Every parent wants the best of things for his/her child. Parents use anything from plastic to glass to disposable bottle bags in all different shapes and sizes for feeding their babies. Disposable bottle bags serve their purpose when you are outside or when washing facilities are limited. Also, bottles with disposable liners help to reshuffle between liners when the feeding is done. Avoid cute-shaped bottles as they are often hard to clean.
Buy plastic baby bottles that are free of bisphenol A (BPA). Either go for glass bottles or sipper cups and bottles labeled BPA-free.
Feeding-bottle nipples: Nipples come in various shapes and sizes. Buy the one suitable for your baby’s mouth size and developmental needs. See to your baby’s comfort and ease of sucking before choosing the nipple.
Baby-bottle nipple types range from:
- Regular nipple with slow, medium or fast flow (number and size of the holes will determine flow)
- Nipples for premature or very small babies
- Orthodontic nipple which imitates the shape of a human nipple during breastfeeding.
- Cleft-palate nipple for babies with a lip or palate problem that prevents them from sucking properly.
Follow these ways to keep bottle-feeding equipment in good condition:
- Abandon cracked or chipped bottles that can spill or break the formula onto your baby.
- It is better to replace nipples every now and then as they can become ‘gummy’ or cracked with age. Check them by pulling the tip before every use.
- New nipples should be checked for openings before using and also periodically as you use them. Milk or formula should flow from the nipple in even drops and not as a steady stream. Too much milk flow can choke the baby and such nipples should be thrown away. When the milk flow is too slow, a nipple with more holes can be used.
Neatness and cleanliness are indispensable when it comes to preparing infant formula and washing bottles. As the baby’s immune system is not fully developed, improper cleaning of the feeding equipment can make the child easily prone to food poisoning.
- Hot water kills germs better and it is always recommended to use hot, soapy water to wash your hands, work area, measuring utensils, bottles and nipples. Wash bottles right away after feed as it is easier to clean.
- Sterilize the bottle, nipples and caps and let them air-dry to keep them germ-free.
- The outer shell of bottles with disposable bottle bags needs regular washing to kill germs.
- Before opening a new can of formula, wash the can opener and the can’s lid with soap and water. Rinse it well.
If your infant is intolerant to lactose, it is better to meet a dietitian/nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com to look out for other options available to fulfill nutrition requirements.