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Bottle feeding mistakes

Bottle feeding is not difficult, however, several rules must be observed for feeding to be safe and effective. After a few times, correct ways will become natural to you. Here we discuss common mistakes that should be avoided.
Paulina Heromińska | 16 March 2014

What should you avoid when feeding with a bottle? Check:

Accessories

  • Enlarging a hole in a teat
    Sometimes mums think that milk flow from a bottle is too slow and the baby is tired of this, and they want to help him with suckling, so they enlarge the hole in the teat. However, too large hole can cause baby's choking, and the baby forced to swallow fast will also swallow a lot of air, and this can result in colics. The hole made by you can have sharp edges dangerous for the baby. Instead, when buying a teat, pay attention to its label and buy the one appropriate for your baby's age. When he grows a bit, you will buy another, with faster flow; then your baby will be ready for it.

  • Using damaged teat
    Do not save on teats. You should replace them when the baby is older than suggested age group for that teat, as well as when the teat looks worn, is cracked or bitten. The baby can choke on a torn piece of the teat. Dirt and bacteria accumulate also in these cracks that are invisible to a naked eye. So for safety reasons, you should replace a teat every three months on average.

Formula

  • Inappropriate for the age
    Infant formula must be selected appropriately for your baby's age. A formula label contains precise information for which babies the given formula is intended. Each age has different requirements, infant formulas are appropriately matched to the baby's age, so you can trust a producer in that respect.

  • Incorrect ratios
    When preparing the formula, you should strictly adhere to the guidelines on a packaging. Do not make the formula too thick or too thin. Too large doses of protein or mineral components can be a burden to the baby's digestive tract or kidneys. Too thin formula can result in deficiency of necessary components in the baby's diet.

  • Tap water
    You cannot use tap water to prepare infant formula. It should be prepared with bottled low-mineralized mineral water. Water must be fresh and cannot stand in the sun.

  • Preparing for later
    Formula must be prepared just before use, leftover loses its nutritional value. When you plan to go out with the baby, take a measure of powder, and water in a thermos flask, to mix them at the right moment.

Hygiene

  • Incorrectly washed accessories
    A dirty bottle or a teat can cause many unpleasant gastric ailments, as well as thrush sores. Dried-up saliva, remains of old milk are a good medium for bacterial growth. Feeding accessories should be washed and then boiled until the baby is 6 months old. Later, you do not have to boil everything after each use, but once every few days will do no harm.

  • Licking before feeding
    Sometimes a parent, to check formula's temperature, licks the teat. You mustn't do this. There are bacteria and other microorganisms in adult's mouth that do not cause any diseases in adults, but can be dangerous to the baby. We can be carriers of diseases and not get ill, but their consequences in a small baby are unknown. To check the formula temperature, it is better to squeeze a few drops of the formula on the inner side of your elbow or wrist.

  • Leaving leftovers "for later"
    First, as we have already mentioned, only freshly prepared formula has appropriate nutritional value. Second, during feeding bacteria gets into formula, and left alone, they multiply. Such formula can be hazardous to the delicate organism of the baby. The best solution is to develop a habit of pouring out the remaining formula immediately after feeding, particularly, as the bottle and the teat with dried up remains are more difficult to wash thoroughly.​

Bad habits

  • Falling asleep with a bottle
    The baby often falls asleep during feeding, especially in the evening. However, we do not recommend using the bottle to lull the baby. The baby should not fall asleep with formula remains in his mouth, it is not good for his future teeth. Before sleep the baby's gums should be wiped with a moistened swab, and any present teeth should be brushed. Also, from  a psychological point of view, falling asleep with a bottle is not a good idea; later it will be very difficult to break this habit. It is better to give the baby a pacifier instead.

  • Overfeeding
    Contrary to breastfeeding, when feeding with infant formula you should adhere to doses recommended for a baby of a given age. The scheme looks roughly as below:

  • 1st month of life - 7 times, 90–110 ml each

  • 2nd month - 6 times, 110–130 ml each

  • 3rd month - 6 times, 130 ml each

  • 4th month - 6 times, 150 ml each

  • 5th and 6th month - 4 times, 180 ml each

  • 7th to 9th month - 4 times, 180-200 ml each

  • 10th to 12th month - 3 times, 180-220 ml each.

Individual needs of your baby can be slightly different, but you should follow these standards. 

  • Soothing emotions with a bottle
    Many mums rush to their baby with a bottle any time he cries. First, it leads to overfeeding. Second, a crying baby can easily choke on milk. Before you give him a bottle, first try to soothe him a bit, cuddle, hold in your arms. Do not treat food as a handy pacifier. The baby can cry for various reasons, and not only because of hunger. Maybe his diaper is wet, he is uncomfortable or simply needs his parent.


NOTE
 

You mustn't feed the baby lying flat on his back. In such case there is a risk of choking and regurgitation. Baby's head should be higher than his chest. You can hold the baby in your arms or on your bent knees in front of you.

 

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