There is a wide range of different formula milk, bottles, and teats available in the market. Bottles could be disposable, easy-grip or tapered. You may try a few and find out what suits your baby the best for a bottle feed.
Buying and Preparing the Equipment for Bottle Feed:
- Buy the bottles which are unbreakable and with a wide neck so that you can clean it and fill it easily. Usually, the size of 250ml (10floz) is the most suitable.
- The shape of the teats should be ideally fit into the baby’s mouth. Disposable bottles could be used for traveling.
- To avoid any kind of gastrointestinal infection, make sure you use thoroughly cleaned and sterilized bottles and teats before use.
- Wash your hands each time before handling any feeding equipment, teething, and dummies.
- Never make up the baby’s bottle in advance. Make it when you need it.
- If your baby doesn’t finish a bottle at a time, do not store it and throw away the leftover milk. Storing increases the risk of contamination.
- Avoid reheating the bottle in the microwave.
- All feeding equipment should be washed thoroughly with soap and hot water. Bottles should be scrubbed from inside with a bottle brush. Rub the teats properly to remove any traces of milk.
- After removing soap by rinsing everything under warm running water, sterilize everything.
- To sterilize, boil the thoroughly cleaned bottles and teats for at least ten minutes. Remove them from the water and let it cool before using.
- You can also use the steam sterilizers easily available in the market. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and follow exactly the same.
- You can also clean feeding equipment in a dishwasher after removing the traces of milk, once your baby is over 12 months.
Making up the Formula Milk:
- Read the manufacturer’s instruction of the formula milk carefully and follow them.
- Wash your hands properly before making the feed and always feed your baby with the freshly made formula milk.
- Fill the cleaned and sterilized feeding bottle with the required amount of boiled and cooled water.
- Use the scoop provided with the milk powder and measure the correct amount of formula, then add to the bottle.
- Neither pack the formula down the scoop nor heaped. Scoop should always be leveled.
- Never add the extra powder to the water to make the bottle feed ‘more nourishing’. Adding more powder can cause constipation.
- Also adding too little powder to make the feed will not provide the required nutrients for healthy growth of the baby.
- Put the teat and cap on the bottle to avoid any leakage. Shake the bottle to make the milk smooth, make sure no lumps or residue is left.
- Check the temperature of the milk before giving the feed. Put few drops on your wrist and check, it should not be too hot or too cold to touch.
Giving a Bottle Feed:
- While bottle feeding the baby, imitate the closeness and affection which you would have given while breastfeeding the baby.
- Make sure you are sitting in a comfortable position with well-supported arms.
- Tilt your arm slightly while holding the baby with his head in the crook of your elbow and back along your forearm. This will help him to swallow easily and safely.
- Provide him the touch of your skin, keep your face closer and keep talking to him during the feed.
- Gently insert the teat carefully into the mouth of your baby. Do not push the teat too far back to avoid gagging.
- Give him mid-feed pause and change him on to another arm to change his view.
- If he stops sucking, it is okay as he knows how much he needs. Do not force him.
- To release the bottle, gently slide your little finger into the corner of the mouth to break the suction on the teat.
- It is time to winding your baby to release the air that was swallowed during the feed. Hold him close to you with his chin over the shoulder and pat him gently until he burps. It will help him to bring up the air bubbles.
Wish you a very Happy Parenting and Bottle Feed!