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Bottle Feeding 101: Everything You Need to Know

Be sure to sterilize your baby's bottles and nipples before the first use. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, submerge the bottles and nipples for five minutes, then remove them and allow them to cool completely. Try to remember to wash your hands before preparing your baby's bottle, especially if you have a newborn.

When preparing your bottle with powdered formula, add room temperature water to your bottle first and then the formula, following the ratio guide on the formula container (usually, 1 scoop of formula for every 2 ounces of water). Secure the nipple and bottle ring, cover the nipple with your thumb, and shake it well to mix it and prevent clumps. Watch this video on bottle-feeding for a demonstration and more tips on preparation.

Never heat up a bottle of formula or breast milk in the microwave because this can cause "hot spots" or pockets of intense heat that can burn your baby's mouth. Bottles of infant formula do not need to be heated at all; just use room temperature water. If your baby develops a preference for a warm bottle of formula, or if you need to thaw or heat up frozen or refrigerated breast milk, swirl the bottle of it around in a pot of hot water. Test a drop of the formula or breast milk on the back side of your hand to make sure the temperature is right for your baby and make sure the bottle itself isn't hot to the touch.

Talk with your doctor about the best kind of formula for your baby. Be sure to use iron-fortified formula for your baby's first year to promote healthy brain development. The EWG also advises using powdered formula, which is low-risk for BPA contamination from the packaging, versus liquid formula which is sold in a can and carries a higher risk. Infant formula can be pricy, costing between $15 and $30 per container, which is one reason many moms choose to breastfeed.



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September 1, 2014



Don't forget to hydrate! Forego sugary juices and sodas and pack a bottle of water in your child's lunch. If your child likes a little more flavor, spice it up with lemon, lime, cucumbers, or fresh fruit.


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