Bottle-Feeding - Promoting Healthy Growth and Development
Buying formula and supplies
Try to buy your
formula and supplies before the baby is born. You can buy
infant formula as a liquid
concentrate or a powder that you mix with water. Formulas also come in a
ready-to-feed form, which costs the most. Always use an iron-fortified formula
unless your doctor advises otherwise. If you have questions about which infant
formula is right for your baby, talk with your doctor.
When you buy baby bottles and nipples, make sure you have a supply of small bottles [about
4 fl oz (120 mL)] for your
baby's first few weeks. You may want to buy a variety of different bottle
nipples so you can experiment to see which type your baby prefers.
Some people are concerned about bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical in some
plastic (polycarbonate) bottles. A group of experts concluded that BPA may have some effect on the behavior, brain, and prostate gland of a developing baby (fetus) or young child.2 If you are concerned about BPA, don't use bottles marked with the number 7 or the
letters "PC" near the recycle symbol. You can use glass or BPA-free plastic
Preparing infant formula
Some things to keep in
mind when you prepare infant formula:
- Make sure you have clean,
safe water to prepare infant
formula. Boil water-even bottled water-for 1 to 2 minutes, and let it cool
before you mix it with the formula. You may want to check with your local water
supplier about your water's fluoride level.
Wash your hands
before you prepare formula. And make sure the equipment you use,
including the mixer and the top of a can of powder, are clean.
- Add the required amount of water to mix the formula.
If you add too little water, it can upset your baby's stomach and may harm his
or her kidneys. If you add too much water, your baby will not get the nutrition
he or she needs.
- Cover the prepared formula and store it in a
refrigerator. It should be used within 24 hours.
- Soak dirty baby
bottles in water and dish detergent. Wash bottles and nipples in the upper rack
of the dishwasher or hand-wash them in hot water with dish detergent. Some
doctors recommend boiling bottles and nipples for 5 to 10
minutes after washing them.
Feeding your baby
Always wash your hands before
feeding your baby.
- Warm the formula to room temperature or body
temperature before feeding. It is best to warm it in a pan of heated water
for 5 to 10 minutes before you feed your baby. Don't use
the microwave. Microwaving formula can cause hot spots in the formula that can
burn your baby's mouth. Before you feed your baby, check the temperature of the
formula by dropping a small amount on the inside part of your wrist. It should
be warm, not cold or hot.
- Place a bib or cloth under your baby's chin
to help keep his or her clothes clean. Have a second cloth handy to use when
burping your baby.
- Hold your baby in a semi-upright position, with
your baby's head resting in the crook of your elbow. Keep your baby's head
higher than his or her chest.
Stroke the center of the baby's lower lip to encourage your
baby to open his or her mouth wider. With an open mouth, the wider part of the
bottle nipple will fit, allowing your baby to make a tight seal between his or
her mouth and the bottle nipple. This helps reduce the amount of air the baby
- Angle the bottle so that the neck of the bottle and nipple stay
full of milk. This helps reduce the amount of air your baby swallows while
- Do not prop the bottle in your baby's mouth or let him or
her hold it alone. These practices deprive your baby of time when he or she
should be close to you.