While breastfeeding is considered to be the best for the health of your baby, you are left with no other option than to bottle feed the baby, in case you are not around or are taking the baby out.Since it is always advisable to feed breast milk rather than baby formula, mothers have the option of pumping their milk and keeping it for the baby to drink later on. So, bottle-feeding is sure to come up at one point of time of the other, as it is practically not possible to breast feed the baby all the time. Therefore, it is important to know the right way to bottle feed your baby. Read the article to find some important tips on the same and know how to bottle feed your baby correctly.
Bottle Feeding Your Baby
- First, select the right kind of bottle. You may not be able to find the right one in the first try itself, but trying different brands will surely help in finding a bottle that your baby is comfortable with. It is also better to buy full sized bottles.
- After choosing a bottle, you need to find the right nipple, based on how old your baby is and the amount of flow that is needed. There are three kinds of nipples for babies, depending on their age group. Slow nipples are good for newborns, who are still being accustomed to bottle feed; medium nipples are for babies 3 months and older; and fast nipples work best for babies older than 6 months.
- There are varieties of milk formulas to choose from, such as milk-based and soy-based. Some of them make your child gassy, while others may make him/her spit up. Through trial and error, you will be able to know which baby formula suits your child the most.
- Prepare the formula based on instructions provided on the package and feed it to the baby. Preparation will be easier if you get your baby accustomed to taking the formula at room temperature.
- It is important to have a schedule for feeding. This will help reduce the stress involved in guessing when the baby is hungry. Usually, infants drink 2-3 ounces every 2 to 3 hours, whereas a 3-month-old baby drinks 4-6 ounces every 4 hours.
- It is important to find a place that your baby feels comfortable in, like a couch or rocking chair, for feeding. Feeding the baby when he/she is lying down can lead to ear infection. Tilting the bottle helps remove air pockets that reduces air intake.
- Burping, especially for young babies, is necessary to get rid of the air in the tummy. You can burp your baby over your shoulder, lying down or sitting on your lap.
- After the feeding is over, washing and sterilization of the feeding utensils is important. Since the immune system of babies is still developing, sterilization to get rid of germs and bacteria is necessary.
- If you are traveling, remember not to carry warm bottles, as they tend to attract bacteria. Bottles should be chilled in an insulated carrier and heated just before feeding.
- Milk below room temperature, should never be given to babies.