Tips on Bottle Feeding
If you bottle feed your baby, ask your doctor what kind of formula is best for her. There are three ways formula is sold:
- Powdered formula is the cheapest. You have to mix the powder with sterilized water.
- Concentrated formula is a liquid, but it is thick and must be mixed with sterilized
- water. It costs more than powdered formula.
- Ready-to-feed formula comes already mixed with water. It costs the most but is the easiest to use.
Follow formula mixing instructions carefully. There is a date on the formula. Don't use the formula after this date. The formula will not be safe to give to your baby after this date.
Wash reusable bottles made of plastic or glass. Also wash all equipment used to prepare formula. Use hot soapy water. Rinse the bottles in clean tap water. Then boil them five minutes in a covered pot or sterilizer.
To prepare formula, boil water for five minutes and cool it before mixing it with powdered or concentrated formula. If you are using bottles with disposable liners, throw away the liner after use. Store prepared formula in the refrigerator and use it within 48 hours.
Heat a bottle of formula by running hot water over it. Never heat formula in the microwave. It can get too hot. Check the temperature by shaking a few drops on your wrist. When it feels warm (not hot) on your wrist, it is cool enough to give to your baby.
When feeding your baby, hold her head a little higher than her tummy. Hold the bottom of the bottle up so that the nipple stays full of formula. This way, your baby doesn't swallow air and spit up. Never prop the bottle, because your baby could choke. Always hold your baby while you feed her. Throw out any formula left in the bottle after a feeding.
Feeding time is more than just satisfying your baby's hunger. It is also a time to bond with and get to know your infant. Dad, grandparents and other family members can bond too by feeding and cuddling the baby.
For more information about dads and their baby's first year, get The Everything® Father's First Year Book by Vincent Iannelli, MD, which is published by Adams Media and is now available at your favorite bookstore.
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