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Safe bottle feeding

During bottle feeding it is extremely important to ensure baby's health and safety, by preventing choking or possible problems with his tummy. Therefore, you should pay attention to the feeding method, position during feeding with a bottle, as well as ensure correct selection of feeding accessories. Our experts will help you with all this.
Edited by LOVI | 17 March 2014

Teat size is important

The teat flow speed is of great importance to a baby's safety. Too low speed can result in a teat being sucked in, so the baby swallows air and, in consequence, has problems with his tummy. On the other hand, when  the flow is too fast, the baby is forced to suck faster, and, in consequence, also swallow faster; furthermore, he needs to coordinate these two actions with breathing. It often happens that the baby is not able to match the suckling rate to a fast milk flow. He chokes, and only violent coughing saves him from smothering.

So you must select the type of flow very carefully, and replace teats at intervals recommended by manufacturers (silicon or latex, of which the teats are made, stretches and deforms with use and sterilization). You should not increase the teat flow speed yourself.

Selecting accessories for feeding
- experts suggest what is important
 

Barbara Pajek, MD

neonatologist, with 30 years of experience in working with healthy and disabled children.

The bottle must always be of the highest quality, made of safe, tested and certified materials. Also, an efficient venting (anti-colic) system is very important, as well as ensuring the baby can breathe freely through his nose during effective suckling, without a risk of choking or smothering with fluid. All this, to a large extent, depends on a professionally selected teat.

 

Lidia Mordawska, midwife

obstetrics specialist, adviser for nursing mothers groups, clinical research coordinator

The most important thing is to adhere to all strict standards of safety and highest quality for raw materials used to manufacture the bottle and the teat. Furthermore, the baby should be able to combine various types of suckling (breast and bottle), both when a breastfed baby is supplemented, or a baby is mainly fed from a bottle, with only a small share of breastfeeding.
 

Aleksandra Łada 

clinical neuro-speech therapist, Nutrition Disorders and Early Childhood Communication Development Specialist, University lecturer in clinical speech therapy, NDT SLT Senior Tutor

It is very important to ensure that the bottle allows the baby to develop the suckling pattern relatively similar to that of natural feeding. The teat should have a dynamic design and work actively in the baby's mouth, in a way imitating suckling from the breast, and stimulating the infant to active work. This supports correct development of speech muscles, and forms a basis for correct development of child's speech in the future.

 

 

Formula matching baby's needs

Selection of infant formula is determined by baby's age and his individual needs. When the baby is given a formula not matching his needs, he is at risk of developing digestion problems, and a formula inappropriate for baby's age may not meet his nutritional requirements.  

Preparing the formula you must always follow these 3 iron-clad rules:

  1. When preparing a formula, use boiled low-mineralized spring water, and adhere to the best before date and mixing ratios specified by the manufacturer.

  2. Mix formula powder with water immediately before giving it to the baby.

  3. Pour out any leftovers and rinse the bottle.

We say no to bacteria

Safety requires cleanness, and for the youngest, also sterilization. A baby' digestive tract is still immature, and remains of sweet milk are an excellent medium for bacteria.  So only a thorough washing, boiling and sterilization of teats and bottles can protect your baby against ailments related to the digestive tract, such a diarrhea or food poisoning, as well as against fungal infections, such as thrushes.  (Description of hygiene measures for teats and bottles can be found in the article

Bottle OSH)

Feeding position

A correct position protects the baby against choking or smothering, so a lying position is not recommended.
Also, never leave the baby alone while he is suckling from the bottle, or allow him to fall asleep with a teat in his mouth."

For feeding, place the baby in a higher position, i.e., semi-inclined or semi-seating, so his head and neck form a straight line with his body and he can breathe freely and swallow food easily. Baby's head should be placed in the crook of adult's elbow, symmetrically, in line with his spine. Correct position for feeding must be comfortable both for the baby and the feeding person.

Try to change the position, feeding the baby alternately on your right and left arm, with his side to you, or with the baby facing you, this is important for uniform development of the baby's muscles and prevention of postural asymmetry.

Holding a bottle

An adult should hold the bottle steadily, but lightly. We would recommend profiled bottles of a shape facilitating their correct holding in the hand. Hold the bottle perpendicularly to the baby's mouth. This will allow adapting to his suckling pattern, and the bottle will not press on baby's jaw and lips. Try to keep the elongated part of the teat fully filled with milk. 

Hold me and talk to me sweetly :)

Bottle-feeding is a perfect time for closeness and tenderness. You can seat the baby on your thigh, with his side towards you and his back resting on your other thigh, embrace him with your other hand, and cuddle him."

You can also sit on a floor, with your back against a sofa/armchair/wall and your legs bent; put the baby on your lap facing you, with his back on your legs and his bottom on your belly. This is a perfect position for looking into each other's eyes, long and lovingly.

Regardless of a position in which you will feed your baby, you can always whisper endearments or sing to him, caress him delicately, or rock him slightly. It is not only very pleasant to both of you, but gives a sense of security and plenty of love to your baby.

It should be mentioned here that, contrary to breastfeeding, these tender moments of bottle-feeding can also be shared by Dad or other members of family. We would recommend using this opportunity, as it is a perfect way to develop the bond with the baby.

Nothing by force

When the baby is healthy, gains weight correctly, and does not posset too much, you must trust him and follow his pattern. Then, it is him who dictates a number of breaks in feeding, amount of food eaten and feeding frequency,  and not stiff theoretical guidelines.

This requires caution and attention of the adult, and sometimes, a support of a pediatrician. Observe your baby, probably he himself will signal to you when you should take the bottle away and lift him for burping; however, when the baby is troubled by colics, you should do this a few times during feeding. Do not force a dose of milk specified in a feeding scheme, because when the baby gains weight correctly, it will not harm him if sometimes he eats less, and at other times more.

Also you should never try to feed the baby when he is very uneasy, cries or screams, as milk can get into his larynx, and not to his larynx, posing a risk of choking or smothering! Soothe him, when he cries with hunger, start with touching his mouth delicately with a teat, and put it into his mouth only when he is no longer crying.

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17 JULY 2017
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Karmienie piersią jest jedynym naturalnym sposobem żywienia niemowląt i żaden preparat zastępujący mleko kobiece nie posiada identycznych właściwości, co mleko kobiece.
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