You've made the decision to bottle feed your infant. Now you want to be sure it's successful. Whether you are using breast milk or formula, these 5 secrets to successfully bottle feeding your infant may come in handy. My experiences as a mother and former nanny, in addition to research over the years, has taught me some great lessons that I hope will help others.
Choose the Proper Nourishment
Infants have sensitive stomachs. They also each have their own specific nutritional needs. A big part of successfully bottle feeding your infant is the choice of formula. You may use breastmilk exclusively, a combination of breastmilk and formula, or formula alone. If you are choosing formula, it is important to check with the pediatrician to be sure the brand and type you choose meets the needs of your baby.
Choose the Correct Bottles
Successfully bottle feeding an infant also lies in the bottle choice. Choose a bottle design that allows for the least amount of air bubbles to flow out with formula. Too many air bubbles can cause gas. Check not only the bottle itself, but the nipples and attachments as well. If the nipples flow too quickly, that also can cause too much air to escape while baby is feeding. The best bottle systems are designed to keep out air and have choices of nipples with varying flow levels. For instance, newborns should use nipples with a slower flow. However, older babies will swallow too much air from trying too hard on a nipple with very slow flow. The flow should match the baby’s efforts and abilities.
Burp Baby Often
Even with the best bottle systems, a baby is still going to need to be burped frequently. This does not mean the bottles aren't working. It is simply a normal action that should occur during and after feeding. Successfully bottle feeding an infant is about nourishing the baby as well as making sure the baby is comfortable as possible. Relieving the baby by burping him or her is part of that. Talk with your pediatrician about proper burping techniques if you’re having difficulties with what was instructed by the medical professionals at your birthing location.
Keep Bottles at Correct Angle
There is no general angle that will apply to all bottles because there are so many different designs. However, keeping bottles at the correct angle for their design and baby’s needs will be integral to successfully bottle feeding your infant. The bottle should be held at an angle that allows the formula or breast milk to flow without any air pockets. Some bottles are designed with a tilted position that helps with this, while others are not. Follow the directions that come with the bottle, as well as instructions from the pediatrician.
Hold Infant Close and at Proper Angle
Another very important aspect of successfully bottle feeding your infant will be bonding. Be sure to hold the baby close and at an appropriate angle for feeding. Baby's head and chest should be elevated and your baby should be supported at all points. Perhaps the most common bottle feeding position is to lie baby in the lap and support his or head with one arm, holding the baby close. Use the opposite hand to feed the bottle to the baby. Ask the pediatrician to instruct you of proper feeding positions shortly after birth.
-- Note that the author is not a licensed medical professional. The above is provided for informational purposes. Always consult a licensed medical professional for any advice pertaining to health matters.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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