Breastfeeding might have taught you a thing or two about how to feed your baby. But bottle feeding is a whole new game altogether as it is a manufactured food that comes with an expiry date as well. So, whether you are a veteran or a new mom, here are the most common mistakes that you might want to watch out for while bottle-feeding your baby:
Using The Wrong Bottle
When it comes to feeding bottle, you might be tempted to go for the fancy ones or the ones in cute shapes and designs. Bisphenol A (BPA) is an organic chemical found in bottles that contain potentially harmful substances in them (1). It is known to cause numerous health hazards.
The fix: Choose a bottle that is BPA-free. Check the bottom side of the bottle to see if it has three arrows in the shape of a triangle with PVC or ‘Other’ written on it. In PVC inscribed ones, it’s likely that it has BPA present. Whereas in the latter, it may or may not have BPA in it.
Not Following The Instructions
It is important for the baby’s growth that you mix the right proportions of milk and formula as instructed in the product. Also, don’t skimp when it comes to the nutritional needs of your little one and dilute the formula.
The fix: Read and follow the instructions on the packet accurately and avoid doing any guesswork. Track your baby’s growth to see how much he/she requires and measure the correct amount.
Feeding Your Baby Every Time They Cry
Feeding her/him every time she/he cries is not the right way to feed as there may be several other reasons why your baby is cranky.
The fix: Before you run to your baby with a feeding bottle, check for other signs why he/she might be crying. It could be because of a wet diaper or simply because of boredom. If you have to force-feed your baby, that’s a cue that it’s not a hunger cry.
Microwaving The Bottle
Sure, it’s convenient, easy, and it saves you time. But your baby’s milk is not instant noodles. Microwaving is known to kill the vitamins and minerals needed for your baby (2). Microwaving can also heat the formula to high temperatures within minutes. It can also lead to the development of hot spots in the milk.
The fix: You can heat the bottle over the stove in a pan of hot water. Make sure that you do not boil the formula. Another method is to use a bottle warmer to get the temperature right.
Not Letting Out Those Burps
Just feeding your baby is not enough. Burping is needed to let out the trapped gas in your baby. Not burping may lead to an uncomfortable sleep for your little one (3).
The fix: Patiently wait until your baby burps 2-3 times after feeding. You can try slowly rocking or patting their back to help them burp.
Recycling The Milk
When it comes to baby formula, don’t go by “reduce, recycle, reuse.” There are chances of bacteria from your baby’s mouth entering the bottle and it can be harmful to your baby.
The fix: If your baby doesn’t finish the milk in one go, it’s best to discard the leftover and prepare a new batch.
Force Feeding/Feeding Too Much
Sticking to a timetable is good while feeding your baby, but don’t wake your bambino from sleep to feed them. A fixed timing may not be needed always because each baby is different and may have its own feeding pattern. While some babies can consume more in one go, others prefer smaller doses to be given often.
The fix: Stop feeding your baby if he/she doesn’t wish to continue. Listen to your baby’s needs.
We hope our tips and tricks have helped you in bottle-feeding your baby in a safe and healthy way. It’s natural to make mistakes while feeding your little one, but try to be self-informed and make mindful decisions when it comes to your baby. Don’t be the one to make any silly mistakes like not checking the expiration date of the product before you open the packet and start scooping.