Pregnancy week by week

Baby

Toddler

Feeding your baby

                                             
It is very important to make your baby’s formula feed up accurately according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If too much of powder is added, the feed will be too concentrated and this can make your baby ill. If it is too less, your baby will not get enough nourishment. So measure the water and the powder very carefully.

  1. Ensure all preparation surfaces are clean.
     
  2. Wash hands using soap and water

  3. Bring sufficient amount of fresh water to a boil. Don’t use the water that has already been boiled.

  4. Ensure all equipments (bottles, caps, teats, and rings) has been sterilised.

  5. Allow the boiled water to cool for no more than 30 minutes (25 minutes for 1 litre, 15 minutes for half litre).

  6. Pour the required amount of water in the bottle or feeding cup; check the measurement on the milk packet. The water must still be hot; otherwise any bacteria in the milk powder might not be destroyed.

  7. Always check that the water level is correct. Failure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions can make your baby ill.

  8. Check on the packet the recommended number of scoops of powder. Always use the scoop provided as it measures just the right amount of powder.

  9. Measure the formula carefully, using the scoop from the container. Level it off with a clean knife. Do not pack the powder down.

  10. Using too much powder can give your baby constipation and lead to dehydration; too little could mean that your baby is not getting the nutrients they need.

  11. Place the teat on top of the bottle, screw on the ring and cover the teat with a cap.

  12. Shake the bottle until the powder dissolves; stir cup with a sterilised spoon.

  13. Quickly cool to feeding temperature (under running water or placing the bottle in a container of cold water)

  14. Check the temperature of the feed by dropping a little onto the inside of your wrist. It should feel just warm to the touch, not hot.

  15. Make sure you make up a fresh bottle each time you feed your baby and throw away unused feed after two hours. Using stored formula milk can increase the chance of your baby becoming ill.

  16. Discard any feed that has not been consumed within 2 hours.
     
  17. Only put formula and water in the bottle. Do not add cereal, sugar, or anything else.

  18. Do not use a bottle to give soft drink or juices. There are not good drinks for a baby and will greatly increase their chance of getting tooth decay.

  19. Never leave your baby alone with a bottle.

                                             Feeding your baby

                         


Seat yourself comfortably and hold the baby in your arms while giving the bottle.  Hold your baby’s head higher than her body and support her head to make swallowing easier. Hold the bottle tilted, with the neck and the teat filled with formula. If your baby does not firmly grip the teat, gently press under their chin with your middle finger and slightly withdraw the teat to encourage sucking. This method will help prevent the baby from swallowing air, which can cause wind pain.

Check the bottle flow. When the bottle is upside down, the milk should drop at a steady flow from the teat. Sometimes the teat gets clogged when a powdered formula is used. Check teats often. Even when fed properly, a baby swallows some air. Hold your baby upright over your shoulder or upright on your lap with your hand supporting under the chin. Pat or rub the middle of their back gently until they burp.  If the baby is feeding happily, don’t stop until they are ready!

Let your baby set the pace. Do not rush. Although your baby may try to hold the bottle, she will not be able to feed herself until later in the first year. When she can feed herself, you can try offering formula in a cup. Even when your baby is a little older, they should never be left alone to feed with a propped-up bottle, as they may choke.


How often should I feed my baby?

Feed your baby when she shows signs of hunger, just as you would if you were breast feeding.  Hunger cues may include: bringing her hands to her mouth, sucking, rooting (turning her head towards the person holding her, often with her mouth open), irritability and crying. In the first few months of life, babies usually feed every 2 or 3 hours or at least 8 times a day. Bottle fed babies should be fed on demand. Each baby is different and needs vary from day to day. The following can be used as a general guide:

5 days-3 months: 150 ml/kg/day

3-6 months: 120ml/kg/day

6-12 months: 100ml/kg/day

It may take a while to settle into a feeding routine that suits both of you. Your baby may want to be fed as often as every 3 hours during the day. You do not need to follow an exact routine. As the baby gets older and sleeps through a night feed, it means they no longer need it. Do not wake the baby to feed him. Feeding time may last 20 to 30 minutes.

