To buy or not to buy? That is a tough question. You want your baby to enjoy her bottles–and thawing out frozen milk every morning does not make for a relaxing start to the day. But heating a ton of bottles can use up a lot of your energy and time.
Is it better to use Glass or Plastic Bottles?
Newer parents often wonder whether glass or plastic bottles are better, so we are here to answer your questions. Glass or plastic bottles? That is a big question—one that will not be answered at the baby shower. Factors to consider when choosing a bottle include style and durability, material, shape, nipple design, and cost. If you can, ask other people with babies for their experiences with different bottles.
You do not have to choose between glass and plastic. Hybrid bottles are a good option because they have the convenience of plastic bottles with the transparency of glass. That way, you can see how much formula is left.
What to Know About Nipples?
If you are bottle-feeding, select the correct size nipple for your baby and make sure it fits snugly on the top of the bottle. Here is how: First, buy or use a pump or suction device to draw air out of the bottle so you can see how much milk is left and replace it with the proper amount of formula, breast milk, or water for rinsing.
How do you know which nipple is best for your baby? Check the nipple’s diameter and flow rate. Many nipples are marked with the diameter, in millimeters, on the side of the box in the store or on the nipple itself. If you are buying a nipple without this information, look at the sizing chart to make sure it is appropriate for your baby’s age. When you begin breastfeeding, choose a nipple that’s soft, flexible, and slow flow. If the flow rate is too fast for your baby’s sucking ability or mouth size, he may choke. Bottles with nozzles that allow you to control the flow are available for older babies. A slow-flow nipple is typically the most appropriate for newborns.
Wash Bottles and Nipples
Wash plastic bottles and nipples with hot, soapy water each time you use them. You can wash bottles and nipples in the dishwasher, but it is safe to wash them by hand. It is a good idea to clean the nipples of your bottles and parts before you put them with your baby for the first time. Bacteria can multiply on dirty equipment, causing infections that would otherwise not occur. For tips on how to do this safely, please ask your healthcare provider or lactation specialist.
Remember to wash bottles, nipples, and caps at least once a day. Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands each time you help your baby feed, too. Wash the sink after you are done feeding.
Stick to Breast Milk or Formula
New parents often want to give their baby something in a bottle. But breast milk and formula are the only good choices — even if you are away from home. Let us start with the basics. Newborns are born with a built-in system for feeding called breastfeeding. Breast milk or formula provides all the nutrition you need. If you started breastfeeding, continue. If you are bottle-feeding your newborn, give only pumped breast milk or formula in a bottle. Never feed water or juice — they can make it hard for your baby to digest nutrients. Also, follow the label instructions exactly to mix and store the formula — too much water or improper mixing may be hard on your baby’s stomach and kidneys.
How to Choose a Formula
Choosing a formula for your baby can be a real headache–you have got so many choices! The easiest way to choose one is to start with a cow’s milk-based formula. After that, get some information about the other kinds, like soy and hypoallergenic formulas. You can buy ready-to-use formulas or powdered ones that you mix with water.
Your baby will drink about 6 to 8 ounces per feeding for the first 6 months, and then about 12 to 16 ounces for the next 6 months. You can buy cow-milk-based formulas made from whole, reduced-fat, or skim milk in powdered, concentrated, or ready-to-feed forms. By 4 months, babies who are breastfed usually take formula made with cow’s milk. (If your baby is younger than 3 1/2 months, ask your doctor about starting.) You can also buy soy and hypoallergenic kinds. Make sure you use one that is iron-fortified.
Warm or Room Temperature?
Warm or room temperature? That is the first decision facing parents of newborns. To some, a bottle that is warm to the touch is more appealing when you are dealing with an infant who cannot tell you what they want. To others, very few things smell better than fresh-from-the-fridge formula cool enough to mist into a baby’s mouth and still have it feel cool as it goes down.
Shake well before use. Do not refreeze once thawed. Infants under 1 year of age should be fed as follows: feed babies half their usual amount at each bottle-feed, increasing gradually until they are taking their usual amount. After feeding your baby, always test the temperature of the food on the inside of your wrist before feeding – it should feel lukewarm. Prepare one feed at a time and refrigerate immediately after use – do not leave prepared feeds to stand at room temperature or in a cot/crib overnight. Wash hands, utensils, and storage containers thoroughly after each use.
