How to Bottle Feed a Baby

how to bottle feedThis is the final part of a comprehensive guide on bottle feeding a baby. This section covers how to sterilize a bottle, heating baby bottles, and how to actually bottle feed a baby. Feel free to check out the other sections of this guide including:

When and How Much Do You Feed a Baby?
Bottle and Nipple Selection
Formula Selection (if applicable)

How to sterilize baby bottles:

Once upon a time it was suggested that all nipples and bottles be sterilized. Today it is believed that a good hot washing with soap and water is sufficient.

None the less, if you wish to sterilize this can be done by boil water and placing the items in them for at least 5 minutes. There are also many bottle sterilizing systems out on the market today. As a mid-point many parents sterilize new bottles and nipples once before use. Be sure to let the items air dry before using.

How to Heat the Milk:

Formula can be made with warm water to avoid the need for heating. If the formula has been refrigerated or you are serving pumped or stored breast milk you can heat it by placing the bottle in a pan of warm water on the stove or simply by running hot water over it. Never use boiling water or actually heat formula or breast milk in a pan on the stove. Bottles also should not be microwaved as this may cause heat spots which can burn your baby. In cases other than cow’s milk, it also leads to a reduction in nutrients. Today there are also specialized bottle warmers you can buy to keep bottles toasty and ready if you prefer.

How to Bottle Feed:

Avoid propping a bottle or leaving your baby unattended while bottle feeding as this can result in choking. Once your baby falls asleep and stops eating, you should remove the bottle. Even if your baby is not actively feeding, sleeping with a bottle can cause tooth decay. Its recommended you hold your baby during feedings, but you can opt for any position that feels comfortable so long as your baby is not lying flat on his/her back. A forty-five degree angle should be kept to prevent milk from entering the delicate tubes of the inner ear which can cause ear infections.

Finally, be sure that the nipple of the bottle is always full. Failing to do so will cause your baby to swallow air which can lead to uncomfortable gas. You can remedy an empty nipple by increasing the tilt in which you are holding the bottle.

Beyond that, your baby will do what comes natural–eat. All you have to do is put the bottle in your baby’s mouth.



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