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Paula Kashtan

How to Bottle-Feed Baby

You bought the bottles and the formula...now what? 

Pretty soon you’ll be a natural, but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at first. Before baby arrives, sterilize your bottles and nipples by immersing them in boiling water for five minutes. After this, you can wash in hot, soapy water or run them through the dishwasher—no need to re-sterilize after each use.

In the morning, before bed, or just after a feeding, prepare a bottle or two so they’ll be standing and ready. Follow the instructions on the package and then store in the refrigerator. You probably don’t need to use sterilized water for mixing, but check with your pediatrician to be sure.

When it’s time for a feeding, warm the bottle. Use a machine made especially for the purpose, or fill a container with hot (not boiling) water and set the bottle in it for a few minutes. Never use the microwave—it heats unevenly, which can be dangerous. Eventually, you may want to accustom baby to enjoying his meals at room temperature or even cold. That saves you a step!

Once the meal is ready, hold baby on your lap with their head elevated. Tilt the bottle so that the nipple is full—otherwise your baby will swallow air, which could make him or her uncomfortable (and cranky!)