How Long Does It Take A Newborn To Digest Formula Bottle-Feeding Guidelines

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Bottle-Feeding Guidelines

In every doctor’s office and hospital reception, the walls are plastered with breastfeeding advice. What you don’t often see are best practice guidelines for mothers who choose to bottle feed their baby. Here are some tips to fix this.

Don’t let your baby’s crying be a signal to start feeding. If your baby is fussy before he starts bottle feeding, he may be disruptive during feeding. Breastfeeding mothers are often advised to breastfeed, and the same advice applies to bottle feeding. One important point to remember is that it takes about four hours to digest formula compared to two hours for breast milk, so bottle feeding should have longer intervals between feedings.

A newborn baby needs up to about 85ml (3fl oz) per feed. As you get older, the amount of feed and the period between feeds increases. Babies know when they’ve had enough, so don’t worry if your baby hasn’t drunk all the milk. Discard any milk left in the bottle; never try to feed it to your baby later. Formula left to sit is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. If your baby still seems hungry after emptying the bottle, offer more milk. You don’t overfeed your baby.

The best way to hold your baby for bottle feeding is simple. You hold the baby as you would while breastfeeding, but in a slightly upright position to make it easier for him to swallow and to prevent the formula from spilling out and getting into his nostrils and ears.

Do not simply put the bottle nipple directly into the baby’s mouth. Rather, gently rub the baby’s cheek and lips with the nipple, just as recommended for nursing mothers. This gentle rubbing stimulates your baby’s “rooting reflex”.

You can reduce the amount of air your baby consumes by tilting the bottle so that the nipple contains only milk. Wind is uncomfortable for babies and they will let you know all their discomfort after feeding. It’s usually best to avoid baby wind, both for mom and baby!

Take your time and let your child take breaks from time to time. It is perfectly normal for babies to stop drinking for a while before resuming. As they get older, they may also have a tendency to lose concentration and look around instead of feeding. Therefore, before feeding your baby, make your surroundings as calm and relaxing as possible. If you feel uncomfortable while feeding, change the position. Remember that if you feel uncomfortable or distracted while feeding, so will your baby.

Feeding is not just about feeding the baby; it is also about giving comfort. Keep the baby close to you and maintain as much skin-to-skin contact as possible. While feeding, stroke, caress, talk and maintain eye contact with him and above all smile.

Feeding a baby is a special time for both mother and child. It can be a relaxing and comforting experience for both of you. To ensure this, follow the points above and most importantly, follow your child’s example; they often know better than we do what is the best way to do things.

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