondsHow will I know if my baby is actually growing as they should, and how can I make sure that my baby becomes a really good eater? In this course we've covered all of these issues and more. We'll walk you through feeding a baby across their first year of life and discuss breast and infant formula feeding, the introduction of solids, and the inexorable move of your infant from the high chair to the family table. Through all of this, we emphasise the importance of helping you to feel informed and empowered in your decision making, and we encourage you to reflect on your own situations and experiences to participate in our discussions and to review and analyse the relevant evidence-based materials we'll provide.

Skip to 2 minutes and 11 secondsBy the end of this course our aim is to make sure that you feel supported and that you have all the basic information you need to help you make confident decisions about how best to feed your child in the first year of life.

Let's get started

The arrival of a new baby is an amazing and very exciting time, but it can also be stressful and confusing.

At Deakin University, our research work with parents tells us that many parents find feeding infants is not always as simple as they’d thought it would be. For example, parents tell us that:

  • establishing breastfeeding is often not easy and that they needed more support
  • they’re confused about when it’s okay to introduce solid foods and about what foods they should be offering
  • they didn’t know their child would spit food out, fuss about food and have distinct likes and dislikes
  • they get stuck in a rut—offering only foods they know their child will enjoy—and that this is not what they had planned.

In this course we’ll address all of these issues and more as we walk you through a baby’s first year of life, from breast and/or bottle to the highchair and dining table.

With this in mind, we ask you to be aware that many of the materials in this course have been sourced from our research and higher-degree programs at Deakin University. So while we intend to primarily focus on providing helpful and up-to-date information for new parents, we’ll also be drawing on information equally relevant to professional healthcare practitioners.

As a result, you’ll notice that this course has a three-pronged focus on the practical, cultural and scientific aspects of early infant nutrition.

Meet the team

Your Lead Educator for this course is Professor Karen Campbell, a leading, internationally renowned practice-based research and teaching academic specialising in childhood nutrition.

You’ll also hear from other subject matter experts in the field of nutrition at Deakin, including Dr Rachel Laws, Dr Alison Spence, Dr Katie Lacy and Dr Carley Grimes. You’ll also be supported in conversations and discussions by mentor Inger Neylon.

If you’re not already, follow the team on Twitter by using #FLfeedingbaby to keep up with the latest course updates, feedback and discussions.

You can also meet and follow fellow learners by reading through their comments throughout the course.

Professional development

If you’re completing this course to help develop your career, the Statement of Participation and the Certificate of Achievement provide evidence of your interest and understanding in this area. Available in both printed and digital formats, they can be easily shared online.

To be eligible for the certificate, you must mark at least 90% of the steps in this course as complete and achieve 70% or above in each course test. You can view your progress on the progress page.

Your task

To find out more from Professor Campbell about what we’ll be covering in this course, watch the video. You can also download and print the course map for a full overview of all course activities and steps.

When you’re finished, use the comments to share your own experiences—whether happy, disappointing, stressful or stress-free—of feeding your own or other people’s babies.

While we encourage you to share your point of view, when doing so, please keep in mind that each person’s perspective will be influenced by their own culture and experiences, and that there are not necessarily any right or wrong opinions with regards to this very personal and, often, sensitive topic.

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This video is from the free online course:

Infant Nutrition: from Breastfeeding to Baby's First Solids

Deakin University

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join: