Correct Technique of Bottle Feeding
Before beginning the feed, check that the hole in the teat is the proper size. When you hold, the bottle upside down milk should fall steadily, drop by drop. A continuous rapid flow of milk means that the teat hole is too big. During feeding the baby will have too much milk in his mouth and he will tend to choke. If the hole is too small, the milk drop will take several seconds to form and would not come out easily. In this situation the baby will suck a lot of air in an effort to obtain milk. The excess air in the stomach causes abdominal colic and vomiting after feeds. If the hole in the teat is too small, enlarge it with a red-hot needle. If too big, change the teat. As mentioned already, you should make sure that the milk in the bottle is lukewarm and not too hot.
While you are seated comfortably, hold your baby in your lap, supported on your left arm with his head kept raised above his stomach level. As you feed keep the bottle titled so that the teat is always full of milk. This is important to prevent you baby from sucking in a lot of air during his feeds. If the teat becomes flat while the baby is taking his feed, pull gently on the bottle to release the vacuum.
Feeding with a Spoon and Cup
In view of the practical difficulties in ensuring suitable sterilization of milk bottles and other equipment needed for bottle - feeding, the use of a clean cup and spoon instead of bottle feeding is now being increasingly recommended. The baby is also less tempted to avoid the breast.
Your baby may suck in a lot of air while at your breast, especially if he is very hungry or is eager to suck. This problem is also likely to arise when a baby frantically tries to draw milk from a bottle with a teat which has a very small hole. Besides, if during feeding the milk bottle is not kept properly titled and the teat remains empty, the baby will suck air.
To help the baby bring up air, you should pick him up midway through his feed, and hold him upright on your shoulder and gently pat or rub his back for a while. This procedure should be repeated after he completes his feed. After the feed, some babies may need to be kept against the shoulder for several minutes before they burp.
Bringing up Milk
Many babies bring up some milk after their feeds. The quantity is generally small but it may seem quite a lot because of being mixed with saliva. This problem is more common among bottle feeders. It may also happen if the baby has too much milk or if he takes it too quickly.
If your baby regurgitates too often, make sure about the following :
● The bottle is properly held and the teat always remains full of milk;
● The hole in the teat is neither too small nor too large
● The baby is not moved about while feeding;
● The patting or rubbing of the back to burp the baby is done gently and not too hard;
● The baby does not cry much before or during feeds;
● He is not pushed too hard to take extra milk beyond his own inclination.
You should however, consult your doctor if despite your having taken the above precautions, (i) regurgitation of milk persists; or (ii) it is unduly large or forceful or (iii) there is greenish bile or blood in the milk vomited by the baby.
● Do not force-feed your baby by insisting that he must finish the milk which he may have left in the bottle after finishing the feed on his own accord. Many babies would vomit out later the extra milk which they actually did not need to take in the first place. On the other hand, some babies may become excessively fat due to forced feeding.
● The warm milk feed for the baby should be prepared a shot while before giving it to the baby. As germs grow rapidly in warm milk, prepared feed should not be kept standing at room temperature for more than one hour or so. The risk of infection is greater in summer months. For the same reason, do not keep hot milk in a vacuum flask for longer than one hour or so for use by the baby. If you have to store the prepared milk feed for some time, place it straightaway in the refrigerator or icebox. It should subsequently be lightly warmed immediately before giving it to the baby. If not used within 24 hours, the refrigerated milk feed should be discarded.
● Throw away the milk remaining in the bottle after the baby has finished his feed; do not store it for later use.