There are many reasons why moms bottle feed their babies. Some moms choose to feed their babies formula from birth and other moms find breastfeeding a struggle and decide to formula feed at some stage due to breastfeeding difficulties.
There are also plenty of moms that choose to express milk and feed their babies with a bottle. This is an option many mothers choose when they need to return to work but they still want to have their baby drink breast milk.
It is important to remember that the way that you choose to feed your baby and your reasons for doing so is your own personal choice. Fed is best.
Here are some bottle feeding tips:
Bottles and Teats
When you go to the baby store for the first time you will probably be overwhelmed with the number of options available. While many people recommend specific brands or types of teats it really is impossible to know which one will work best with your baby until you actually try them out.
There are teats that are manufactured as close as possible to a real nipple and there are some teats and bottles that are manufactured to help with colic and wind.
There are teats that are manufactured for newborns and some for older babies. Some teats have a fast flow which could cause your baby to gag and splutter and others the flow is too slow which can be frustrating for your baby.
You are going to need to experiment and see what works best and keep in mind that what works brilliantly for your first baby may be an epic fail for your second baby.
One thing I recommend is to choose a bottle that has the measurements in the plastic rather than printed on since with washing those measurements often wash away very quickly whereas the ones that have the measurements etched into the plastic will stay visible no matter how often you wash the bottles.
Also keep in mind that you don’t have to keep the same teats that came with the bottles. None of the popular name brand bottles worked well with my daughter. Many of them leaked or didn’t work well. I landed up buying a cheap bottle one day from a discount store and putting in a good quality teat and it worked like a charm! No more leaks and no more problems.
Chances are good you will receive some bottles and teats at your baby shower. Don’t go out and buy more until you have given those a test run to see which ones you like before you buy any more.
Breastfeeding there is nothing you need to do except have your baby with you and you have milk at the ready at the right temperature at any time you need it. Bottle feeding your baby is going to be more challenging since you need to think and plan ahead all the time.
Your newborn baby will need to feed approximately every 2 hours so if you are going to be away from home for any period of time you must make sure that you have a bottle and formula ready when your baby needs it.
Depending on the period of time that you are going to be out for you may want to either prepare bottles of formula before you leave home or you can take the formula powder and a bottle with you. Either way that you do it you will want to make sure that you have access to boiling water. If you are taking formula that has already been prepared you will want to heat it. If you are taking the powder to make up as needed you will need boiling water to make it up.
For staying prepared at home I highly recommend this baby formula kettle. This will keep the water at the required temperature ready for you at any time that you need it. This is especially brilliant for night time feeds since if you boil the kettle to make formula in the middle of the night you will have to wait to it to cool which is not great when you have a hungry crying baby. If you prepare the formula before you go to bed and keep it fresh in the fridge you will need to wait for the milk to warm so it is not too cold for baby.
Another brilliant option is this baby formula maker. It will mix a baby bottle for you in seconds to the perfect temperature which will really make your life so much easier.
Most babies spit up during or after feeding. While it is very common it is best to try and keep this to a minimum where possible The following tips will help to reduce spitting up:
- Make sure your baby’s head is higher than his feet while feeding
- Feed him smaller portions more often
- Burp your baby a few times during each feed as well as afterwards
- After feeding keep your baby upright and avoid bouncing your baby
- Keep your baby’s tummy free from any restrictions such as tight clothing and a diaper
While spitting up is perfectly normal if it is excessive make sure to check with your pediatrician.
Some babies are allergic to the protein in cow’s milk which is the same basic ingredient in many baby formulas. If your baby has any allergic reaction to his formula, such as an upset stomach, wheezing or itchy, swollen or watery eyes you will need to try a different formula. Try to find a formula that is free from that protein such as soy formula or an amino acid-based formula. It is important to note that babies can also be allergic to soy formula.
If your baby has allergies you may want to get advice from your pediatrician to help guide you in finding the right formula for your baby.
It is important to note that if your baby gets hives, swelling in the throat or mouth, and vomiting you need to take your baby to the emergency room.