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Bottle Feeding

Selecting bottle feeding equipments does present confusing moments since there is a big variety to choose from. Right from the equiment to what goes in it i.e. the formula, can be difficult to decide on. Basically it can become a period of trial and error for new mums and their new babies.

Feeding Bottles

• Basically there are three types of bottles: glass, plain plastic and plastic with disposable liners. Bottles come in two sizes with the small being 4 oz and the larger one being 8-9 oz. But it doesn't stay that simple since there is a lot of variation within each category. Bottles can be short and stout, or slim and long, fancy or plain looking. Some even come with handles and others with a special bend to it.

• The pros of glass bottles are the contents remain warm longer, the bottle remains clean and clear even after many washings but it is also heavier and breakable. Plastic bottles after many washes starts to appear cloudy and messy but it only appears visually unappealing. As far as hygiene is concerned it is clean and germ-free if cleaned thoroughly. Another plus is they are lighter to hold. Cost wise, they are not too far apart.

• Manufacturers design bottles with the main purpose of making it harder for air to enter the bottle and eventually into the baby. For example bottles with a bend in the middle are meant to be held at an angle so that bubbles do not enter the bottle. That's a plus but on the flipside these bottles can be harder to clean. Another example of bottle type that prevents air bubbles is the bottle with disposable liners, where the liner collapses as the baby sucks. Whichever you decide on, if the bottle is convenient to use and suits your baby preference then any brand or type will serve the purpose.

Are plastic bottles safe: Due to the recent controversy many mothers are in doubt on the safety of plastic bottles. Firstly do not overheat bottles with milk in them. Do not store milk in plastic bottles for longer periods. Discard and wash as soon as baby is done with drinking. If you are still not comfortable stick to glass bottles.

Even plastic bottles need to be replaced despite its 'indestructive' quality.


• Nipples come in different sizes, shapes, texture and flexibility. Experts feel that the ones that resemble the breast the most is the best. This holds especially true for babies who are making the switch from breast to bottle. Standard, orthodontic and wide-based are some of the shapes you will come across. Standard types are cylindrical in shape and accompanies standard bottles and have both the silicon and rubber versions. The orthodontic is 'funny' looking but again fits standard bottles; its funny shape and wider base is designed to fit the baby's mouth well and so is favored by experts. The wide based nipple have a broader base with a shorter nipple tip. For the generic user it is a wide choice out there but again whichever you choose, ensure it is suitable according to the age mentioned on the lable. More importantly your baby will probably need to try a few before settling for the ones that work best.

• Then you have to decide between the latex and the silicon versions. Latex is made from pure rubber and therefore natural; brownish and more pliable the rubber nipple has its drawbacks: it has a certain flavor which some babies do not take on to and tends to become sticky with use. It needs to be replaced more often. The opaqueness makes it harder to clean. Conversely silicon is clear although synthetic. It is definitely easier to maintain and lasts longer. In the correct shape and size, it is the prefered choice over the rubber ones.

• Third key aspect is the hole of the nipple. Holes that are made for newborns are small, allowing a slower flow while older babies have nipples with larger holes which allow a faster flow. Wrong hole size can be a problem. Small hole can be tiring for the baby because the flow may be too slow. Too big a hole can result in choking and too much air entering the stomach causing hiccups. Some nipples have multiple holes while some have only one. Some holes come with round pricks and others are cut in X shape. Start at the newborn stage for your new baby. Read the guidelines on when to move up to faster flow e.g. from the newborn stage to 3 months, 6 months etc. Be prepared for milk flow to change with repeated washings.

Replace cracked or gummy nipples often. Check by pulling the tip before each use. The milk should flow freely one drop at a time, and not in a stream. If it flows too fast or too slow it is time to change.

Selecting a suitable Formula

• There are different types of formula divided according to age groups, needs and health problems. Getting the right formula can be a trial for the mother if her baby is prone to constant diarrhea, develops rashes on the face and bottom due to allergy, vomits frequently after feeds or simply hasn't taken on to a brand. Consult your pediatrician on what is best for your baby.

• Baby formula comes in powdered form, concentrated liquid or ready to serve liquid. The powder version is more portable, cheaper although a little difficult to blend in comparison to the liquid form.

• Formulas are either milk-based or soy-based, with the latter formulated for colicky babies or babies with allergy.

• 'Protein hydrolysate' formulas are made for babies with digestive or allergy issues and cost more but taste worse than the standard formulas but seem to work well for some babies. These makes are easier to digest and less likely to cause allergies.

• Whichever formula you decide on should be iron-fortified. Low-iron formulas are nutritionally incomplete. In addition other substances such as 'nucleotides' are added to bolster the immunity, and DHA and ARA found in breast milk are also supplemented in infant formula to promote brain development. At the end of the day any formula which has the correct nutrients, which your baby likes and is agreeable to your baby's system is a good buy.

Additional Stuffs You will need

• For the exclusively bottle-fed baby you will need 6-8 four oz bottles for the newborn and the same number of 8 oz bottles for the older baby. The smaller ones become good back-ups for the older baby eventually.

• A bottle brush for cleaning bottles, nipples, the rings and covers

• A basket to contain bottle rings and nipples once they are sterilized

• A standing tray to air-dry bottles once they have been sterilized

• Formula dispenser to hold premeasured milk powder when you are on the go

• Thermos to hold boiled warm water.

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Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
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