BOTTLE-FEEDING: HOW TO START YOUR BABY ON BOTTLE MILK AND STOP BREAST MILK
Are you a working mother? Don’t get chance to breast-feed your child all the time? here is what you can do without compromising the health of your baby.
If a mother has to go back to work she can do two things:
1) Breast feed the baby till it is time to wean him.
2) Express breast milk into a bottle and keep it in a fridge till feeding time.
Breast milk does not need boiling. It can be warmed at feeding time by putting the bottle in a pan of hot water. When your child is ready, you can start bottle –feeding on any milk that you find suitable for your baby.
Types of milk: Cow’s milk, buffalo milk, and commercial infant milk preparations are good, depending on their cost and availability. Soya milk should not be used as routine bottled baby food unless recommended by the doctor. Buffalo or cow’s milk should be boiled and cooled. The cream should be removed before bottling for the baby to drink.
Commercial milk preparations are basically made from cow’s milk with some extra nutrients added to bring it on par with human milk. Choose a formula that dissolves easily in boiled water and is not grainy in texture. Condensed milk and skimmed milk powders are not suitable for infants.
Keep in stock: 4 or five bottles, 6-7 teats, and an equal number of teat covers; a jar for storing milk, a teaspoon for measuring , sugar to add to cow’s milk and soap along with a cleaning brush for cleaning bottles.
Sterilization: Wash the bottles, teats and other equipment in hot water and soap; clean the insides with a bottle brush. Place these bottles in a vessel of water, cover and boil for at least twenty minutes.
How to prepare the bottle feeds: Keep your bottles and equipment ready. Pierce the teat so that the hole is neither too small nor too big. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Boil cow or buffalo milk for ten minutes. Cool to room temperature. Remove cream. Add a teaspoon of sugar, mix it and pour the milk into the bottle. Hold the bottle downwards at an angle over your wrist on the inside; the milk should fall drop by drop steadily; not in a gush, not too slowly. If the milk comes in a gush, the baby might choke; if it takes too long, she might suck in excess air. In the stomach, this excess air causes abdominal colic and vomiting.
Test the milk on the inside of your wrist to make sure if it is lukewarm.
How to bottle feed: Sit comfortably on a chair; hold your baby in your lap, supporting her with one arm so that her head is above her stomach. Tilt the bottle at such an angle, that the bottle is full of milk closer to the teat, to prevent the baby from sucking in a lot of air while feeding. Pull gently on the bottle to release the vacuum if the teat becomes flat.
If sterilization of bottles and other equipment presents difficulties, use a clean cup and spoon to feed your baby.
To start with, feed your baby as much as she needs-if she is hungry, she’ll cry out for it. If she finishes the full bottle, offer a larger amount the next time.
Don’t let the prepared milk stand for a long time. Refrigerated milk should be lightly warmed before feeding; if not used within 24 hours, discard it. Fresh milk is always safer.