It`s well known the fact that breastfeeding is recommended for babies, but when this isn`t possible from various reasons, it`s good to know how to feed your baby with the bottle.
Milk formula is especially designed for babies up to 12 months, who aren`t breastfed. Experts recommend mothers to try and breastfeed as much as possible, even if they complete with milk formula.
Milk formula is produced from cow`s milk, modified so that it can be consumed by babies. Babies cannot consume cow`s milk before the age of 1 year.
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How to Prepare Milk Formula?
Milk formula is in the form of powder, which is combined in certain proportions with water that is boiled and then cooled. You should always wash your hands as best as possible before starting to prepare the milk. You should also wash and sterilize all the equipment (baby bottles, teats) at least until the baby reaches 3 months. The milk needs to be prepared on the spot. Avoid preparing large amounts of milk that you may then keep in the refrigerator and then reheat it.
When preparing the formula milk, always try to follow the instructions on the package. Don`t use other measuring instrument than the one offered by the manufacturer and add exactly the amount of water showed by it. Don`t ever put more powder milk or less water than it`s indicated on the package, and don`t add anything more in the formula milk.
If you add too much formula milk:
- Your baby may be sick.
- The milk will be too concentrated.
- The baby may get constipated.
If you add too much water:
- The formula milk will be less concentrated.
- The baby won`t get enough nutrients to develop properly.
- The baby will always seem restless and hungry.
Note: Never dilute the formula milk to keep you longer.
How to Choose the Powder Milk?
There are lots of milk formulas for babies on the market. This diversity is the one making the choice of the proper type of milk more difficult. When you opt to feed your baby with milk formula, firstly it`s important to take into consideration your doctor`s advice, but also have knowledge about the main types of milk existent on the market along with their characteristics.
Choosing the right milk formula depends mostly on the nutritional needs of your baby. There are several types of powder milk for babies, depending on the state and content. – Click for more!
Depending on its state, milk is split into 3 categories:
- Milk already prepared.
- Concentrated milk.
- Powder milk.
Depending on its content, formula milk are categorized in:
- Normal milk, based on proteins from cow`s milk, fortified with iron supplements.
- Milk based on soy proteins, fortified with iron supplements.
- Formula milk partially or intensely hydrolysed.
- Formulas based on amino acids.
The simplest and safest way to ensure your child of the necessary nutrients to develop healthy is to ask for the pediatrician`s advice regarding the best formula milk. He`ll be able to choose a formula adapted to his nutritional needs, but also depending on his health state.
There the powder milk enriched with certain types of vitamins. Some of them contain more iron, other ones aren`t fortified at all with this mineral. There are also “hypoallergenic” types, especially designed for children with allergies at milk proteins.
I cannot choose a certain type of milk with certain vitamins or iron, if the little one doesn`t need them. Exactly from this reason, it`s essential to ask for the doctor`s advice, because he`ll know exactly what type of milk is best adapted on his medical or nutritional needs. Don`t ever choose based on the product`s price, brand or other people`s recommendations, because you may put in danger the healthy development of your child.
How to Choose Water for Preparation?
The water that you use to prepare the formula milk can become an important risk factor for your child`s health, if you don`t take a few rules into consideration. Lots of parents ask themselves if it`s recommended or not to use tap water, bottled water or if they need to boil it first to prepare the formula milk.
The decision of using tap water depends on the area where you live and the pollution degree. If you aren`t sure if the tap water or healthy enough to consume it, it`s recommended to focus on other types of water. In addition, there are types of tap water that contain increased amounts of fluoride, which increases the risk of medical conditions, such as fluorosis (hypomineralization of the tooth enamel layer).
Pay attention at the fluorine content of the water you want to consume. If its level exceeds 0.7 mg/L, then it`s recommended to use a different types for the preparation of your child`s food.
Bottled water represents among the recommended and safest types of water if you want o prepare the formula milk for your child on your own. It generally contains well balanced levels of fluoride and is free from the risk of microbial contamination, which might put your child`s health in danger. Moreover, it`s purified, demineralized, distilled and deionized.
If you don`t have bottled water at your discretion, you can use tap water if you are careful to boil it first before using it. However, boiling it once it`s enough; you don`t need to boil it several times.
How to Heat the Formula Milk?
The formula milk is heated gradually, placing the bottle in a hot water recipient. It`s not recommended to heat the formula milk at microwave, as it may get overheated or heated unevenly. If you still choose to heat the formula milk at microwave, then it`s best to shake it a bit after being heated and leave it for 2 or 3 minutes, then shake it again and test its temperature.
