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Breathing & Choking
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Bottle Feeding
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Bottle Feeding General Guidelines

Breast feeding is the preferred method of feeding newborns and is recommended for the first year by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  If you find that you will be bottle feeding the following guidelines will be helpful.

Do skin to skin and cuddle your newborn.  Avoid “propping” up a bottle next to the infant. They can not be observed properly for choking and the need to burp.  They also miss out on the several hours of visual, olfactory, and auditory stimulation they need each day.

Place your baby skin to skin on your chest with the baby only dressed in a diaper.  They will benefit from the contact that skin to skin provides

No other food or liquids are necessary except for formula or breast milk for the first 5-6 months.

Preparing Formula

Use the type of formula your health care provider recommends and follow the preparation suggestions on the packaging.

Never dilute it down or make it more concentrated than the directions give.  The formula has just the number of calories your infant needs.

It is not thought necessary to boil bottles and nipples unless you have a contaminated source of water from a well or do not have access to a source of municipal water.  Clean your bottles in hot soapy water or the dishwasher.
Some families like to prepare enough formula for 24 hours and refrigerate it.

Formula can be at room temperature or slightly warmed.  A bottle can be warmed in hot water or a bottle warmer but never in the microwave or in boiling water.  This can create hot spots or over heat it.  Test the temperature on your forearm and it should be close to skin temperature.  Older babies can drink cold milk but avoid this in a newborn

Allow babies to root against the bottle nipple by stroking their lips instead of pushing it into their mouth.

The bottle should be held so that the milk is in the nipple and neck of the bottle.  This prevents air from being swallowed.

Burp first if the baby has been crying. 

Burp frequently in newborns after about each 1/4-1/2 oz.

In the beginning days the baby may not take more than ½ to 1 oz of formula.  Their stomach is only as big as a walnut. After the first week young babies take about 1 ½ - 3 oz per feeding with frequent burping.

Once the baby has fed from the bottle any remaining formula should not be saved.  Try not to overfeed or top off the baby, this can lead to overweight

The baby should gain approximately 1 oz per day for the first three months