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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles Bottle Feeding

Bottle Feeding:

If you decide to bottle feed your baby formula from the very beginning, there are a few things you should be aware of that can help you along throughout the entire time your baby is drinking from a bottle.

• Begin with several nipples—you really don't know which type of nipple your baby will prefer, so you will want to have at least a couple of different kinds on hand just in case your baby doesn't agree with your preference. You also will not want to try to switch nipples after your baby has gotten attached to one kind.

• Always follow formula guidelines—if you mix formula incorrectly it can make your baby sick. The only time that you should ever do this is if your doctor specifically recommends it.

• Cleaning—even as your baby gets older, you will want to sanitize their bottles. If you have a dishwasher, these will work to sanitize the bottles as they are being cleaned. If not, you can boil the bottles and the nipples, or you can run a sink full of soapy hot water (as hot as the water will get) and let the nipples and bottles soak until the water is cold. Then you can run more hot water and actually wash them. You will want to make sure you always rinse a baby's bottles and nipples very well, because soap residue can hurt their stomach. You will also never want to use bleach or any other types of harsh chemicals to clean the bottles or nipples. One of the easiest ways to scrub bottles and nipples is to use a bottle/nipple scrub brush combo. These can work wonders for reaching areas of the bottle that the hands just can't get to. Another cleaning tip for nipples is to turn them inside out before you soak or boil them. Then, after they have been sanitized, you can flip them back normal, and wash them. This can help to make sure that the inside gets sanitized as well as the outside.

• Formula temperature—this is one of the big ones that people fail to mention to soon-to-be parents. Unless you decide to use refrigerated formula, there is no need to heat a bottle for a baby. Room temperature bottles will satisfy a baby just fine, as long as that's what they are used to. The best way to do this is to keep a bottle of baby's water on the counter or in a cabinet, and when you mix the bottle, it will be ready to feed the baby. Doing this makes it a lot easier for those middle of the night feedings, and for feedings when you are out in public or traveling, etc. When you get your baby accustomed to warm bottles in the beginning, it is likely that they will not take a cooler bottle at a later time. If you do premix formula and keep it refrigerated, it is best to heat it only enough to knock the chill off of it. This way, even though you are technically heating the bottle, the baby isn't drinking one that's really warm.

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