Baby Safety: How to Bottle-feed Your Baby
If you have decided to bottle-feed your baby then you probably have a good reason for it. If you are breastfeeding you will have to use a bottle at some point even if it will be the time you will be introducing the baby to other liquids such as cow milk and juices. Unbeknownst to many parents, however, bottle-feeding can easily go wrong if you don’t know exactly how to do it. This article summarizes the best tips to bottle-feed your baby safely.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT BOTTLE
New mothers never run short of baby bottles, not with so many gifting them during the baby shower and after giving birth. You may, however, not use all or any of them.
The type of bottle you will need will depend on your baby’s feeding needs which is why you should wait until they are born before starting the cleaning and sterilizing processes. If, for instance, you end up with a gassy baby, they will probably feed better from a bottle with a filtration system.
Babies used to the nipple, on the other hand, may demand bottles whose nipples mimic those of the breast. On a general note, the ideal bottle should be easy to take apart, clean and put together.
MAKING THE BOTTLE
This may not be as easy as it seems. Now with so many safety concerns and the fear of sleep deprivation.
Most formulas come with clear instructions on how to prepare. Some are ready-to-feed and all you need is to pour them into the bottle and stick the nipple into the baby’s mouth. Others come in concentrated form and you will need to follow the instructions to the latter. Be careful with the water you use.
Powdered formula needs a good degree of focus during preparation so that you don’t feed the baby an overdiluted or overconcentrated mixture. You also need to shake it well to remove clumps and make an even consistency. While you are at it, try to stick to one brand or be very careful when switching to new ones.
Breastmilk is easy to use in a bottle and is safe as long as it has been stored appropriately and is not spoiled.
FEEDING THE BABY
Here are some positions you could hold the baby while feeding them from a bottle:
- You could cradle the baby in your arms with their head resting on the crook of your arm or the chest.
- You can hold them upright in a sitting position with their head against your chest or the crook of your arm. This position is great for babies that have reflux.
- You could use a nursing pillow to prop the baby at the right angle while using your hands to do other things.
Additionally, remember to switch side while feeding so that the baby does not develop a preference for one side.
Conclusively, all babies are different and how well they feed with a bottle may depend on their feeding habits and preferences. Remember to keep the bottle sterilized to prevent unnecessary infections.