When you were pregnant, you may have assumed you’d end up breastfeeding your baby once they arrived. However, as many new moms discover, breastfeeding isn’t always achievable. Or, it could be you just prefer to bottle feed your baby for your own personal reasons. Whatever the reason is, bottle feeding can still be a daunting process.
Bottle feeding isn’t something you typically learn much about during your pregnancy. This means, when your little one does arrive you can find it daunting knowing exactly how to feed your baby. If you’re looking ahead, or you just want to make sure you’re doing it right, here you’ll discover everything you need to know about bottle feeding baby, and how to do it right.
First Things First – Preparation
Before actually feeding your baby with a bottle, there’s a few preparation tips you’ll need to follow first. Start by ensuring the bottles are clean (and sterilized if they’ve been used before).
Then, familiarize yourself with the directions for using the formula which you should find on the packaging. It’s important to follow these as if you use too much water, your little one isn’t going to get the nutrients they need. If you use too little water, you could find it causes baby to develop diarrhea and they could also become dehydrated.
When it comes to heating the formula up, many parents prefer to stick it into the microwave. However, this is actually a bad idea. Even though the milk may feel warm to the touch, in the middle it could be very hot. There’s also a risk the bottle can explode if it’s in the microwave for too long. So, instead it’s recommended you briefly boil the water you plan on using, for roughly one minute.
Next, add it to the formula and mix well. It’s really important here to avoid feeding baby until the formula has cooled down. Test it by squeezing a little of the milk onto your wrist. Once the water has been boiled and the formula has been mixed together, you don’t have to use it right away. Instead, you can store it in the refrigerator until feeding time. Just remember to warm it back up before feeding.
If you do store the formula in the refrigerator, don’t keep it there for more than 24 hours. You’ll also want to discard any milk leftover from a feed after one hour.
Once the formula is prepared, it’s important to feed baby in a semi-upright position. Just be sure to support the head and tilt the bottle a little to prevent them from swallowing too much air.
Never attempt to feed them while they’re laying down as this can have numerous negative consequences. Firstly, the milk could end up flowing into baby’s middle ear, resulting in an infection. Secondly, if you feed baby while they are laying down, they could start to associate laying down with feed time – bringing all kinds of problems when you’re trying to get them to sleep.
When feeding, don’t try to force baby to finish the entire bottle if they really don’t want to. It’s also recommended you feed baby on-demand, rather than following a set feeding pattern. However, as with anything parenting related, it’s entirely up to you how you want to do it.
Once baby has been fed, don’t forget to burp them. With bottle feeding, there’s more chance your little one will intake a lot of air during each feed. Unless they’re burped, they will start to become agitated and fussy. The trapped air will also be really uncomfortable so burping them after each feed is essential.
Another thing to consider is your pediatrician or doctor will likely want to know how much milk your baby is consuming. This means it’s important to keep a note of how much your baby intakes during each feed.
Additional Tips To Follow
As well as following the above advice on preparing the formula and feeding baby, there’s a few additional tips you’ll want to be aware of.
When you first start bottle feeding, your baby will have smooth gums. However, as they start teething, it’s really important to regularly check the nipple of the bottle for bite marks. If you notice there’s little bite marks on the tea, replace it as feeding baby from a damaged nipple could be harmful.
Another useful tip is to ensure you don’t prepare too many bottles before you head out with your baby. It may seem logical to prepare a few bottles in advance, but did you know made-up formula becomes unsafe for baby after 2 hours? The formula can coagulate and lose its essential vitamins quite quickly. So, if you do want to take a bottle of prepared formula out with you, it’s a good idea to use an ice pack to keep it cool. However, wherever possible it’s advisable to mix up the formula whenever you need it.
Overall, bottle feeding, just like breastfeeding, can be tricky to start with. However, if you follow the advice above and be sure to properly clean the bottles and equipment after each use, you should find it a little easier. Don’t expect instant results – allow your baby time to get used to the bottle and don’t feel bad if you don’t get the hang of it straight away – all parenting tasks are a case of trial and error.
Thanks for the tips on how to make use of feeding bottle on babies. Although I’m not a huge fan of making use of feeding bottles as a result of the risk of the child ingesting dirt from the bottle. But onces it’s ensured that the feeding bottle is clean, possibly being washed with hot water, it would be safe to use it to feed the baby.
You’re welcome, Emmaz 🙂
Yes, feeding bottles are safe when sterilized. If you will personally be handling the milk preparation, then you can be assured that it is clean.
