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Bottle-Feeding Your Baby: Your Guide To Getting It Right

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Bottle-Feeding Your Baby: Your Guide To Getting It Right

Bottle-Feeding Your Baby: Your Guide To Getting It Right

Get clued up and make the move as smoothly as possible ndash; for both you and your baby

Maybe youve tried breastfeeding but its not for you, you want your partner to share the duties or you havent got enough milk to satisfy your newborn. Whatever the reason, theres no need to feel guilty if you decide you want to bottle feed ndash; just know how to do it right.

Like most aspects of motherhood, this is a bit of a balancing act. If youre able to breastfeed, most experts suggest waiting until your baby is three weeks old before trying a bottle. lsquo;By then, breastfeeding is well established and the occasional bottle of expressed milk, say once every three days, wont confuse him, says Clare Byam-Cook, author of What To Expect When Youre Breastfeedinghellip; And What If You Cant?. lsquo;However, leave it longer than three months to try mixed feeding and you risk your baby rejecting the bottle ndash; no fun if youre returning to work.

It can be tricky to get your baby away from your nice warm breast and onto a bottle, so do what you can to maximise your chances. lsquo;Dont feed him for at least four hours before you give a bottle, so you know hes hungry, says Clare. lsquo;And keep the teat in his mouth even if he cries ndash; if you take it out, hell never learn theres tasty milk in it. As many babies are soothed by movement, try walking around while the teat is in his mouth. It can be stressful, so choose a day when someone can help you, but be the one to feed him. Hell feel more secure with you.

It could take up to 24 hours to convince your baby to accept a bottle but, if hes hungry, hell want to eat, so keep going. If you can, use skin-to-skin contact as you feed and switch arms halfway through, so he sees the world from both sides, just like a breastfed baby.

Theres no magic formula to finding a bottle your baby likes ndash; its a case of trial and error. Some babies will take to a particular shape, while others need features that ease wind or colic. Click here to see MotherBaby award winning bottle feeding products. Check the teat, too ndash; some are made to resemble the natural feel and shape of your breast, which could make the transition easier. lsquo;Teats come in slow, medium or fast flow. You want your baby to get the milk quickly and easily, so medium is good to start with, says Clare. lsquo;It should take him 20 minutes to finish a feed ndash; if its longer, try a faster flow. Or, if hes gulping milk down, test a slow one.

If youre breastfeeding, but know youll want to express regularly, invest in a breast pump. lsquo;Express in the morning after giving a feed ndash; your milk is richest and most plentiful then, says midwife Amanda Gwynne. lsquo;Express from one breast until the flow slows, then swap. When that flow slows, do it once more each side. Otherwise, you can use formula. Based on cows milk, it contains a balance of nutrients for your baby. To find out which one to choose and how to prepare a feed, click here.

As your babys immune system is still developing, youll need to keep his feeding kit super-clean by sterilising for the first year. Wash bottles thoroughly in hot soapy water, scrubbing with a bottle brush, then check the rims and teats. Rinse to remove detergent, then sterilise. Sterilisers work either chemically ndash; where the kit is soaked in water and a sterilising solution ndash; or by heat, usually via steam or by boiling water.

Bottle-Feeding Your Baby: Your Guide To Getting It Right

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Bottle-Feeding Your Baby: Your Guide To Getting It Right

Expressing breast milk isn’t always a walk in the park. Get the knack with help from the MB experts.

Bottle-Feeding Your Baby: Your Guide To Getting It Right

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