How to Hold Your Baby
The first few months of a baby’s life can be quite a task. Not only do you have to learn how to care for them, but also keep them calm and comfortable while they are doing what they were born to do. Learn how to hold your baby to help them, and how you should burp them the best way possible.
A basic concept, but most new parents need help with how to hold their babies while they are feeding. Putting a bib on them helps to protect your shirt and gives you something to wipe up any mess. Even if you are breastfeeding, it is nice to have something close by to keep the baby clean and dry. A burp cloth is good for keeping spit-up off your shoulder or lap. Finally, you hold the bottle with one hand and strap your baby into the snugly with the other.
Keep a Grip on the Bottle
Propping up a baby’s bottle can be tempting when you are tired after a long day. But there are lots of benefits if you hold the bottle for your baby. It is great for bonding, and it is safer—leaving your baby with a propped-up bottle makes choking and tooth decay more likely. It can also cause ear infections, so enjoy your bottle-feeding time!
If you are bottle-feeding a newborn, it is almost impossible to get anything done while your baby’s eating. And patting them on the back is not comfortable or very effective. If you are breastfeeding, you can hold the bottle and let your baby squeeze or butt their way to a meal. But if you are breastfeeding and bottle-feeding, it is a lot of work to juggle both sides of your baby’s routine.
How Do You Know When Baby’s Done?
When you are done feeding, your child will usually let you know. If they do not, watch for these signs that they are finished: They stop sucking. They turn away from the breast or bottle. They push the breast or bottle away. It can be hard to tell if your baby is done feeding. If they like most of the formula, then they are still hungry. But, if they are turned away from the bottle or sputtering, this is a sign that they are full. Listen closely and trust your instincts. Your baby will have less spit up if you feed them smaller amounts more often (4-6 times a day). This is helpful for babies that are prone to spitting up.
How to Burp Them?
Some babies need a little extra help getting rid of excess air that builds up while they are eating. Here is how to burp them:
Every baby is different, so how you burp your baby might vary. Most baby burps will happen after a feeding, but occasionally you may need to give a little extra pat on the back during or right after feedings. Babies often make a smacking or popping sound where their mouth meets their chest when burping. It is normal for some babies to burp more than others. If your baby does not seem content after feeding, try patting his back as you burp him. Your baby may spit up some milk after feeding–have a cloth handy just in case.
Cut Down on Spit-Up
A milk-filled baby seems happy, but they do not always know how to swallow properly. If your baby spits up formula or spits up a lot, there are two things you can do: hold them upright for about 45 minutes after feedings and burp them during feedings. Together, these techniques will make it easier for your baby to manage the extra milk he ate. Your little spit-up specialist needs to know how to burp effectively to keep gas bubbles moving out of the stomach.
Should You Switch Formulas?
Should you switch your baby from one formula to another? It depends. You should only switch if your baby is not doing well on the formula, you have been giving him. If he is gassy, spitting up, or fussy after eating, talk to the doctor about switching formulas — and how to do it best. They will tell you if your baby has an allergy and needs a change. When a mom reads her baby’s spit-up and fussy behavior as an indication that she needs to change the formula, she might be right. However, it is best to talk with your pediatrician before making any changes. Sometimes, formula allergies can cause things like diarrhea, vomiting, or dry, red skin. If you see this in your baby, talk to your pediatrician.
How Long Can You Store Milk?
You can store your baby’s milk for several hours at room temperature. But after that, you will need to refrigerate even if there is some left. This is because of a natural chemical in the milk that turns harmful due to contact with air (oxidation). Tip: Freeze milk in small quantities, every other feeding to make thawing easier. For example, freeze ½ cup at a time, rather than a whole bottle. If left out too long, formula or breast milk will become dangerous—or cause food poisoning. Only use opened cans or pouches within 48 hours. Tip: Use a clean scoop and the right side of the container each time you measure the formula with a measuring cup.
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