Bottle feeding a baby is not a horribly difficult process, but like most parenting tasks there are tricks, tips, and facts to make the process easier. Our guide on everything you need to know about bottle feeding will walk you through the entire process of how to bottle feed a baby from choosing a bottle and preparing it for use to filling and safely using it while answering your questions along the way and offering helpful tips and tricks. Due to it’s length this topic will be broken into 3 parts. You can find a link to the next section at the end of each article.(pending publication 6/18)
One of the most important points in bottle feeding a baby is knowing when and how much to feed.
When to Feed a Baby:
The majority of pediatricians agree that demand feeding is the best way to decide when to feed a baby. Demand feeding, also sometimes called cue feeding, means you feed your baby when he/she is hungry for as long as he/she wishes to eat. You do not need a baby feeding chart, just let your baby tell you when its time to feed.
How will your baby tell you? To know when to bottle feed your baby watch for cues in behavior that indicate hunger including:
– Side to side head movement as if looking for something.
-Turning towards breast or towards your hand when cheek is touched.
-Sucking on hands, arms, etc.
-Opening of the mouth repeatedly and possibly sticking out tongue.
-Puckering lips or making sucking motions.
It’s unusual for feedings to be stretched more than 5-6 hours apart in formula-fed babies and 3-4 hours in breast-milk fed babies. The average newborn is hungry every 2-3 hours, though this often slows with age.
How much to feed a baby:
How much to feed is also dependent on your baby’s needs. Every baby will be different, and the right amount may fluctuate due to age, what’s being offered, baby size, appetite, and more. The typical newborn infant eats 2-3 ounces every feeding, but you can get a better estimate based on your baby’s weight. Per pound most babies need about 45 calories to grow. So, say your baby is 11 lbs, his/her caloric need is 45 x 11 or 495 a day. For formula the next step is as easy as checking the label for calories per ounce. In breast milk bottles, an oz has about 20 calories.
When your baby is full, he/she will lose interest in food, stop sucking, or pull away and turn his/her head from the bottle. As long as your baby is showing healthy weight gain and wetting at least one diaper every three hours or three diapers every twenty four hours, you’re doing just fine.
Now that you know when and how much to feed a baby, your going to need something to feed with, which means choosing a bottle.