Statistics show that more women choose to bottlefeed than breastfeed their babies. Iron-fortified formula provides good nutrition for your baby if you bottlefeed.
Bottle feeding has advantages that are sometimes overlooked.
|Some women enjoy the freedom bottle feeding provides. Someone else can help care for the baby.|
|Fathers can be more involved in the care of the baby.|
|Bottlefed babies are often able to last longer between feedings because formula is usually digested more slowly than breast milk.|
|You can determine exactly how much formula your baby is taking at each feeding.|
There's no evidence that feeding refrigerated formula without warming it will harm your baby. If you usually warm it, your baby will probably prefer it that way. If your baby is usually breastfed, he or she will probably prefer a warmed bottle. Be careful that formula is not too hot.
Types of Formula
Most babies do very well on milk-based formula, but some babies need specialized formulas. Several types are available on the market today, including:
|milk-based, lactose-free formula for babies with feeding problems caused by lactose intolerance, such as fussiness, gas and diarrhea|
|soy-based formula, milk-free and lactose-free, for babies with milk allergies or sensitivity|
|hypoallergenic protein formula, easier to digest and lactose-free, for babies with colic or other symptoms of milk-protein allergy|
Helpful Hints for Bottle feeding Your Baby
Here are some special tips to remember as you bottlefeed your baby.
|Snuggle your baby close to you during feeding.|
|Heat the formula to body temperature by running it under warm water.|
|Hold the baby in a semi-upright position, with his head higher than his body.|
|Place the bottle's nipple right side up, ready to feed.|
|Don't touch the tip of the nipple.|
|Brush the nipple lightly over the baby's lips, and guide it into the baby's mouth. Don't force it.|
|Tilt the bottle so the neck is always filled, keeping the baby from sucking in too much air.|
|Remove the bottle during feeding to let the baby rest. It usually takes 10 to 15 minutes to finish feeding.|
|Don't leave the baby alone with the bottle. Never prop up a bottle and leave the baby alone to suck on it.|
|Never put a baby to bed with a bottle.|
Research has shown that feeding a baby with a slanted bottle is better. This design keeps the nipple full of milk, which means baby takes in less air. A slanted bottle also helps ensure baby sits up to drink. When a baby drinks lying down, milk can pool in the Eustachian tube, where it can cause ear infections.
How Long to Feed with Formula?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a baby be fed iron-fortified formula for the first year of life. Feeding formula to your baby for this length of time helps maintain adequate iron intake.