Here’s everything you need to keep in mind when bottle feeding your baby.
- Cleanliness and hygiene should be your top-most priority.
- To properly sterilize baby gear including bottles, nipples etc, submerge them in boiling water for 5-10 minutes and then later rinse with dishwashing liquid. In the case of chlorinated water supply, wash the dishes in a dishwasher with dishwashing liquid and then rinse with hot water from the tap.
- Make sure you read the instructions on the baby formula you’re giving your baby and follow them religiously. The most basic ones require you to boil water for approximately a minute. You can then add this water to the baby formula but if you are pre-formulating, refrigerate this and use later. However, it should be refrigerated for a limited time period only. Make sure you use this refrigerated formula after an hour of keeping it out of the refrigerator. If you don’t intend to use it for the next 24 hours, discard it.
- To warm up the refrigerated formula, use a pan of water and put it on low heat. Put the bottle inside. Frequent rotation will make it warm up faster. You should strictly avoid using a microwave as it can overheat the milk and make room for accidents. There’s also the possibility of the bottle exploding if it’s left in the microwave for too long. Make sure you check the temperature of the milk before feeding your baby by testing a few drops of it on your wrist.
- To place your baby in a feeding position, pin your baby in a semi-upright stance and support the baby’s head. It’s not recommended to leave the baby lying with the bottle as milk can drip from the sides and go into the baby’s ears which can cause infections. Tilt the bottle so that the milk is covered till the top but cover the nipple so that air isn’t swallowed in while the baby sucks on the bottle.
It’s important to keep a check on the intake your baby’s milk intake. In the initial stage, the baby tends to be hungry every 2-4 hours. It’s recommended to not force feed the baby but also not feed him/her too generously. After you’re done feeding, you need to make your baby burp. To do that, use three positions:
- Drape your baby over the shoulder, rub the baby’s back gently.
- Make your baby sit upright on your lap, lean the weight on your hand and gently rub on the back.
- Place the baby’s stomach down on your lap and pat the back gently.
If the baby doesn’t burp, continue feeding and do this after he/she is done.