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Does every mom really make these bottle-feeding mistakes?
OK, OK. I don’t know every single mom in the universe, however I have seen MANY moms makes these mistakes over, and over and over again. And believe me, I made a few of these as well! Motherhood is a journey of learning with loads of trial and error. If I can save you time and trouble on your journey, I want to. I know that some of you will absolutely cringe at some of these bottle-feeding mistakes, but I have seen moms do these things without blinking — especially the 4th one! So, do you and your baby a favor and run far, far away from these common mistakes. Your baby will be happier and healthier for it!
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Bottle-feeding Mistakes EVERY Mom Makes
- Feed your baby every time he cries. Contrary to some ideas, babies do not only cry because they are hungry. If you just fed and burped your infant 30 minutes ago, there is most likely another reason causing the crying. Check your baby’s diaper and remove your baby from over-stimulation such as loud sounds, bright lights and crowds of people. Those two issues are common triggers for a fussy baby. Consider other avenues of comfort before you give your baby a bottle at every whimper. A baby can be over-fed and this can lead to health problems now and possibly in the future.
- Water down the formula to save money. Formula can wreak havoc on your family’s grocery budget, but don’t skimp in the area of your infant’s nutritional needs. At this pertinent time of growth, the formula is providing 100% of your baby’s vitamins and minerals. The directions on the label of your purchased formula should be followed when mixing the formula and water to get the correct constitution of liquid versus powder. Researchers have studied the amounts of powder and liquid to provide the most nutritionally dense servings for your little one that are also safe and sensitive on babies delicate digestion systems. Leave it to the experts on this one and follow directions carefully.
- Don’t sterilize the bottles. All bottles, nipples and feeding supplies should be thoroughly sterilized before the first use. After this, bottles can be washed with hot, soapy water. Take time to thoroughly clean the bottles immediately after each feeding. An easy cleaning tip is just to place the bottles on the top rack of the dishwasher during your next load of dishes. The high temperature will provide the sterilization needed to thoroughly and effectively clean your little one’s feeding accessories. Place nipples in a safe area to prevent melting from high temperatures.
- For quick and easy preparation, heat the formula in the microwave. Some things are more important than convenience, and your baby’s health and safety are two of them. Microwaves have been known to kill important vitamins and minerals as well as heat foods to dangerous temperatures. Heating formula in the microwave can also cause the milk to develop “hot spots” that you may not notice when testing the temperature of the milk. A more safe and healthy approach is to slowly heat the milk on the stove in a pot of hot water. Do not boil the milk. After heating the bottle on the stove, shake vigorously to distribute the heat evenly. A bottle can also be heated in a bowl of hot tap water while running additional hot water over the bottle. Another convenient method is using a bottle warmer to heat the bottle. These can be purchased from your local baby superstore.
- For on-the-go convenience, prepare all your bottles before your outings. Sure, it would be great to grab a warm bottle from your diaper bag and feed your baby, but prepared formula is completely unsafe after two hours at room temperature. Breast-milk is able to withstand a longer period of time at room temperature, but infant formula can become coagulated and vitamin deficient pretty quickly. If you do want to prepare bottles ahead, travel with an ice pack like this one. Using an ice pack will keep the prepared formula safe for consumption. It will just need to be safely heated up — babies do not like cold milk!
- Only burp the baby when it’s convenient. Even if you’re in a hurry to run some errands or wash the dishes, take time to properly burp your little one. Trapped gas can cause major discomfort in an infant. Insufficient burping can also lead to spitting up. Try several positions with patience as you wait for your bambino to deliver approximately 2-3 burps per feeding.
- Let the baby fall asleep with a bottle. Avoid letting your bottle-fed baby take the bottle to bed. Juice or milk can harm a baby’s gums and teeth and cause cavities in early life. An infant can experience other dangers from having a bottle in the bed without adult supervision. Take precaution and only let your baby or infant drink his bottle with adult supervision.
- Use plain tap or well water. Though opinions may differ, the safest route with bottle preparation is to use boiled or sterilized drinking water when preparing a bottle. In many areas it is difficult to assess the safety of your tap water. Purchasing previously sterilized water or sterilizing your own will provide the peace of mind about the safety of the water your little one is consuming. To sterilize water at home, boil water in a large sauce pan for 15 minutes and then let it cool to room temperature before mixing with the powdered formula.
- Reduce, reuse recycle. Does your bambino keep leaving a few extra ounces in his bottle after his daily feedings? Don’t try to be earth-friendly and recycle those left-overs. Bacteria from your baby’s mouth could enter the milk and sit and become harmful to your baby’s health. Always discard any prepared formula that has not been consumed in one feeding.
- Just open a can of formula and start scooping! Don’t ever trust your memory to ensure your purchased can of formula has not expired. Always check the expiration date before preparing your baby’s bottle. Canned and liquid formulas can lose their nutritional values quickly. Also, examine the formula’s container for dents and budges. Containers with this kind of damage could be harmful to your baby’s health.
What bottle-feeding mistakes have you made along your journey of motherhood? We would love to hear them in the comments!