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Advice on Using Baby Bottles

Pediatrics and Child Health

Most babies, even those who are breast fed, drink out of baby bottles at some point during their childhood. Baby bottles make it easy for mothers to feed formula or pumped breast milk, and as babies get older, they may even be able to hold the bottles themselves or may enjoy taking a nap with their bottle in their crib so they can fall asleep sucking on it. To use baby bottles with your baby, however, you need to make sure you clean and prepare them properly.

Advice on Using Baby Bottles

Before you use new baby bottles for the first time, the bottles and nipples should be sterilized in boiling water. After the initial sterilization, in most cases you can just wash the bottles in hot soapy water or put them through the dish washer instead of sterilizing each time you use them. However, if you use well water, you may want to sterilize the baby bottles more regularly because of the potential for deposits and buildup in the bottles.

When you use a baby bottle to feed your baby, some mothers like to warm the bottle up. This isn't strictly necessary, as it is not unhealthy for your baby to drink from a room temperature or a cold bottle. Still, many babies appreciate the warmth of having their bottle heated for them, and find this to be more comforting. If you do decide to heat the baby bottles, you'll need to heat them in a pan of warm water and test the milk on your wrist first to ensure it isn't too hot. Avoid heating baby bottles in a microwave as doing so may break down nutrients, and because the milk may not heat evenly and there may be warmer spots of milk in the bottle that could burn your baby.

When you feed your baby from baby bottles, hold the bottle at around a 45 degree angle. While some parents prop the bottle up and leave their infants, this can result in your baby taking in too much air and not drinking properly and most pediatricians don't advise doing this on a regular basis. When you use the baby bottles to feed, you should also observe your baby to ensure he or she is comfortable. If he appears to be sucking too much or too loudly, then you may need to adjust the angle of the bottle to reduce the amount of air he is taking in so he doesn't get an upset stomach.

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