- Bottles – Buy 5 or 6 full size bottle. Don’t buy small ones, as you’ll soon need the larger bottles as your baby grows.
- Nipples – It is really important to try and find the right teat for your baby’s bottle. The flow must be not too quick for a new born baby, or your child splutter and gag. However, an older baby will become fustrated if the flow is too slow. Nipples are divided into three categories slow, medium and fast. You can check by turning the bottle upside down and giving it a few shakes, if milk pours or squirts out it’s flowing too quickly. Sometimes if your baby is crying when you give him or her the bottle, you may need to test that the nipple is not clogged. You can unclog the hole in the nipple or make the nipple bigger buy piercing it with a hot sterilized needle.
- Sterilizing – It should go without saying that you should sterilize your baby’s bottles and nipples, especially when using for the first time. Sterilizing your feeding equipment is extremely important during your child’s first six months as it takes time for your baby to build up its natural defences to infection. Also, wash the bottles and nipples thoroughly using soapy water and a bottle-brush before you put them into the sterilizer; never put them into the sterilzer before first washing them.
- Preparing the formula – always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Too little formula can leave your baby hungry, too much can cause dehydration in your baby because of salt overload, it can also lead to obesity. Measure the formula out carefully. Don’t compress the powder in the scoop. Scrape excess powder off the scoop level with a knife. There is no need to add anything to a well known and approved infant formula and in fact it is best not to. Don’t worry too much though. If your baby is gaining weight, and is happy then you must be feeding him or her correctly. Once you have prepared the bottle shake it thoroughly. Water should have first been boiled before being added to the powder. Once added, shake well to ensure all the powder has dissolved. Finally, leave the formula to cool. If you feed your baby when it is too hot you can injure your baby. The good old-fashioned test of applying a little milk to the under-side of your arm, above the wrist, is a good one. It should feel slightly warm but no more. You can also feed your baby formula milk after is has completely cooled.
- Feeding your baby – Cuddles and comfort are as important for you baby as feeding is. Don’t let anyone tell you that your bottle-fed baby won’t bond with you. There is no reason why bottle -feeding can’t be a warm and loving experience. If it’s summer you can let your baby feel your bare skin. Make sure that you are comfortable. Feeding your baby in an awkward position will only compound the aches and pains most new mothers feel.
Never feed your baby while he or she is lying down. The milk can go up the tiny tubes and into baby’s ears causing ear infections. Cradling your baby in your arms is the easiest position. Don’t prop the bottle and leave a young baby to feed itself; it is dangerous.
To protect your clothes and your baby’s clothes, remember to put a bib on the baby. Younger babies need to be burped two or three times during each feed. They find it hard to burp naturally on their own. If your baby is crying, screaming and squirming during a feed he or she probably needs to be winded. Sit your baby up (making sure to support the head if he or she is a newborn.) Rub baby’s back gently in round circular movements until he burps. This may take a while. Wind usually becomes less of a problem as a baby gets older. When your baby has finished his bottle tip any left over milk out. Bacteria from your baby’s mouth can be introduced into the milk and multiply quickly. If your baby is a newborn (under 3 months) tip the milk out within twenty minutes after the feed.
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