Tips for Bottle-Feeding a Newborn Baby
Bottle-feeding a baby seems simple at first glance. However, there are a lot of steps involved in making sure your baby is being fed properly. For a healthy, happy and full child, make sure to follow the proper instructions before feeding.
Sterilizing the Bottle
Bottles and nipples need to be sterilized before use. To sterilize the bottle, place it in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes or run through entire cycle in dishwasher. After the bottle has been sterilized and cooled, it is ready to be used. Nipples will change color after they are boiled. You may also use bottle liners with special holders for your baby. Follow the directions on the package for these.
The bottle should be placed in boiling water to warm up before you feed your baby. Do not place the bottle itself in the microwave — the microwave could cause the bottle to heat unevenly, which could burn your baby’s mouth. To warm your baby’s bottle follow the instructions below:
- Fill a deep mug or measuring cup with water.
- Place the water in the microwave for about 1 to 2 minutes or until the water comes to a rolling boil. You can also boil the water in a pot over the stove.
- Place the bottle in the boiling water for 1-2 minutes or until the bottle is lukewarm. You can test the formula to make sure it is not too hot for your baby by squirting a little formula on the inside of your wrist.
After formula is prepared, the bottles should be kept in the refrigerator no more than 24 hours. Any formula that is left over after a feeding should be disposed of, and never given to your baby.
How Much Should I Feed My Baby?
During the first month, your baby will eat about 2 to 3 ounces of formula at each feeding, and will eat every 2 to 3 hours. After the first month, your baby will eat about 4 ounces of formula every 3 hours. The amount of formula will gradually increase as your baby gets older.
The flow rate of formula coming out of the nipple will also change as your baby gets bigger. For the first few months, the flow rate should be one drop per second. You can test this by holding the bottle upside down. Most packages will label the flow rate according to your baby’s age.
What Should I Do if My Baby Has an Allergic Reaction to the Formula?
If your baby seems to be having an allergic reaction to the formula (such as vomiting, diarrhea and rash), then you should consult your doctor and switch to another type of formula. In addition to these symptoms, your baby may also be fussier than usual.
When Can I Switch My Baby to Whole Milk?
You can start feeding your baby whole milk instead of infant formula around his or her first birthday. Your baby should drink whole milk – reduced-fat or fat-free milk do not offer the calories and fat that your child needs to grow.