Are you a new mother who wants to bottle feed your baby? Or maybe you’re already a mom who has been bottle feeding for years and would love some tips on improving your technique. Either way, this definitive guide is for you!
Bottle feeding is a common practice among new moms. However, there are many myths surrounding bottle feeding that need to be debunked.
This guide will help you understand what bottle feeding really entails, why it works, and how to improve your technique.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Bottle feeding?
- 2 Terms to know about Bottle feeding:
- 3 Pros and Cons of Bottle feeding
- 4 Bottle feeding basics
- 5 FAQs
What is Bottle feeding?
Bottle feeding is the process of feeding an infant with a plastic or glass bottle.
The process of bottle feeding is done by using a plastic or glass bottle that comes with a nipple. The nipple is inserted into the baby’s mouth and milk from the bottle is expressed through sucking.
The infant drinks milk directly from a bottle. This can be done at any time during infancy, but most commonly occurs in the first few months after birth.
Bottle feeding as a method of feeding babies that was popularized in the 1970s and 1980s. The use of bottles has been found to be more convenient for mothers, who no longer need to feed their babies with their hands, as well as for doctors who are able to monitor the diet more easily.
Bottle feeding has also been found to be better for mothers than breastfeeding, because it can help prevent postpartum depression and mastitis. However, bottle-feeding has been linked to an increased risk of obesity and tooth decay among children.
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months, followed by continued breastfeeding for two years or more alongside foods.
But in some cases, it is necessary to use bottles for feeding your baby. This can be because of an illness that requires the child to be fed by someone else, or if you are away from your child and cannot breastfeed them on demand.
Terms to know about Bottle feeding:
Infant formulae ( also known as Baby Formula)
These are also known as powdered formula, liquid formula, liquid concentrate etc
These are powder/ liquid products made specifically for infants. They contain all the nutrients needed for healthy growth and development.. They are mixed with water to make formula milk. It contains proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and additives. which are essential for their nutrtional needs
Baby bottles are containers used for feeding infants. They can be made of glass, plastic, ceramic, metal, wood, or silicone. They come in various shapes and sizes and are manufactured by large companies
Baby bottle nipple
The nipple of a baby bottle is an important part of the feeding process. It provides the breast-feeding feel that babies need to be satisfied.
It is important for it to be made from soft and flexible materials that are safe for babies, like silicone.
The design should also be ergonomic so that it can fit into a baby’s mouth easily and they don’t have to work hard to suck on it.
The introduction of the baby bottle nipple is credited to a large extent to Dr. Luther Emmett Holt.
In 1894, he helped to create a rubber nipple that could be attached to an infant’s bottle, which would prevent the baby from swallowing air and help them feed more efficiently.
This device was a milestone because it was the first time that babies were able to drink milk without having to suck on their own nipples.
In recent years, many parents have become concerned about plastics and chemicals found in some baby bottles.
There are also parents who are opposed to giving their children artificial nipples at all and want them to breastfeed exclusively for six months or more.
As such, there has been a resurgence in interest for glass bottles with silicone nipples or breastfeeding as an alternative feeding method for infants.
Nipples are also known as Teats by many manufactures. They come in different sizes and with different flow rates to suit the feeding requirements of different infants.
It is very important ot use the right size of nipples with the appropriate flow rates to prevent a whole lot of problems that infants experience while bottle feeding.
Bottle feeding chair
Bottle feeding chairs are specially designed chairs that allow parents to feed their babies while they are sitting upright.
The chair is a great alternative to the traditional high chair which can be difficult for some parents and babies to get in and out of.
Some bottle feeding chairs feature a built-in cup holder, adjustable height legs, and a tray that can hold up to three bottles.
There are also bottle feeding stools available that are similar to highchairs but smaller than regular highchairs.
This is a preferred positon while bottle feeding your baby.
Semi-upright position is an upright position in which the head is inclined forward at 45 degrees but not touching the ground.
Your infant will have the least problems if you feed them in this position
A baby bottle warmer is a device that is used to heat up the milk in a baby’s bottle. The device does not have any direct contact with the milk and hence is safe for use. It can be powered by electricity or can be heated using a microwave oven.
The electric baby bottle warmer is more popular as it does not require any additional equipment like microwaves to heat the milk. It has an electric heating element that will keep the milk at a constant temperature for about 20 minutes. The time it takes for the milk to reach this temperature depends on how cold it was when you put it in.
The selection of a baby bottle warmer depends on various factors such as the type of heating mechanism, the temperature range, safety features and portability.
Baby bottle brushes are used for cleaning bottles and nipples. They have bristles that are usually soft and flexible, but can be stiffened when required.
The bristles are flexible enough to be bent around the neck of a bottle without breaking.
The bristles are usually made from silicone and nylon.
Baby bottle brushes are created for the purpose of cleaning bottles, nipples, and bottle parts that can’t be washed in a dishwasher or with soap and water.
This includes valves, nipples, rings, handles and other hard-to-reach spots.
American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is a professional organization of pediatricians, headquartered in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. The AAP has over 67,000 members. Its goals are to protect the health and well-being of infants, children and adolescents through advocacy and education.
The American Academy of Pediatrics was founded in 1930 by 35 pediatricians as an organization for pediatricians to advance the science of pediatrics and promote the care of children’s health.
