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Bottle Feeding

Don't feel guilty if you have decided to go down the route of bottle feeding. Making the decision to bottle feed is never taken lightly and if you have decided that bottle feeding is the right decision for you and your child than follow your instincts and go for it, don't worry what other people have to say.

In some instances bottle feeding can be better for your newborn than breastfeeding particularly if you are a smoker, drink alcohol of take unprescribed drugs (certain drugs, alcohol and nicotine can be transmitted to your baby through your breast milk). Also, it is better to bottle feed if you are HIV positive or have other serious illnesses such as severe anaemia, turberculosis or kidney disease. If you are taking certain medications you may be advised not to breastfeed your baby.

Bottle feeding formula milk provides all the vitamins a minerals that your baby needs, it's nutritional qualities are close to breast milk and, in most cases, is made from cows milk which has been specially treated to ease digestion.

There are now alternatives to regular formula's (usually soya) specifically designed for lactose intolerant babies or for those babies where there is family history of allergies. If you are bottle feeding only use standard formula unless your doctor has advised otherwise.

It is important to follow all manufacturers’ instruction when making up the formula milk. Bottle feeding can cause colic if you make up the formula milk either too weak or too strong or feed your baby milk that is at the wrong temperature.

Buying ready made milk in cartons or bottles is really useful if you are out and about but is a far more expensive way to bottle feed your baby.

You can prepare 24 hours worth of formula in one go and store it in the fridge until required. Dispose of any unused formula after the 24 hour period and never re-use and milk left over after bottle feeding, bacteria love it!

The temperature at which a bottle should be offered to your baby varies from child to child with some babies preferring their milk at room temperature and others preferring their bottle feed warm. To warm the milk just drop the full bottle into a jug of boiling water and then test the temperature against your wrist before bottle feeding your baby.

Some babies need to be persuaded to take the teat and feed so try stroking the teat across your baby’s lips which should encourage him to open his mouth and grab hold of the teat.

If you find that your baby is gulping his milk down too fast then you probably need a smaller teat and likewise if your baby is finding bottle feeding really hard work then a larger teat may be required.

One thing that shouldn’t need to be said but I will say it anyway is never leave your baby alone to bottle feed, if you need to leave your baby even for a split second take the bottle away. A baby left alone to feed could end up vomiting and choking.

When bottle feeding always tilt the bottle as this will make sure that the teat remains full to prevent air from getting into the teat which can cause wind. If your baby is prone to suffering from wind then try winding half way through feeding and then again at the end of the feed. To wind your baby, lay him across your shoulder of on your lap and rub his back.

It is quite normal for babies to sometimes bring back up small amounts of milk during or after feeding (called possetting) and sometimes babies will bring up the entire content of their stomach in a forceful way which is called projectile vomiting. Possetting is not unusual neither should occasional projectile vomiting be cause for concern but if your baby is throwing up too frequently or forceful vomiting is occurring too often consult your doctor.

Submitted by:

Terry Ross

Terry Ross is the author for and the creator of: 1st-4-baby, a site dedicated to pregnancy, babies and baby care.




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