Having three children myself, I know how challenging and intimidating it can be to start your child on formula. I breastfed one of my girls, but bottle-fed my last two child because of severe nipple and breast pain I experienced. Having limited female guidance available to me, I had a lot to figure out on my own. I researched on the web and visited sites just like mine to gain the best understanding of what needed to take place. If you’re new to formula feeding, thinking about trying it, or just reviewing the steps, this is a post for you!
First of all, I would like to note that breastfeeding is best for your baby; however, if you cannot or choose not to breastfeed, then an infant formula is an acceptable alternative. Formulas provide similar amounts of calories, protein, vitamins and minerals that are normally found in breast milk. It is recommended that you breastfeed or formula feed your infant for their first year of life.
Here are a few essential steps to follow in order to successfully begin your child on formula.
- To warm your baby’s formula, it is recommended that you stand the bottle in hot water until it is warm. You can test the temperature by dabbing a few drops onto the inside of your wrist. If it feels hot to the touch, it will be too hot for the baby. You can also microwave the formula in the microwave; however it is not recommended as it will heat it unevenly and create hot spots in the formula that could burn you baby. If you do use the microwave, make sure that you shake it well to ensure even distribution of heat.
- Be sure to hold your baby in a semi-upright position and not laying down to prevent chokeing or having the fluid enter the middle ear. Before beginning feeding, hold the bottle upside down to check the flow of liquid- there should be a couple drops a second. Make sure that you hold the bottle at an angle that allows the nipple and bottleneck to always be filled with milk.
- Be sure to take the nipple out of the baby’s mouth ocassionaly to let it re-shape. If you notice the baby getting frustrated, or sucking but not seeing a lot of liquid movement, try pinching the end of the nipple in case it is clogged.
- Also remember to burp the baby during and after feeding to bring up air that has been swallowed during feeding.
These are just some guidelines for bottle-feeding your baby, and I hope they are helpful in getting you started. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about bottle feeding, feel free to email me at pmoor(at)hotmail(dot)com and I’ll get back to you right away!