Bottle-feeding Your Baby
When you start feeding your baby, you naturally breast-feed it in the beginning. If you’re not able to breast-feed or if you want to share the experience with your spouse, then you can easily bottle-feed the baby instead.
Bottle feeding is a very simple thing to do, once both you and the baby are used to it. It is common to start bottle feeding the baby when it is about three month old. You can then either use breast milk or various substitutes.
Breast milk is the best option in the beginning, as the baby then only is confronted with the fact that the way it is fed is different, but the taste is the same. The mother can easily use a breast pump to extract milk from the breast and you can then store this milk for a limited time in the fridge. A breast pump is quickly purchased – try your hospital or local pharmacy. Be sure to clean the pump after every time you use it, in order to keep bacteria away.
When you bottle-feed the baby with substitute, a baby formula, you need to be sure to mix the powder with the right amount of fluids (milk or water). Shake the bottle and the powder will dissolve quickly. You can also substitute the breast milk with regular cow milk or any other animal milk.
For both types of food, they need to be heated before served to the baby. Be sure that the food is not too hot or too cold. Try it: drip a few drops onto the back or your hand. If it feels hot or cold, then is it not quite right yet. If you do not feel the liquid at all than it is just perfect. (If still in doubt, try the milk and taste it.)
When bottle feeding the baby, be sure to support it well. Have it half-lying on its back, have a pillow under it to make it more comfortable and be sure that especially the head is well supported. The baby feels more comforted drinking from the bottle if you have eye contact with the baby during the procedure (the same goes for breast feeding by the way).
The last tricky thing is to know how much the baby should have. Rather make some more than too little, as the baby might get very cranky when left hungry. Most bottles used for bottle feeding have grading on the side and you can easily portion out the right amount. If you are unsure, the fill the bottle, heat it and give to the baby. If the baby is finished, it will automatically leave the rest in the bottle. You can then measure the rest and will know how much fluids your baby consumed.