Bottle Feeding Your Baby – Where to begin, Preparing the Formula & The Actual Feeding
At first glance, bottle feeding seems to be one of the most heartwarming moments for a parent and a child, and it is. However, up close, you will be surprised at how grueling of an experience it can be. Hence, in this article, you will learn more about feeding your baby through a bottle, as well as tricks to avoid some common problems associated with it.
Bottle feeding: where to begin
When starting to bottle feed your little one, it is important that you have the right bottle that you would be comfortable with. In our previous post, we talked about the various pointers to consider when buying your child’s feeding bottles, so feel free to refer to those. You might also want to experiment with different bottles first to find the exact one that suits your child.
Another important step when preparing your little one’s milk is sterilizing the bottle., as well as the other things that you need to use. Here, you have two different methods to use.
Boiling your baby’s feeding bottle is the more common method of sterilizing them. For this, all you need to do is to put the bottles into a pot of boiling water for about ten minutes. From there, the bottles can be kept sterilized for three hours by simply having the pan covered. However, do note that some bottles, particularly the plastic ones, might not be that suited to boiling, as the heat can cause warping. This could also be the case with the nipples. You will also likely have to deal with some limescale though these are not health threatening.
2. Cold water sterilizing
As the name implies, in cold water sterilizing, you don’t need to boil water. Instead, you only need to add sterilizing tablets or fluids on into the pot and you are good to go. This also means you can do this anywhere, as you can just pack the sterilizing agents in your tote bag when going out.
However, your baby might not like the aftertaste of the sterilizing solution, so you will have to rinse the bottles. The process also takes quite some time, as you need to immerse the bottles in the solution for about half an hour.
3. Sterilizing by steam
One of the great things about using electric steam sterilizers is that these machines offer more functions than just cleaning bottles. You can also use these to sterilize other items like breast pumps and accessories. However, since these are bulky devices, they pretty much stay in one spot.
Preparing the formula
To prepare your little one’s milk, begin by boiling a pot of water. Note that, in most cases, you can simply use tap water, but you might also use purified water in certain situations. Once the water has come to boil, pour the exact amount of water into the bottle.
Now, add the milk, referring to the guide for the recommended number of scoops for your baby. Ensure that you are putting in the right amount by using the flat edge of a clean knife to level the top off.
Before giving the bottle to your baby, test the temperature first by tipping some of the milk onto your wrist. It should not feel too hat and just right.
Feeding your little one
In the first few months, you will be the one holding the bottle for your baby. To ensure that he will be able to suck milk continuously, tilt the bottle slightly such that the nipple will always be full of milk. Also, take note of the pauses in between the sucking, as this is when your baby pause to determine whether he is already full.
Another thing you have to watch out for when feeding is him sucking in too much air. This is indicated by noticeably loud sucking sounds coming from him. To remedy this, prop him up a little so that he swallows less milk. As is with the above, adjust the tilt of the bottle so that the teat is always full of milk.
One thing that you need to know here is that your child’s appetite will vary from day to day and from month to month. Thus, in the first few weeks, let him set his feeding pace. To be sure that you are giving him milk whenever he wants it, offer a bottle once every two hours and see if he will take it.
Next, we will take a look at some of the problems associated with bottle feeding and how to deal with these.