For How Long Can I Keep Formula In The Bottle Bottle-Feeding Guidelines

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Bottle-Feeding Guidelines

The walls are plastered with breastfeeding advice in every doctor’s surgery and hospital reception. What you don’t often see are best practice guidelines for moms who choose to bottle feed their babies. So, to improve it, here are some pointers.

Don’t let your baby’s crying trigger feeding. If your baby is fussy before you start bottle-feeding, he may well mess up his feedings. Breastfeeding mothers are advised to breastfeed frequently, and the same advice applies to bottle-feeding. An important point to remember is that formula milk takes about four hours to digest compared to two hours for breast milk, so the intervals between feeds should be longer for bottle-feeding.

A newborn baby takes about 85ml (3fl oz) per feed. As he gets older, the amount of feed increases as does the interval between feeds. Babies know when they’ve had enough milk so don’t worry if your baby hasn’t finished all the milk. Discard any milk left in the bottle; Never, ever try to feed it to your baby later. Formula milk left sitting is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. If your baby still seems hungry after emptying the bottle, give him more milk. You will not overfeed your baby.

The best way to hold a baby for bottle-feeding is straight. You hold the baby as you would for breastfeeding but in a slightly more upright position to make it easier for him to swallow and to prevent formula from leaking and running into his nose and ears.

Do not place the bottle nipple directly in the baby’s mouth. Instead, gently rub your baby’s cheeks and lips with the nipple, as recommended for breastfeeding mothers. Rubbing it gently stimulates your baby’s ‘rooting reflex’.

You can reduce the amount of air your baby consumes by tilting the bottle to ensure only milk is on the nipple. Air is uncomfortable for babies and, after eating, they will let you know all about their discomfort. Avoiding baby wind is usually better, for both mother and baby!

Take your time and let your child stop from time to time. It is quite normal for children to stop drinking for a while before continuing. As they get older they may also have a tendency to lose concentration and look about them instead of feeding. So, before you feed your baby, make your surroundings as calm and comfortable as possible. If you are feeling uncomfortable during the feed, then change the position. Remember, if you are uncomfortable or upset during a feed, your baby will be too.

Feeding is not just about nourishing your baby; It’s also about comforting. Hold your baby close to you and make skin-to-skin contact as much as possible. During the feed, stroke, caress, talk and make eye contact with him, and above all, smile.

Feeding a baby is a special time for both mother and baby. It can be a relaxing and comforting experience for both. To ensure this, follow the points above, and most importantly, follow your child’s lead; They often know how to do things better than we do.

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