Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 28 April 2021
Table of contents
- Glass or Plastic Bottles?
- What to Know About Nipples
- Wash Bottles and Nipples
- Stick to Breast Milk or Formula
- How to Choose a Formula
- Warm or Room Temperature?
- How to Hold Your Baby
- Keep a Grip on the Bottle
- How Do You Know When Baby’s Done?
- How to Burp Them
- Cut Down on Spit-Up
- Should You Switch Formulas?
- How Long Can You Store Milk?
Glass or Plastic Bottles?
Your baby can give you hints as to which they prefer. Consider the following: Plastic bottles are lighter and are shatterproof, compared to glass bottles. They do not, though, last as long as glass. Some parents used glass bottles in the past to avoid a chemical named bisphenol A (BPA), which is used in some plastic bottles. All plastic bottles distributed in the United States are now BPA-free.
What to Know About Nipples
The majority are made of silicone or latex and come in a variety of shapes. Depending on the size of the nipple’s hole, they can have varying “flow rates". You would want to try with a few different varieties to see what your baby prefers and can drink easily. Check the nipples for signs of wear or cracking on a regular basis. Any that are worn or discoloured should be replaced.
Wash Bottles and Nipples
You can wash them by hand or in the dishwasher with detergent and hot water. Ensure you do it every time you use them. Some studies suggest that chemicals leak from plastic while it is subjected to high temperatures, so you might prefer to wash plastic bottles by hand.
Stick to Breast Milk or Formula
No water or juice should be given to your baby in the bottle, just pumped breast milk or formula. Mix the formula precisely as directed on the label. When you add too much water to the formula, it dilutes and loses nutrients. It can cause low salt in the baby, which may result in seizures. Your baby’s stomach and kidneys may struggle if there’s too little water.
How to Choose a Formula
The majority of parents start with one made from cow’s milk. There are also soy and hypoallergenic varieties available. Use an iron-fortified one if possible. Powdered, concentrated, and ready-to-use formulas are accessible. Your baby should be drinking 6 to 8 ounces per feeding by 6 months.
Warm or Room Temperature?
Giving your baby a cool or room-temperature bottle is fine. Place the filled bottle in warm water or run hot tap water over it for 1-2 minutes if they like warm formula. Likewise, a bottle warmer may be used. The microwave should not be used. It can cause hot spots, which may cause your baby’s mouth to burn. To test the temperature, shake the formula and place a drop on the top of your hand. It’s not a good idea to test it on your wrist because it’s less sensitive to heat.
How to Hold Your Baby
Put on a bib and keep a cloth on hand to wipe up some spilt breast milk or formula. Cradle them with their head somewhat higher than the rest of their body. Hold the bottle and keep an eye on them while they eat. When you’re watching your baby, you’ll be able to tell when they’re finished. To help limit spit-up, burp them halfway through the feed.
Keep a Grip on the Bottle
It’s tempting to set up the bottle on a pillow to let your baby feed themselves while you’re tired. However, there are several advantages of holding the bottle when they eat. It’s a perfect way to bond, and it’s also safer. Choking and teeth decay is more probable if you leave your baby with a propped-up bottle. Ear infections are also a possibility. So have fun on your bottle time!
How Do You Know When Baby’s Done?
When your child is done eating, they will let you know. They will quit sucking, turn away from the bottle, or force the bottle away if they are old enough. Allow them to change their minds, but don’t force them to finish the bottle. If your baby spits up with each feeding, you may need to feed them smaller, more frequent meals and hold them upright for 20-30 minutes afterward (but not in a car seat).
How to Burp Them
Hold your baby on your lap or lay them on your shoulder if they need to burp during or after a feeding. Pat or rub their back gently. You may even sit them on your lap and pat their back while supporting their head. Keep a cloth ready in case they spit up the milk. Don’t be concerned if they don’t burp for a few minutes but seem satisfied. After feeding, not every baby burps.
Cut Down on Spit-Up
Burp your baby every few minutes during feedings if they spit up a lot. Once they’ve fed, don’t put them down or play with them for 45 minutes. After the meal, hold them up in a car seat or hold them upright. When a baby sits up, the spitting up usually improves. Consult their pediatrician if you’re concerned with how much they spit-up.
Should You Switch Formulas?
You might blame the formula if your baby spits up a lot or is fussy. Allergies in babies may result in symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or dry, red skin. If you notice this, talk with your pediatrician. They’ll tell you whether or not you ought to change your formulas, and if so, how to do just that efficiently. Don’t make any changes until you’ve spoken with the doctor.
How Long Can You Store Milk?
As needed, make the formula. Don’t make big batches. Always throw away the leftover formula in the bottle. Opened liquid formula packets can be refrigerated immediately and used within 48 hours. If you’ve made a powdered formula, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. If the formula has been left out for longer than 1 hour, it should be thrown. Breast milk can be refrigerated and used within 7 days. Alternatively, you can put it in the freezer. Breast milk can be stored for 3 months in a regular freezer at 0°F or 6 months in a deep freezer.
Referenced on 14.4.2021
- American Academy of Family Physicians: “Infant Formula."
- American Academy of Pediatrics: “Breastfeeding Initiatives FAQs."
- FamilyDoctor.org: “Infant Formula."
- FDA: “Food Safety for Moms-to-Be," “Breast Milk," “Feeding Your Baby With Breast Milk or Formula."
- HealthyChildren.org: “Burping, Hiccups, and Spitting Up."
- KidsHealth: “Formula Feeding FAQs: Some Common Concerns."
- USDA: “A Guide for Use in the Child Nutrition Programs," “Feeding Infants."