I’m not going to pretend that bottle feeding is as good for your baby as breast feeding, but i don’t want you to feel guilty, either. If you’re undecided, look back to the sections on breast feeding so that you’re aware of its positive advantages. Bottle feeding does, how ever, mean that both of you can share all of your baby’s care equally.
FEEDING YOUR BABY
Either of you can bottle feed your baby, but bottle feeding really allows a father to come into his own. When you are giving your baby a bottle, you can mimic the close ness of breast feeding by cradling him close in the crook of your arm. Hold him so his face is 8-10 in (20-25 cm) away from yours, in a position where he can make eye contact with you. If possible, open your shirt and hold him against your bare skin.
GIVING YOUR BABY A BOTTLE
Before you start, check also that the flow from the nipple is neither too fast nor too slow before giving the bottle, tip it up to make sure the nipple produces a flow of several drops a second. Your baby may break naturally for a burp half way through the feeding, but it isn’t necessary to force him to burp by rubbing his back if he’s still hungry, he’ll just get up set. If he seems comfortable, let him feed with out a break until he’s had enough.
STERILIZING AND PREPARING BOTTLES
If you are bottle feeding, hygiene and making up feedings correctly are important to avoid health problems with your baby. To ensure that your baby thrives and to avoid infection.
- Buy equipment well in advance and practice cleaning and sterilizing bottles.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling bottles and feeding your baby.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when sterilizing bottles.
- Bottles should be fully immersed in sterilizing fluid and left for at least two hours or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- With 6-7 feedings in 24 hours for the first few weeks, change the sterilizing fluid twice a day. Later you can reduce this to once a day.
- Make up batches of six bottles at a time and store them in the refrigerator. When all but two bottles have been used, make up some more.
- Never add extra scoops of formula or sugar.
When a feeding is over, pour away left over milk, clean and rinse the bottle, cover, and place to one side until you are ready to sterilize it.
Never give a baby left over milk from a bottle because it may be contaminated. Always use or make up a fresh bottle and keep a couple of cartons of ready made formula for emergencies.
KEEPING BOTTLES CLEAN
Scrupulous hygiene is essential if you are bottle feeding. Milk can be a rich breeding ground for the bacteria that cause diseases such as gastroenteritis, so sterilize bottles, nipples and all other equipment used for feeding until your baby is six months old. Clean bottles and nipples thoroughly as described below before sterilizing. Once your baby is over 12 months, you can wash the equipment in a dishwasher.
Scrub bottles and nipples with a bottle brush and hot, soapy water to remove all traces of milk, then rinse well in cold water.
Wash the nipples thoroughly, paying attention to the inside rim and making sure that the holes are also clear. Then rinse in cold water.