Formula Feeding: Getting Started
If you are not breastfeeding, formula is your other choice. Formula is made to have many of the nutrients found in breastmilk. Start by selecting an iron-fortified formula. Formula comes as powder, concentrated liquid, and ready-to-feed. Powder or concentrate are the least expensive. Prepare formula as it says on the can or bottle. When preparing formula:
- Always wash your hands. Clean bottles, nipples, and utensils with hot soapy water. Rinse well before using, or use a dishwasher.
- If tap water is used, run the cold water for 2 minutes and then boil it for 1 minute before using. Once you open and prepare the formula, use it or refrigerate it immediately. Use prepared formula within 48 hours.
- Use powdered formula within one month of opening the can. Use concentrate within 48 hours after opening.
If you warm bottles for your baby, do it in a pan of hot water. Always check the formula to make sure it is not too hot. Shake some on your wrist. It should not feel hot. Do not use a microwave oven. This may cause serious burns.
Make sure that everybody who gives the baby formula follows these directions
How to Give a Bottle
Always hold your baby while she is drinking from the bottle.
- Hold her in a comfortable position.
- Tilt the bottle so that the nipple fills with milk.
- Most babies finish a bottle in 15-20 minutes.
- Burp your baby half-way through the feeding and at the end. If she spits up a lot, it may help to burp her more often.
- If the bottle is not finished when your baby is done, throw away the leftover formula. Do not save it for the next feeding.
- Feed your baby as often as she wants. Babies using formula usually eat every 2–4 hours.
- Ask your doctor or nurse if you have questions about nipples, bottles, or feeding.
- Prevent “baby bottle tooth decay.” Do not let your baby sleep with a bottle filled with juice or formula at bedtime or naptime.
It may take a while for breastfed babies to get used to drinking from a bottle.
Burping Your Baby
Burping makes your baby more comfortable by getting the air out of his stomach. Here are three ways to burp your baby:
- Put his head over your shoulder, and gently rub his back.
- Lay him over your lap, stomach side down, and gently rub his back.
- Sit him on your lap, with your hand supporting his chest and head. Gently rub his back.
It is common for babies to spit up a little milk when being burped. After burping, you can clean your baby’s gums with a soft, clean cloth.
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