Research overwhelmingly supports breastfeeding as the best food for baby in the first six months of life. Unfortunately, despite our wishes, hopes and efforts, sometimes breastfeeding doesn’t work out.
When this happens a mother will make an informed choice to bottle feed, or her circumstances may require a baby to be bottle fed.
- Deciding on the formula can be tricky as there are many brands on the market. All formulas sold in Australia must meet a standard and have similar nutritional value.
- Specialist infant formulas should only be used if recommended by your doctor or paediatrician.
- It is important to follow the directions on the can and mix the exact amount of powder with the correct amount cooled boiled water
- All feeding equipment should be disinfected. By disinfecting your feeding equipment, washing your hands and keeping the preparation area clean, you will reduce the chance of your baby getting sick.
- Three methods for disinfecting feeding equipment are steaming, chemical and boiling.
- Regardless of the method you choose always clean bottles, teats and equipment in hot soapy water and rinse using clean running water before disinfecting equipment.
- Research recommends the bottles made from biphenyl A (BPA) free plastic are safer.
Feeding your baby should be an enjoyable experience for you and your baby. Start by unwrapping baby so your baby can touch and explore while feeding.
- Ensure you are sitting comfortably and your back is well supported
- Gently talk to your baby and hold them close enough so they easily have eye contact with you
- Check the temperature and flow of milk by dropping a little amount on the inner area of your wrist.
- To prevent your baby sucking in air, hold the bottle at an angle, ensuring the teat and neck of bottle contain milk.
- Gently and slowly insert the milk filled teat into your baby’s mouth allowing your baby to spontaneously suck. Ensure the teat is above the tongue and far enough back of the mouth to enable your baby to suck in a coordinated manner
- If your baby starts turning his/her head away, fussing, or getting unsettled, he/she may need a break or may be full. Allow time for your baby to have a break or bring up wind and reoffer. If he/she does not want any more don't force your baby to finish a bottle.
- If you have twins or triplets, whenever possible feed them one at a time. This provides important individual time.
All formula cans provide a general guide as to the amount of formula your baby needs. Most babies will let you know when they are hungry and need to be fed. This is called "demand feeding". Young babies may want to feed more often than older babies. Older babies will usually drink more formula at one time.
If your baby has regular wet nappies (5 or more wet nappies per day), poos are not hard or dry, and is gaining weight, your baby is likely to be getting enough formula. If you don't think your baby is getting enough formula, speak to your child and family health nurse or doctor
- It’s also important to regularly replace teats, as silicone and rubber teats deteriorate with time and can become a haven for bacteria.
- Tresillian strongly recommends you consult with your child and family health nurse, or doctor about your baby’s nutritional needs before introducing your baby to infant formula.