Bottle nutrition and cleaning of baby bottles
There may be various reasons for choosing to give your baby bottle nutrition. For some parents it is an obvious choice. For others it is a necessary decision in case there are too many complications related to breast feeding.
When deciding to use bottle nutrition you will also have to choose between whether the baby should have pumped breast milk or infant formula.
Types of infant formulas
It is important that you use an infant formula that is intended for use immediately after the birth. There are two kinds of infant formulas:
1. Normal infant formulas
This is available as powder and as premixed pieces. Both kinds can be purchased in supermarkets.
2. Special infant formulas
This is given to families with severe allergies and can be purchased at the pharmacy. Infant formula contains the right amount of nutrients and water. Therefore, always follow the instructions on the package and only use the measuring cup that is included.
Coated measurements should be coated to the edge of the measuring cup.
If you do not use enough powder, your child will not get enough nutrients. If you use too much powder, your child will not get enough fluids.
Keep a good hygiene
It is important to keep a good hygiene in order for your child not to become sick.
Wash your hands before preparing the instant formula and always use a clean baby bottle, measuring cup, teat, etc.
During the first 4 months the water has to be boiled before preparing the instant formula. The water is poured into a clean baby bottle and is allowed to cool to approximately 37 °C. The milk powder is then added and the bottle is shaken thoroughly.
Test the temperature on the wrist. The milk should be approximately 37 °C, which means not hot and not cold. Heated formulas are to be used immediately and may not be reheated.
The National Health Board recommends that instant formulas are prepared for one meal at a time during the first two months of the baby’s life.
You can boil the water in advance and keep it in the refrigerator so that it just has to be heated when the bottle is prepared.
How to give your baby a bottle
When giving the bottle to the baby it is an opportunity to have a nice moment together. A child that is being fed with a bottle needs close physical contact. Never let the child be alone with its bottle. It is important for the small child that it is the same people who are feeding the child every time.
When feeding the child with bottle we recommend that you move the child from your right and left arm by turns from meal to meal. This is in order to relieve the pressure on the baby’s cranium so it does not suffer a constant sided pressure.
You should give the bottle without letting air inside the teat and remeber to let the baby have a small break now and then - and also letting the baby burp if needed.
Teats are to be found with different sizes for the hole. Be aware how quickly the milk runs.
The amount of food
A child fed by bottle should the first couple of days be fed whenever it is hungry and eat as much as it wants to.
Put a bit more milk inside the bottle than what the child normally eats. In this way the child itself can choose how much milk it wants. Never push the baby to eat up.
After discharge from the unit, the health care visitor estimates how much food the child should have.
Cleaning of baby bottles
Rinse bottles and teats after use
All bottle equipment at the Maternal NewBorn Care Unit is disposable and should be discarded after use.
Baby bottles and teats are rinsed after use. Leftovers from the milk will sit in the screw cap and on the edges. Start rinsing the bottles in cold water, then wash the bottles with a bottle brush, use washing-up liquid and hot water.
The teats are rubbed in coarse salt. Bottles and teats are rinsed thoroughly and boiled for 5 minutes. The water is poured from the bottles and kept dry and stored covered together with the teats.
The baby bottles can be washed in the dish washer at 65 °C and afterwards boiled for 5 min. Leftovers from the milk must be rinsed off before washing.
Bottles and teats can be boiled in the microwave oven for 5 minutes if they are placed in a vessel with water and soap (all has to be covered). Afterwards they must be rinsed and dried.
Be aware of
Urination/ bowels movement
When fed with instant formula the baby should have soft bowels movement every day.
Instant formula can cause constipation. You should contact your health care visitor or general practitioner if your child is having trouble getting its bowels moving. The frequency of the baby’s urination will also give you an idea of whether the child is getting enough to eat.
Source: Healthy Children, parents of children 0-3 years old. The National Health Board 2016.
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