When you first buy bottles, nipples, and rings make sure you sterilize them before use. To do this, place them in a pot of boiling water for five minutes, and then dry them with a clean towel. Finally, wash them in hot, soapy water or in the dishwasher.
Some parents sterilize the water used to make formula, although this may not be necessary. You can sterilize the water by boiling it for at least one minute. Be sure to let it cool before serving it to your baby.
Test the temperature of any warmed bottles by placing a few drops on your wrist before feeding it to your baby. If it feels hot on your skin, then it is too hot to feed to your baby.
When you are feeding your baby, make sure the baby is sitting in an upright position so that your baby does not swallow air or choke.
Your baby may prefer warm milk, but it is not required for health reasons. To warm the milk before giving it to your baby, run it under the tap. Never use a microwave to heat a bottle, since a microwave heats unevenly and it can harm your baby by causing burns.
Feeding Your Baby
Make sure you take breaks to burp your baby when you are feeding. This helps remove swallowed air.
Try to offer your baby a bottle every few hours or anytime the baby shows any sign of being hungry, but not more frequently than every three to four hours.
Do not give your baby a bottle to sleep with because it could cause tooth decay. Not only can it affect their baby teeth, but it can cause dental problems that affect permanent teeth.
Do not feed cereal mixed with breast milk or formula from a bottle because it can cause choking and overfeeding. It may also get in the way of the infant's ability to learn to eat from a spoon.
Leftover formula should be thrown away! The bacteria from the baby's mouth contaminates the formula where it can grow and multiply.
Your baby will need breast milk or formula until he or she is a year old. Both provide important nutrients that are easier to digest. While solid foods will eventually replace breast milk or formula, your baby will still need these nutrients during the first year.
Moving From Breast to Bottle
Weaning is the stage in your baby's life when he or she switches from breast milk to other sources of food.
Weaning is easier if a child has had formula or breast milk in a bottle. One good way of weaning is to pump your breast for milk and give an occasional bottle of breast milk to your child as your child is growing. This will better prepare them for bottle feeding when you and your child are ready to stop breastfeeding.
This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in cooperation with the
Maryland Department of Human Resources and the University of Maryland. The University of Maryland Extension
will not discriminate against any person because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation,
physical or mental disability,
religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information,
and gender identity or expression.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
assistance to people
with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more,
contact the Maryland Department of Human Resources at 1-800-332-6347 or apply online at www.marylandsail.org.