Bottle feeding babies according to experts should not follow a strict pattern in the initial weeks, although within a couple of months, you will be able to work out a fixed schedule. Offer the bottle or your breast every couple of hours initially or when baby’s hungry. Until the weight of the baby is 10 pounds, they will take around 3 ounces per feeding.
Bottle feeding a baby should not be forced; at least babies should not be given more than they are willing to eat. Consult the pediatrician for advice on the quantity which is suitable for your little one as they grow.
Every parent will start a new way of bottle feeding babies which is comfortable for the child.
Generally, baby will let you know in case they are uncomfortable, although there are certain pointers to remember about bottle feeding a baby to ensure that they receive more of milk and less air. Here’s how to go about:
- Use a bib on the child in case there is a spill or spit up to prevent baby’s clothing, so that you have less mess to clean up.
- Bottle feeding babies is done by cradling the child in one arm with baby reclining, without laying them down completely. If they are laid down, milk might travel into the infant’s tube and lead to ear infection.
- Lean the arm that supports your baby on the arm of a chair or nursing pillow for arm support without tiring yourself out.
- With the other hand, place the bottle comfortably into baby’s mouth allowing them to feed. At this time of bottle feeding a baby, you can bond with your baby, as you would have if you breastfed them. The feedings may be accompanied with singing or talking.
- If bottle feeding a baby leads to cries, wiggles or screams, you may burp the baby. You may require burping younger babies twice or thrice during a feeding. Sit baby up while offering support to their head, if they cannot support their head. Rub baby’s back in gentle circular movements until baby burps. At times, it might take awhile, although you will possibly develop a routine which suits your baby.
- After bottle feeding babies, throw away the rest of the formula or milk because it can be contaminated by bacteria from the baby’s mouth. If it exceeds 20 minutes, you should not use the milk as bacteria grow quickly. Replace with fresh milk or formula instead.
To ensure that you are bottle feeding a baby successfully, you have to observe and listen. In case there are many noisy and sucking sounds during the drinking, the baby might be taking in too much of air. To make sure that less air is swallowed, hold them at an angle of 45 degrees. Make sure that the bottle is always tilted so that the neck and nipple is filled with formula or milk always.
Bottle feeding babies should not be done with propping as it might lead to choking. Remember to bottle feed safely while bonding and snuggling with baby.