Bottle feeding or formula feeding becomes necessary when a baby is weaned off from the breast milk. Some mothers choose to bottle feed their babies right from the start, depending on their circumstances or reduced production of breast milk.
Whichever is the case, whenever a baby starts a bottle feed few important and practical health and hygiene measures have to be taken into consideration. Here are a few important tips for bottle feeding:
A baby milk formula specially made for infants should be used for formula feeding. It should have enough of all essential micronutrients necessary for baby’s growth, development and immunity building.
Bottles and teats should be washed in water and detergent and sterilized in boiling water or a standard sterilizing machine. A baby bottle sterilizer is a convenient equipment to prepare and sterilize many bottles at a time. Take out the sterilized bottle and fill it with boiled but lukewarm water to the desired mark
The amount of formula powder should be measured exactly up to the instructions provided by the formula company or the doctor. For this purpose use the scoop provided with the formula tin. Close the cap and shake the bottle well to mix in the formula powder.
It is very important to check the hole in the teats. If the hole is too small or too large the milk dripping would be in appropriate. The teats should be replaced every few weeks.
Be careful about the formula milk temperature. Babies usually prefer slightly warm milk, but it should not be warmed for a long period. Check the temperature of the milk by dripping a few drops on your skin. Avoid warming up the baby’s milk in a microwave as it causes uneven warming of the fluid in the bottle that may cause accidental burns to the babies.
Avoid adding any type of solid like cereals or biscuits in the milk bottle. It may result in clogging of the teat holes, leading to underfeeding.
Baby sitters and nannies can be allowed to give bottle feed to the infants but parents, especially mothers should find time out to feed the baby themselves with the same amount of cuddling and closeness as in breast feeding.
Never ever, under any circumstances, should the baby be left unattended with the bottle in mouth. Also babies should never be left to sleep with a bottle in their mouth.