Note: You should always test the milk`s temperature before giving it to the baby by placing a drop of milk of your wrist. It should feel warm, not hot or cold.
How Should Formula Milk Be Stored?
It`s recommended to prepare milk only for one meal, so you can avoid the risk of developing bacteria. If the milk is kept for too long, bacteria might develop and multiply significantly, creating a risk for the baby`s health. That`s why is important to know how to develop the formula milk correctly.
Formula milk can be kept at the room`s temperature for maximum 2 hours, and 4 hours in the refrigerator.
Recommended Temperature of Formula Milk
Although most experts and mothers follow the general recommendation, according to which the ideal temperature of milk should be as close as possible from the temperature of breast milk, there are babies who can consume milk a bit colder. However, most parents prefer to give the milk a bit warm to their baby. – Read more!
The most important thing is to take into consideration that the milk should never be hot. As already mentioned above, you should always check its temperature first by placing a few drops on your wrist, where the skin is a bit more sensitive. If it burns, then it`s too hot; if not, it probably is just right.
To get the milk a bit warmer, place the milk bottle in a receipt with hot water. Again, avoid using the microwave as it can get your milk to be too hot and, therefore, dangerous for the baby.
Sterilization of Teats & Bottles
The sterilization of bottles and teats is mandatory after their every use. The first part of sterilization consists in their washing with water and dishwashing detergent. You should then rinse them thoroughly with cold water. The inside of the bottle should also be cleaned with a circular brush.
When the teat is concerned, try to pass the water through the drain hole to be sure it didn`t get clogged with milk. After their careful washing, there`s a process of sterilization that follows. There are 2 essential methods to sterilize the milk bottles: by boiling them or by chemical sterilization (using a special liquid).
Currently, there are also special devices that can be used to sterilize the milk bottles and teats, extremely practical and appreciated by parents.
Baby Food Program Fed with Milk Powder
No matter the type of milk that you use to feed your baby, he needs to have a steady meal schedule. The milk portions and their interval depend very much on his weight and medical state.
The doctor will suggest a personalized meal schedule. However, if you want to have an idea about recommended portions in general depending on the age and their time during a day, here it is:
- Babies of 0 to 2 months – 6 meals/day (every 3 hours) of 100 ml/milk.
- Babies of 2 to 4 months – 5 meals/day (every 4 hours) of 200 ml/milk.
- Babies of over 4 months – 4 meals/day (every 5 hours).
How Much Formula to Feed a Newborn?
Depending on whether he`s healthy or not, age, level of activity, growth rate, weight, time of day, the nutritional needs might differ.
Generally, babies are fed at demand, so try to learn what are the signals when he lets you know he`s hungry and get used to the ration he needs to be saturated depending on the period of the day.
In general, newborns eat around 6 to 8 times in 24 hours during the first few weeks of life. Some of them give up one meal at night around the second month of life. Gradually, you can increase the amount of milk you offer during a meal (after asking for your doctor`s advice) and you`ll notice that around the age of 2 months, the baby will start eating at around 3 or 4 hours. – More details!
If the baby seems satisfied after he eats, he gains some weight really soon, he has 6 or more wet diapers per day, then it means that he eats enough.
Formula milk will remain the main source of food up to 1 year old. Don`t use condensed milk for babies! If your baby is hungry and he asks for more, try to increase his amount of milk at 1 – 2 meals.
How to Feed a Newborn?
It`s essential to keep the baby in your arms while feeding him with the bottle for them to feel safe and loved. Also, you can also make sure there isn`t any risk for him to choke and that the bottle is in the right position and angle to avoid the ear`s infection.
To let the baby fall asleep with the bottle in his hands, because he may hurt his teeth this way.
Possible Issues when Feeding your Baby
If you choose to feed your baby with formula milk, there may be some special situations and problems that may appear.
- Always check the expiration date of the product.
- Be careful for the receipt where you put the milk to be sealed.
- Follow the instructions properly when combining the powder mil or concentrated substance.
- Some babies are allergic to proteins found in cow`s milk.
The symptoms of an allergy include:
- Abdominal pains.
- Bloody stools.
In other cases, babies may not tolerate lactose, which means that they aren`t able to digest completely. The symptoms of lactose intolerance include:
- Abdominal pains.
- Excessive bleeding.
All these situations need to be announced to the doctor, which will decide to change the milk.