Bottle storage systems
Some parents are so concerned about the safety of the baby’s food that they store the bottles in a refrigerator, but this is not recommended.
In fact, it can increase the risk of bacterial growth and spoilage. It is better to store bottles at room temperature in a safe place that is out of reach for children and pets.
Baby bottle storage systems have been designed to make this task easier for busy parents. They are designed to keep bottles at room temperature and provide an easy way to organize them into categories such as breastmilk, formula, or juices.
Baby Bottle Sterilizers
These are used for sterilizing your baby bottles .
Sterlizing bottles before using them is very important
There are various types available which use different methods to sterilize infant feeding equipment and items like bottles, nipples etc.
Pros and Cons of Bottle feeding
Bottle feeding is a controversial topic. There are many pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to breastfeed or bottle feed your baby.
Some people believe that it is best to naturally breastfeed your child while others believe that bottle feeding is the better option.
– Bottle feeding is convenient and can be done anywhere. It is convenient and easy to do while traveling or working
-It is available on demand round the clock
– Baby can have a more varied diet with a large choice of nutrients and ingredients.
– It’s easier for moms who have a hard time breastfeeding, or who need to go back to work soon after giving birth, or have some illness or allergy and dont want the baby to be too close to them.
– It provides babies with the necessary nutrients they need without the possible health risks that come with breastfeeding.
-it can help mothers who have difficulty and pain during nursing sessions. Such moms choose to supplement their breastfed babies with infant formula.
– Many mothers don’t produce sufficient milk and bottle feeding can help.
-it can be done anywhere, even in a public place. This is because you don’t need to worry about finding a private.
– Mothers can get a break by sharing the feeding task with fathers, grandparents, or other caregivers.
– Breastfeeding may be more natural for some women and their babies.
– Breastfed babies tend to be healthier than those fed with formula.
– Breastfeeding has been shown to help decrease rates of SIDS, ear infections, diarrhea, certain allergies and asthma in children. This is a great benefit of breastfeeding.
-You have to clean the bottles and sterilize them before each use otherwise you risk passing on infections to your baby.
-Some babies don’t like the taste of formula milk.
Bottle feeding basics
You may think that bottle feeding your baby is a luxury, but it’s actually a necessity. If you’ve never done it before, here’s how to do it properly.
It’s important to know what you’re doing when bottle feeding because if you don’t, you could end up hurting your child.
Here’s a quick guide to help you start off correctly.
How to get started with bottle feeds
1. Decide what you want to use
You start by deciding on whether you will use formula or breast milk. Formula should be mixed with water according to the directions on the package, and then heated until it’s warm.
Breast milk can be expressed directly into the bottle, or pumped into storage containers that can later be warmed in a microwave or small pot of boiling water before being poured into the bottle.
2. Find the right type of bottle
There are two types of bottles: disposable and reusable.
Disposable ones are usually made from plastic and are cheap. Reusable ones are usually made from glass and are more expensive.
When choosing a bottle for feeding baby, look for one that has a wide mouth and nipple that fits well into the baby’s mouth.
The bottle should be made from BPA free plastic.
Also, avoid bottles that contain phthalates, which can cause health issues such as asthma and allergies.
3. Choose the right nipple ( teat )
When choosing a nipple, look for one that fits comfortably in your mouth.
You should also avoid nipples that are too big or small. The nipple should fit snugly in your mouth, but not so tightly that it hurts.
The flow rate must be correct to avoid discomfort to the infant due to too much milk being forced into the infant’s mouth.
As your child grows you may have to get nipples with higher flow rates to match their needs.
4. Clean the bottle
Before using the bottle, wash it thoroughly with warm water and soap. Make sure there aren’t any cracks or crevices where bacteria can grow.
5. Heat the formula or milk to the correct temperature.
If you’re using powdered formula, mix it with hot water.
For liquid formula, heat it first in a microwave oven or stovetop.
Then let it cool down before putting it in the bottle.
Fill the bottle, put on the nipple and start to feeding your baby in a comfortable semi upright position
How often should you bottle feed a newborn?
Newborns need to be fed every 2-3 hours. A newborn will usually drink about 30-40 ounces of milk a day. The frequency of bottle feeding depends on the age of the baby and how much appetite they have.
Bottle feeding is a process that needs to be done with care and patience, so it is important to know how often you should bottle feed a newborn.
Do bottle fed babies sleep better?
A study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that bottle-fed infants slept longer than breastfed ones.
It means that if you’re struggling to get your newborn to sleep, you may be able to do so by giving him or her a bottle of formula.
What are Wrong bottle-feeding positions?
Bottle-feeding positions are a very important aspect of feeding your baby. The position that you feed your baby in, may affect how well they eat and how much milk they drink.
The wrong bottle-feeding positions is when the baby is lying straight on its back.
The right way to bottle-feed a baby is to use an upright position, which is when you support your baby’s head and neck by holding them upright against your chest or tummy while they drink from a bottle or cup.
Carrie Walters is a young mother of Nina and Tom, who along with her husband Jake is passionate about helping moms and families find modern solutions to common parenting and lifestyle questions. Together with a team of real moms and medical experts, this young couple share sound advice and proven tips to help make your life easier.
They manage this blog along with other blogs and Youtube channels on similar topics