Tips for Feeding Baby

Bottle-feeding Problems

Bottle-feeding parents have their problems, too. If your baby has any trouble feeding from a bottle, try one of the solutions suggested here.

Your Baby Regularly Chokes on Too Much Formula

The hole in the nipple is probably too large. Buy nipples with smaller holes. To test the flow, turn a full bottle of formula or breast milk upside down. About one drop should fall every second.

Your Baby Never Drinks Much and Continues to Demand Frequent Feedings

The flow of formula is probably too slow, and your baby is getting too exhausted to finish eating. Slightly loosen the ring on the bottle to allow more air to flow into the bottle. If the hole of the nipple is too small, widen it by inserting a sterile, red-hot needle into the nipple. Or sterilize a small pair of scissors, insert one blade into the hole, and snip it open just a little. Test the flow and then, if necessary, snip a little more.

Your Baby Starts to Fuss a Minute or Two into Feeding

The bottle nipple may have become blocked. Check to see whether it still flows. Gently squeeze the bottle to try to unstop the clog. Or switch to a clean nipple.

If none of these feeding solutions work for you-or if you and your baby have feeding difficulties that aren't covered here-consult your pediatrician for further guidance.

'Scuse Me, I Burped (and Worse)

Baby Doctor

Spitting up is not vomiting. If your child vomits with great force, causing milk to fly several feet across the room, consult your doctor. True projectile vomiting of this kind can cause severe dehydration.

All babies burp, but you may not need to help your baby burp. Many babies don't seem to mind gas. Sometimes when you put your baby down after a feeding, she may seem quiet. But a minute or two later, an enormous belch threatens to bring the whole house down. Despite the gas that was in her stomach, though, she may have seemed quite content.

Regardless of whether you need to burp your baby, you may decide to make it part of your feeding routine. So after she has finished eating-or in mid-feeding if she suddenly seems upset-hold your baby close to you so that her head rests on your shoulder. (You may want to put a cloth diaper under her head to protect your clothes from any spit-up.) Then stroke upward on her back or gently pat her on the back. This action helps bring up any air bubbles. If she hasn't burped after two or three minutes, she probably doesn't have much gas.

Some babies spit up regularly due to a reflex action. Others spit up only when they are overfed. Whatever the cause, don't be overly concerned about it. If you worry that your baby spits up so much that she can't possibly be getting enough food, wait a minute and offer her some more. If she refuses it, she has probably eaten enough.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Bringing Up Baby © 1997 by Kevin Osborn. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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