If you cannot or do not want to breastfeed your baby, you will naturally want to find the best alternative food. There are several major brands of infant formula to choose from. You should consult with your baby's doctor before you choose one.
Formula comes in three basic types. All of which are equally nutritious varying only in cost and formulation.
● Ready to feed- These usually come in a can and are prepared to be poured directly into the bottle. This is the most convenient and also the most expensive.
● Concentrated- This is a liquid formula that must be mixed with water.
● Powdered- This is a dry formula that, like the concentrate, must be mixed with water.
When using formulas that must be mixed take extra care in the proper proportions. Adding more water than recommended can result in a formula that doesn't give the baby proper nutrition, and adding less water than recommended may result in overfeeding. It is also very important that all utensils and hands are clean when preparing bottles. Proper sanitation must be followed to ensure the milk you feed your baby is safe.
There are some real advantages to bottle feeding. For some mothers they far outweigh the benefits of breastfeeding.
● Longer satisfaction for baby.
● Easy monitoring of intake.
● More freedom.
● More participation for father.
For a fully bottle-fed baby you will need at least eight full size (8 ounce) bottles. You should also have at least 4 smaller four ounce bottles for feedings when baby is very young. Buy extra nipples and keep them sterile and ready in case a nipple gives poor flow. Some bottles are used with throw away plastic liners which can reduce the amount of air your baby swallows.
It is recommended that you wash bottles and nipples in the dishwasher, since the high heat of the drying cycle will help to kill the germs. If you don't have this appliance, wash bottles and nipples in warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly with clear water. Some pediatricians recommend sterilizing the bottles. You should discuss this with your physician. If you do choose to sterilize, here are some suggested techniques.
Wash bottles and nipples in warm soapy water. Place all bottle parts in boiling water for 20 minutes. Prepare the formula according to package directions. Fill each bottle with enough formula for a single feed. Cap tightly with the nipples and refrigerate.
Wash bottles and nipples in warm soapy water. Mix formula in a large clean container. Fill each bottle with enough formula for a single feed, invert the nipples and loosely screw on the nipple rings. Put the filled bottles in a large pot with about three inches of water. Cover the pot and boil for about 25 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool, still covered for about an hour. When the bottles are cool, remove from the pot, secure the nipple rings tightly, and refrigerate.
You can make your baby's feedings consistently successful and happy by remembering to do a few simple things.
● Hold the baby in a semi reclining position during feedings.
● Switch arms with each feeding, baby will look at you while he feeds and this will promote normal eye muscle development.
● Burp your baby with every one to two ounces consumed.
● Don't rush things and allow baby to call it quits. This way you know baby is fully satisfied.
● Make feeding your baby a special time. Be sure to cuddle him and hold him close. Do not prop the bottle and leave him alone for feedings. Interacting with a loving person during feedings helps him to thrive emotionally and develop trust in you and those who care for him.
Feeding your baby has far greater significance than simply providing proper nutrition. A baby whose hunger cries are consistently answered develops a sense of trust, security, and well being. A baby who is smiled at, talked to , and cuddled develops a sense of emotional security. All of these things occur during a feeding. Feeding provides many opportunities for your baby to express affection towards you. Feeding time is very special and should be cherished as a special time to bond with your baby.