When I had my baby I wished he had come with instructions and after finding breastfeeding a challenge, I desperately wanted a crash course on feeding my baby.
Now there is a university-based free short course about baby nutrition with no entry requirement which is open to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Amid all the baby books and online information, the course – which starts this Monday – is supportive and straight from the experts.
"This is a two week Massive Open Online Course with a very clear focus on feeding infants across the first year of life – from milk to mushy stuff," says Professor Karen Campbell from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) at Deakin University.
After 20 years of research Campbell has found parents get "extremely confused" and anxious about early childhood feeding.
"One of the causes that anxiety is that they find it hard to find consistent information and they are not sure what to do," she says.
"Given the volume of often conflicting advice available to parents, our IPAN at Deakin University team stand out as trusted experts in the field."
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But by the end of the first week students will learn what is considered to be the best nutrition for a baby's first six months of life.
"The first idea is to promote breastfeeding but in the event that people can't breastfeed or feel they want to change or supplement their feeding that they are in a position where they feel supported and make the best changes they can," says Campbell.
The second week focuses on when to start solid foods (at around six months) and looks at the best foods to offer babies.
"In the second week we move much more to the psychology of children's eating, so children being fussy and how parents can manage that," she says.
The course aims to maximise parents’ confidence around early feeding and setting up children’s nutritional health for life.
The hope is that parents will enrol alongside those who engage with parents every day – child care workers, health care professionals and grandparents.
"It is also a platform where you can talk with other parents all around the world and I think the opportunity for cultural exchange will be fantastic," says Campbell.
There are currently around 3800 people who’ve registered for the course from more than 120 countries.
The 'Infant Nutrition: from Breastfeeding to Baby's First Solids' course starts Monday but can be joined or caught up with at any point during its run.
If you want more information or to enrol check out the link here.