Having a baby can be a difficult experience, particularly the post-birth time period whereby you will be required to feed the child. There are two options to feeding your newborn: breast feeding or bottle feeding. Some individuals choose to breast feed exclusively, however there are also those who choose to complement breast feeding with bottle feeding. While the option is yours, there are various facts that you must consider when feeding your child and this article will present them to you. This article will explain the basics of bottle feeding, as well as pointing out how to make this feeding a safe and stress-free experience for all parties involved.
When should I feed my baby?
Research indicates that an infant should be provided with their own feeding routine when bottle fed. As a general guideline, a child will require an average feeding of approximately 2 – 2.5 ounces of formula per pound per day; however, the times are amendable allowing feedings to occur when the baby is awake and receptive. Small feedings are most recommended as an infant’s stomach is small and if you present the child with a large amount of formula the chances are likely that he/she will be sick and will refuse to finish the bottle.
Which formula is best?
Despite there being various brands of formula available on the market, there is very little that differs between the formula mixtures. The majority of the milks are made from cows’ milk as manufacturers attempt to replicate breast milk as much as possible. All formulas will contain protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals; and the option made will generally depend on your child’s taste preference and the GP’s recommendation. Formulas are available in powder or liquid form.
How do I feed my baby from a bottle?
To effectively bottle feed a baby there are various steps to follow, steps which are detailed below:
- hold your infant close to your body when feeding. This will provide your baby will a feeling of security and warmth.
- hold your infant fairly upright during the feeding supporting it in a comfortable and neutral position.
- hold the feeding bottle horizontal to the ground tilting it just enough so that your baby is receiving formula and not air through the teat. Infants feed in short bursts of sucking with minor pauses, therefore you must hold your baby in a comfortable position fully supported in that he/she can rest without the milk flowing relentlessly allowing him/her to have a short rest between sucks.
- persuade the baby to begin feeding by brushing the bottle’s teat against his/her lips. When he/she opens his/her mouth help the infant draw the teat into the mouth and begin sucking.
- In addition to short breaks, an infant will require burps in between sucking during feeds.
- It is important to interrupt a feed from time to time to provide your baby with the chance to determine how ‘full’ he/she is. This registering of feeding will control formula intake and ensure you do not overfeed the baby.
- Caring for a baby requires knowledge and a desire to undertake this responsibility. This article provides insight into supporting and bottle feeding an infant.