Exactly what I thought, without having the feeding bottle well sterilized on regular basis anytime there is a need to feed the baby using it would put the child in a harms way. Their stomach is still very soft that once they ingest any form of bacteria, it would make them sick and purge.
So true, a baby’s stomach is still very delicate and sensitive so care should be exercised when feeding them anything. We shouldn’t risk them getting sick because of unsterilized bottles and feeding items.
Thanks for these tips provided in the article above, they are definitely going to be very helpful when it comes to mastering how to feed the baby making use of feeding bottle. If I’m being honest, I’m not always comfortable feeding the baby using a feeding bottle, breast feeding is more convenient for me and I feel it’s more suitable for the child.
Nothing beats breastfeeding, Martinsx. However, there would be times when you would need to bottlefeed your baby, especially for moms whose breastmilk may not be sufficient to feed their babies.
Ensuring the bottle is sanitized and the formula prepared properly, you can be assured it’s safe for your baby.
I think you have a good point here, some kids can have quite a heavy stomach that only breastfeed wouldn’t keep them filled, they need extra feeding in order to feel better. Also the mother wouldn’t have to get stuck with the breast nipples in the baby’s mouth 24/7, it’s not possible even for stay home house wives.
I agree with you on the need for new moms to ensure that the bottle that they are going to use to breastfeed their babies are clean and free of any form of dirt. The thing is that the babies can easily get I’ll when they are being fed with dirty bottles. Also, the need for moms to burp their babies after feeding them is essential in order to keep the baby in a stable condition.
Babies suffer a lot of purging whenever they are fed with dirt feeding bottle, I have experienced this first hand with one of my aunty and her baby, she left the baby with her house help and went to market. On coming back, the baby was very restless and started purging. She later found out that her house help fed the child with the feeding bottle when it’s not properly washed and sterilized.
That is sad to hear, Emmaz. The house help is insensitive to the child’s need to have clean and sanitized bottles, and doesn’t seem concerned about the baby’s wellbeing.
This is why when getting a house help or sitter, parents must be cautious because they will be entrusting their baby to a total stranger. It’s difficult to find a trustworthy one these days 🙁 When parents do need to have a sitter, some install hidden cameras so they’ll know what’s happening at home and with their baby.
Honestly, I’m not completely comfortable living my baby with a baby sitter at home even with the hidden CCTV installed at home. The CCTV isn’t going to stop the baby from getting ill-treated by the house help or baby sitter, so it’s really a thing of concern for me.
Yes, Henrywrites, burping the baby after feeding is essential, otherwise, he/she may become restless. And ensuring feeding bottles are sanitized is also a must and should not be taken for granted.
Yeah, burping is essential to ensure what the baby eat digests without issues. Also, the need for mothers to ensure that the environment is clean can go a long way in ensuring that the baby lives a healthy lifestyle.
This article is beneficial to all soon to be parents and not just for the mother to be but also for the husbands. Husbands should also be aware about this topics since he is the immediate person that a mother can ask assistance with.
Of course you are right it’s not only beneficial to only mothers, fathers too are part of the family so this information is as important as it to the mother to them as well. They do need all the job they can get in helping out with the baby’s upbringing and doing it in the right way matters a lot for the baby’s health.
Yes, I totally agree with you Martinsx 🙂
You are so correct there, Fritzgerald. Every daddy should also know these feeding tips because they should help with the baby’s care. Raising a child is a duty of both parents, not just moms so knowing these safety tips is essential.
We hope you’ll be able to share this article with moms and dads who also need the info.
I personally enjoyed reading this blog, it is very to the point and extremely helpful. Seeing that I am a mother to a six month old little boy, I seem to relate to this an awful lot.
Bottle feeding is not a bad thing and is still nutritious all on its own. I breast fed my son for approximately 4 weeks and I had to stop due to my body not forming enough milk for him to get full on(he eats so much!)
With that being said, I had to result to bottle feeding which my son immediately switched to with no problem(every baby is different).
This blog is perfect instructions and explains the “how to” really well. So I would have to say this is worth the read and time.
Thank you very much for the honest feedback, Kelsey. We truly appreciate it 🙂
Yes, you’re right about the need to switch to bottle feeding when the breast milk is not sufficient. This is the best alternative so the baby will not starve.
I, too, bottle fed my kids when they were babies because I needed to go back to work. I breastfed them before and after work, and when I’m at home on days off.
Thank you for the great tips. We are new to bottle feeding, so of course, I wanted to look into it further and make sure I know everything I need to know beforehand. Lots of helpful tips here. Thanks again!
You’re very much welcome, Ashley. We are really glad we could help.
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