Everything You Need to Know About Bottling Your Baby
Bottle fed babies tend to sleep longer between feeds compared to breastfed babies; as they are fed a larger quantity with the bottle. Typically every 2 to 5 hours bottle fed babies will sleep between feeds. Due to faster feeding and larger quantities, babies tend to regurgitate more with bottle feeding. Frequent burping is required and pacing your baby.
In order to ensure your baby is taking enough milk and to maintain their blood sugar, make sure your newborn (whether breastfed or bottle) is feeding at a maximum of every 4-5 hours within the newborn stage.
Proper Storage of breastmilk is important for preserving the nutrients of the milk, maintaining its freshness and expiry, as well as minimizing bacterial contamination. Breastmilk can be kept in the fridge or freezer. At room temperature milk is good for one hour, some facilities will allow up to 6 hours if there is not a risk for the baby’s immune system to be compromised. If traveling, make sure to keep breastmilk in a cooler with ice packs. Breastmilk that is stored in a fridge is good for 48 hours, and for 24 hours after defrosting. Don’t refreeze the defrosted milk. Once thawed slightly, defrost the breast milk using cold water or place the milk in the fridge to defrost. This will prevent the milk from spoiling. If using hot water to defrost the milk it will only be good for one hour. Milk that is placed in a freezer is good for 3-6 months depending on the freezer (if a top freezer or a deep freezer). Place a sticker with the date and time of expressed milk on your bottles to keep track of the expiry.
Bottles should be purchased for storing expressed breast milk as well as for feeding that are reusable and sterilizable. Any reusable bottle that is discolored, cracked, or no longer clear should be discarded. Most reusable plastic bottles are good for 6-10 uses. Glass bottles or silicone containers are preferable.
Nipples have different sizes and attachments depending on your baby’s age. If you notice that your baby is not taking the bottle as well anymore, try switching the attachments.
Sterilization of bottles and nipples should occur after each feeding. To save yourself time, purchase several bottles and nipples in order to sterilize all of them at the same time at the beginning or end of the day. You do not want to have to sterilize bottles in the middle of the night! Sterilize bottles, caps, and nipples with boiling water for 10 minutes. Otherwise you can purchase and use specific sterilizing machines. Dry bottles thoroughly and do not store with caps on – as this can be a moist habitat for fungal growth.
Pumping breast milk will allow someone else to help bottle feed the baby with your breastmilk. Pumping should be done after breastfeeding to completely empty the breast and to make sure your baby has enough milk in the breast for their feed. If you are solely pumping, and giving the bottle to your baby, then you should be pumping at regular intervals in coordination with how often your baby is feeding; i.e.: every 3 hours. For tips to increase milk production view below.
Stomach size during the first week of life ranges from the size of a cherry to a walnut. There is not a large quantity that the baby requires or can handle without regurgitating in the first few days of life. This is because naturally if the mother is breastfeeding, the small amounts of high in nutrient colostrum that the baby ingests in the first couple days of life are sufficient to keep up his blood sugar and needs. This is why if you are formula feeding your baby you will start with 2-5 mililitres during the first few first feeds.