If you have decided to bottle feed your baby/infant, read on to find some useful tips on bottle feeding the babies in the right way.
Bottle Feeding Your Baby
Deciding to bottle-feed your breast-feeding baby is a conscious step taken by mothers, when they want to return to their original routines. Either they want some time off from their babies, or have to return to working. It is better to think carefully about bottle-feeding as many children learn to use a cup for drinking without even going through the bottle phase. Timing plays an important role in making your baby learn to bottle-feed. If bottle-feeding is introduced too soon, then the baby may give up breast-feeding. If introduced too late, the baby may not want to give up breast-feeding. Not all babies need to be taught to bottle-feed, a number of them take to it without much fuss. In case you are looking for some tips on bottle feeding your baby, read the article to find the same.
Bottle Feeding Your Infant
- Either use expressed breast milk or artificial milk, also called formula. Expressing milk can be a tedious task. You can use your hand or a breast pump. Once expressed, the milk will have to be stored in a previously sterilized container.
- Most babies enjoy bottle milk slightly warmed. Before feeding the baby, shake a few drops on you inner wrist to check the temperature. Run warm tap water over the bottle, if required.
- To reduce the swallowing of air by the baby, tilt the bottle to let the milk fill the nipple and air to rise to the bottom of the bottle.
- Keep the head of the baby straight when he/she is breastfeeding. If the head is turned sideways or backwards, the baby will not be able to swallow the milk easily.
- Switch arms while feeding the baby from the bottle. This will reduce arm fatigue and also present different views to the baby.
- Take care not to force the nipple into your baby’smouth. You should rather stimulate the baby to accept the nipple by touching his/her lips gently to the nipple.
- Look for signs that the nipple hole is too large or too small. If the baby’s mouth gets suddenly full of milk and sputters, the milk flow is likely to be very fast. If the milk flows, instead of dripping, when the bottle is turned upside down, discard the nipple as the hole is too large. Similarly, if the baby tires during sucking and his/her cheeks cave in due to strong suction, the nipple hole may be too small and needs replacement.
- Bottles need to be sterilized very well, otherwise, they will breed germs and your baby will easily fall ill. The bottles and nipples or teats will have to be well cleaned, as milk breeds bacteria easily.