Never heat a bottle in a microwave. This can create hot spots in the milk that can burn your baby’s mouth. Instead let it stand in a bowl of hot water, or use electric bottle warmer. You should check regularly that teats are not torn or damaged. Throw away any that are cracked, sticky, or torn. When feeding, make sure you keep the teat full of milk; otherwise your baby will take in air and get wind. If the teat becomes flattened while you are feeding, pull gently on the corner of your baby’s mouth to release the vacuum. If the teat gets blocked, replace it with another sterile teat. Don’t try to force your baby to finish a bottle. They may have had enough for the time being or just want to rest. Signs that your baby has had enough formula include: closing her mouth, turning away from the bottle, pushing away from the bottle or the person feeding, or falling asleep.

Bottled water

Bottled water is not a healthier choice than RO water. It is usually not sterile. In fact, some natural mineral waters are not suitable for babies because of the amount of minerals they contain. If you need to use bottled water, remember that any bottled water that is labelled “natural mineral water” might contain too much sodium for babies. If you are giving bottled water to babies under six months, you should boil and cool it just like tap water. If you need to use bottled water to make up infant formula (for babies of any age), you should boil it and cool for no more than half an hour.

Bottles and teats

You might find it useful to have about six bottles and teats, so you can always have at least one or two bottles clean, sterilised and ready for use. Feeding bottles come in different shapes and sizes, so finding one that suits your baby may be a matter of trial and error.

You should check regularly that teats are not torn or damaged. Throw away any that are cracked, sticky, or torn. Teats come in different shapes and with different hole size, and you may have to try a few before you find the one that suits your baby. If the hole is too small, your baby will not get enough milk. If it’s too big, the milk will come too fast. To give a general idea, slow flow teat is ideal for newborns while fast flow teat is for older babies with a stronger suck.

It’s best if you can buy new bottles too. Check regularly to make sure the bottles are in good condition. If they are badly scratched, you will not be able to sterilise them properly.

Feeding away from home

The safest way of feeding your baby away from home is to carry a measured amount of milk powder in a small clean and dry container or a dispenser, a flask of boiled hot water and an empty sterilised feeding bottle. Make up a fresh feed whenever you need it. The water must still be hot when you use it, otherwise any bacteria in the milk powder might not be destroyed. Remember to cool the bottle under cold running water before you use it.

In case it is not possible to make up a fresh feed, or if you need to transport a feed for example to a nursery-you should prepare the feed at home and cool it in the back of the fridge for at least one hour. Take it out of the fridge just before you leave, and carry it in a cool bag with an ice pack and use it within four hours. If you reach your destination within four hours, take it out of the cool bag and store it at the back of a fridge for a maximum of 24 hours. Re-warm for no more than 15 minutes by letting it stand in a bowl of hot water.

Helpful tips: it is always safer to make up a fresh feed whenever possible. When this is not possible, feeds should never be stored for longer than 24 hours in a refrigerator.

When to use a cup
  • It is a good idea to aim to wean your baby off the bottle after 12 months.
     
  • Babies should be discouraged from holding the teat of a bottle in their mouths when they are not drinking. This is because it is important for learning to feed and talk, and for developing healthy teeth.

  • Babies can be encouraged to use cups when they start on solid food.

                     Some common problems with formula feeding

1. Crying and colic

2. Sickness and vomiting

Some babies bring up more milk than others during or just after a feed. This is called “possetting”, “regurgitation” or “gastric reflux”.  It is not unusual for babies to bring up quite a lot, but it can be upsetting when it happens and you may be worried that something is wrong.

As long as your baby is gaining weight, there is usually nothing to worry about. But if your baby is violently sick or appears to be in pain, or you are worried for any other reason, talk to your doctor.

Cover your baby’s front when feeding and have a cloth or paper towels handy to mop up any mess. Check too that the hole in your baby’s teat is not too big, as giving milk too quickly can cause sickness.

Burping your baby after every feed can also help. The problem usually stops after six months when your baby is starting on solid foods and drinking less milk. If your baby brings up a lot of milk, remember that they are likely to be hungry again, quite quickly. Don’t force your baby to take on more milk than they want during a feed. Remember, ever baby is different. Some prefer to feed little and often.

3. Constipation

Always stick to the recommended amount of infant formula milk powder. Using too much can make your baby constipated or thirsty. Breast fed babies don’t usually get constipated. If your baby is under eight weeks old and has not passed a stool for few days, talk to your doctor.

Do not use:
  • Goat’s milk and sheep’s milk
     
  • Evaporated milk

  • Dried milk powder other than baby formula milks

  • Adult milk drinks

  • Soya formula unless on advice of your doctor

  • Bottled water to make feeds

 




 

 

 



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