Feeding can be one of the nicest times for you and your baby. Dad can be involved in the process. It is important for you to hold your baby and talk to him or her while you are feeding. Do not prop the bottle to feed your baby. He is more likely to choke.
Your doctor will help you decide what type of formula is best for your baby. There are plain formulas, iron-fortified formulas, soy-based formulas, and others. Cowís milk is not recommended for babies until they are 12 months old. Low-fat milk is not recommended until your baby is two years old. Always use an iron-fortified infant formula.
Baby formula comes in many forms. Dry powder or concentrated forms must be mixed with water. It also can be ready-to-use where no extra water is needed. Formulas you mix yourself are less expensive.
Wash bottles, collars, and nipples in hot, soapy water or the dishwasher. For your newborn, boil the water before you mix it with formula. Your doctor will tell you when you no longer need to boil the water first. If you use well water, be sure to have the water tested before mixing with formula. It is very important to follow directions for mixing the formula. DO NOT add more water than the directions say to make the formula go farther. Your baby may become ill from too much water and not enough nutrients.
Babies have very little resistance to bacteria. Prepare only enough bottles for one day and store in the refrigerator. Make several small bottles while your babyís appetite is small. Leftover formula can spoil quickly. Throw away what is left at a feeding. Donít try to use again. Donít let your baby carry around a bottle of formula either.
You should not put your baby to bed with a bottle. Sugars in formula, milk, juice, or sweetened drinks can cause tooth decay. Honey is especially dangerous to an infant. Do not add to water or formula. It can cause botulism, a serious food-borne illness.
Warm baby bottles and dishes of baby food by setting them in a bowl of hot water. DO NOT use a microwave. The milk or food can contain very hot spots that can burn your infantís mouth. Steam can build-up in a closed container, even explode.