There is an awful lot of pressure placed on new moms these days, and one of these areas includes the subject of breastfeeding. Now while we all agree that breast is best, at the end of the day the choice to breastfeed or bottle feed is Mom’s choice.
If you are the mom of a new baby, or perhaps expecting soon, bear in mind that if you have decided not to breastfeed it is your right. You do not have to endure the long speeches about just how bad a mother you are because you have chosen bottle over breast, and you certainly have no reason to believe your child will be any worse off.
Now, having made that decision, let’s take a closer look at what bottle feeding your baby is all about.
Formulas for 3 stages
Bottle feeding formulas are usually available for three different age groups, namely for birth to six months, six to twelve months and over twelve months. Formulas also come in hypo-allergenic, anti-reflux and lactose-free varieties for those babies having trouble with the regular formulas. It may take a try or two until you find the formula best suited to your baby, but all contain essential nutrients that are vital for the health growth of junior.
Probably the biggest advantage of bottle feeding over breastfeeding is that you can establish a feeding routine soon in baby’s life because you can measure exactly how much he is drinking and thereby stagger his feeds accordingly.
But you need to be very organised with this method. When baby wakes he will want a feed there and then. This doesn’t allow you the time to boil the water, make the bottle and then let it cool. Baby has no patience for this!
Topping it up!
Another smashing idea is to fill a flask with boiled water in the morning and just keep topping it up after making each new bottle. This way you will always have warm water. Be sure to always check the temperature of each bottle before giving it to your baby.
It is a good idea to prepare a new bottle after every feed. Remember to always sterilise each bottle after every feed!
Another sneaky idea is to buy a food steamer instead of a bottle steriliser to sterilise the bottles. When baby grows up you can always use it to prepare healthy meals for him.
Great choice of bottles
When it comes to bottles there are many variations when it comes to shape and colour. Many people simply choose bottles for their babies by what catches their own eye. There is a range of vented bottles which allow air to enter the bottle while the baby is drinking without the need to break the baby’s suction during feeding. Alternatively a bottle liner can be used to enclose the formula instead of directly in the bottle. The liner collapses as the formula is drained.
But bottle teats, also in great abundance, need a little closer consideration. Basically modelled on a nursing mother’s nipple, teats come in various flow rates which are governed by the size and number of holes. The ideal flow rate should be determined by the age of your baby.
The basics you will need when setting up the bottle feeding regime is basically six to eight bottles, a microwave, steam or cold water steriliser and a bottle brush. Should your baby need a more specific teat, try to get as many as you have bottles.
Tip: Take your time making baby’s bottles. It is important to stay focused on the job at hand so you don’t forget how much formula you are mixing.