Once your baby is a little older, you may want to move him to the bottle. Keep these 10 things in mind before you make the switch.
1. Lots Of Bonding Time
Bottle feeding will not cut down on your bonding time with your baby—you will still get as much skin-to-skin contact with your little one as you did earlier. Hold your baby close to you and sing or tell a story as you feed.
2. Type Of Bottle
Plastic bottles are not as heavy as glass bottles and have a lower risk of cracking. However, they may not last as long as a glass bottle and may not be as hygienic, even though they are now made BPA-free in the US.
3. Type Of Nipples
Different nipples are made of different materials, mainly silicone or latex, and come with a variety of flow options. You may have to try out a few different ones before you can find out which works best for your baby. Once the nipples look discolored, worn or develop cracks, replace them immediately.
4. Always Sterilize Before Using A New Bottle
For the first use, sterilize the bottle and all accessories in boiling water. Read the instructions carefully, as some bottles should not be boiled while others need to. Place bottles that cannot be boiled into hot water and use detergent from the next cycle.
5. Stick To The Feed Instructions
While preparing formula, ensure you follow the suggested quantity. Do not add too much or too little water, as it can either thin out the formula or make it difficult for your baby to digest.
6. Choosing The Formula
Speak to your pediatrician to understand which formula is best for your baby. Your doctor may suggest a cow’s milk-based formula, a soy one or a hypoallergenic one, depending on the needs of your little one. Formulas come in various forms such as powdered, ready-to-use and concentrated.
7. Checking The Temperature
A room temperature bottle feed is fine for your baby. In case your baby prefers a slightly warmer one, place the bottle in warm water for about a minute or two. You can also run it under hot water for the same duration. Before giving it to your baby, put a drop on the back of your hand to check if it’s too warm.
8. Holding Your Baby
The position for bottle feeding your baby is almost the same as breastfeeding. Cradle your baby in your arms and keep the head a little elevated. If your baby feeds slowly, you may burp your baby between the feeding.
9. Always Hold The Bottle Yourself
It is natural for you to feel tired and sleepy while feeding your baby. As tempting as it may seem, do not leave your baby with the bottle as it can lead to choking, tooth decay and ear infections. If you are too tired and are about to doze off, ask your partner to help.
10. When To Stop
Your baby will give you an indication when the feeding is done. Watch out for signs such as no sucking, moving the mouth away or even pushing the bottle away. Understand the indications and do not over-feed.
It is recommended to exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first six months. Speak to your baby’s doctor before you make the transition to bottle feeding.
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