Bottle-Feeding - Promoting Healthy Growth and Development
During the first few weeks,
burp your baby after every
2 fl oz (60 mL) of formula.
This helps get rid of swallowed air, reducing the chances of your baby
spitting up. Most babies need less frequent burping as
they get older.
You will know your baby is full when he or she
stops sucking continuously. Usually, as babies get full, they pause frequently
during feeding. Also, your baby may spit out the nipple, turn his or her head
away, or fall asleep when full. Throw away any formula left in the bottle after
you have fed your baby, because bacteria can grow in the leftover
Feeding is a good time for social contact with your
baby, so don't rush. Look into your baby's eyes and talk or sing while you are
giving the bottle. This contact helps your baby feel close to you and is
important for healthy growth and development. Wear a short-sleeved shirt to
give more skin-to-skin contact. Sit in a comfortable chair with your arms
supported on pillows.
- How to prevent tooth decay. After your baby's teeth start coming in, it is a good idea to
clean them after the last formula feeding at night. Use a soft cloth or gauze
pad at first. As more teeth come in, clean them with a soft toothbrush, using
only water for the first few months. If you are not sure about the
fluoride levels in your drinking water, talk to your doctor or
dentist. Fluoride supplements are sometimes
recommended but must be used with caution. Talk with your doctor
about other ways to prevent tooth decay in your young child. For more information, see the topics
Basic Dental Care.
- When to offer liquids from a cup.
You can start offering liquids from a cup when your baby is about 6 months old.
But your baby should continue to get nutrition largely from breast milk or
formula until he or she is 12 months old. After that, allowing your child to
continue drinking from a bottle may lead to problems such as
bottle mouth tooth decay .
- Whether to give a vitamin D supplement. If you are bottle-feeding formula and your baby drinks at
least 32 fl oz (1 L) each day,
he or she does not need a
vitamin D supplement.3 Most doctors suggest daily
vitamin D supplements for babies who are breast-fed or who get a mixture of
breast milk and formula, starting by age 2 months. Talk with your doctor about
how much and what sources of vitamin D are right for your child.