Deciding whether to breastfeed your baby or rely on bottle feeding is up to you. Health experts always recommend breastfeeding as the best option. But, it may not be possible for all mothers. Several factors such as comfort level, work schedule, and medical situations might make it difficult for you to breastfeed. In that case, infant formula is a healthy alternative and gives the baby all nutrients required for proper growth.
A nursing bottle or a feeding bottle makes it easier to feed a baby as this type of bottle comes with an artificial nipple. We are here to answer all your queries regarding bottle feeding.
- Temperature of the milk:
It is absolutely fine to give your infant a room-temperature or cool bottle. If he likes warm formula, just insert the filled bottle in a container with warm water and leave it for 2 minutes. You can also take help of a bottle warmer but avoid using the microwave. Always shake the bottle well and put one drop of milk on your wrist for testing the temperature before giving it to the baby.
- Only give formula or breast milk:
If you plan to bottle feed, give nothing but formula or pumped breast milk to a newborn. Avoid giving any type of juice, and even water. Also, while you prepare the formula, take care of the consistency. It must not be too thin or too thick.
- Clean nipples and bottles regularly:
You must maintain the bottles well to avoid infections. Washing them with hot water and a dishwasher will get rid of all germs. If you use a plastic bottle, do not use hot water for cleaning.
- Material of the bottle:
Both plastic bottles and glass bottles are equally popular. Plastic bottles are shatterproof and lighter in weight as opposed to glass bottles. But, they are not appropriate for long-term use. Earlier, parents used to prefer glass bottles as the plastic ones contained BPA. But, feeding bottles at present are all BPA-free.
How can you choose a formula?
Most parents choose a formula prepared with cow’s milk. Hypoallergenic and soy kinds are also available in the market. These formulae are present in ready-to-use, concentrated, and powdered forms. A 6-month-old baby usually drinks 6-8 ounces of milk per feeding.
How should you hold the baby while feeding bottle milk?
Put a clean cloth around the baby’s neck for absorbing spit-up formula. Now, cradle your baby with the head a little higher than the remaining body parts. Hold the feeding bottle close to his mouth and allow him to suck the nipple. Watch him find out when he is done, gently remove the bottle, and wipe his mouth.
How long is it good to store milk?
If it’s breast milk, you can keep it in a refrigerator for as long as three months. If you use liquid formula, it is advisable to use opened packages within two days. If you prepare the milk with the help of powdered formula, throw it away after two hours.