Bottle-feeding your baby
Is bottle-feeding the right thing to do and how do you go about it? Su Laurent, author of Your Baby Month By Month, offers her view
If you have decided you would prefer not to breastfeed your baby or, for some reason, you have been unable to establish breastfeeding, see the list below for how to get started on bottle-feeding.
If you have had breastfeeding difficulties, you might first want to seek advice from your midwife or breastfeeding counsellor, who can offer help and advice. But if breastfeeding just hasn't worked out, don't feel guilty. It is better for your baby to have relaxed, happy parents who give bottles with love and care.
The good news is that formula milk is designed to be nutritionally as close as possible to breast milk, so your baby will still have a good start in life.
Bottle-feeding has the advantage of being something you can share, so you can have a break while dad or grandma takes a turn. The downside to bottle-feeding your baby is that you will have to be that bit more organised. Make sure you have bought everything you need - bottles, teats, and formula milk - and that you are fully equipped when you are out and about with your baby.
Bacteria can multiply once the feed is mixed so make up each bottle as you need it, rather than keeping made-up formula in the fridge. If she hasn't finished the bottle, throw away any leftover formula after half an hour, to minimise the risk of tummy upsets.
Wash your hands and fill a bottle with as much cooled, boiled water as you need Add the correct amount of milk powder (the container will have full instructions) by using the scoop provided. Stick strictly to the correct amount of powder, as adding extra can lead to problems such as constipation Put the cap on the bottle, give it a thorough shake and add a teat You don't need to warm the bottle but if you want to, stand it in a jug of hot water for a few minutes, then test the temperature on the inside of your wrist (it should be around body heat). Microwaves aren't ideal for warming bottles as the intense heat can create hot spots that could scald your baby. If you do warm her milk in the microwave, give it a really good shake and then test the temperature carefully Tip the bottle so that milk fills the teat before you feed your baby so that she doesn't take in too much air