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7 Tips for Buying and Using Baby Bottles
Feeding your newborn baby is a crucial and constant task, so you need a reliable bottle that's easy and comfortable for both of you to use. Here are some tips on what to consider when shopping for a baby bottle, and what to do with it after purchase.
1. How to choose your bottle type
There are four main types of baby bottles to choose from: plastic, glass, stainless steel and disposable. Plastic bottles are convenient and hassle-free because they're lightweight and unbreakable; in Canada, you can rest assured they're free of BPA. Stainless steel is recyclable, bacteria-resistant, and won't leach chemicals, and can maintain set temperatures for long periods of time. Traditional glass bottles are heavier but long-lasting. Disposable bottles make for easy post-mealtime cleanup, as you toss their liners after each feeding.
2. How to choose your nipple type
Baby bottle nipple choice is primarily determined by your baby's tolerance for latex: those with allergies should be fed with silicone nipples. Latex nipples are soft and flexible where silicone ones are firmer, and last a little bit longer.
3. How to sterilize baby bottles
There are a number of ways you can sterilize your baby feeding tools. Bottle sterilizers take the labour out of the process, but you can also sterilize manually using a cold water sterilizing solution, by steam sterilizing, or by boiling. Don't forget to clean the bottle and teat in hot, soapy water immediately after use, and rinse them in cold water before sterilizing.
4. How to prepare baby bottles
Warm formula or refrigerated breast milk by placing the bottle in a pot of hot water or holding it under a running hot water tap. You can also use a bottle warmer for a safe, easy way to find just the right temperature. Always shake the bottle after warming to distribute heat, and perform the inner arm test to ensure it is at a safe temperature.
5. How to find the right feeding position
Mealtimes should happen with babies in a semi-upright position rather than lying down. Provide your little one some head support to ensure they can breathe and swallow comfortably, and prevent too much air from being ingested by tilting the bottle down to concentrate the formula near the nipple and keep the teat full.
6. How to determine the right feeding amount
On average, babies need 150-200mL of milk or formula per kilogram of body weight per day, but they are generally pretty good about letting you know when they're full by stopping their sucking. They may require short breaks or to be burped during feeding, and when you're confident your little one is done with their meal, hold them upright and gently pat or rub their back to release any gas.
7. What to do with leftover breast or formula milk
Always dispose of unused formula or leftover breast milk. Bacteria growth can occur after feedings and is not safe for little ones to consume.