Is It Ok if I Decided to Pump and Bottle Feed My Baby Instead of Breastfeeding?
The choice between using a bottle for baby feeding and breastfeeding has raised a debate amongst mothers for a while. The similarity between the two options is that the baby gets to feed on the mother’s milk, which is recommended for all babies unless otherwise stated by a doctor. However, how to feed the baby this milk has raised concerns. Other concerns include the amount to feed, the frequency of feeding, as well as the equipment to use if not breastfeeding.
After delivery, every mother will be recommended to breastfeed their baby from which many do not have a problem. However, many mothers have to go back to work, start running personal errands, and sometimes, they will find reason to travel. No matter the reason, your baby needs to feed and many mothers are forced to bottle feed. Because they stay want to have their babies feed on their milk, the preference of pumping is recommended as opposed to using formula especially if the baby is still very young.
Introducing a Bottle to your Baby
- 1 Introducing a Bottle to your Baby
Babies are more than comfortable breastfeeding and they do not need any training to learn how to breastfeed. However, when it comes to bottle-feeding, it can be difficult for your baby to readily accept feeding from a bottle. It, therefore, requires that mothers learn how to introduce a bottle to a baby. The following guide will take you through the process of how you can introduce a bottle to your baby so you can minimize the chances of tantrums as well as avoid leaving your baby hungry in your absence.
This is because sucking from a bottle is different from a breast. The mouth and the tongue have to move differently when it comes to sucking from a bottle. The difference in material also contributes towards the reason why babies may reject the bottle. To help you get started, the following will help you introduce your baby to the bottle.
● Start by offering a bottle after your baby’s regular feeding
You should not stop breastfeeding and suddenly give your baby the bottle. It is important that you introduce the bottle gradually and monitor your baby on the response so you are able to understand his acceptance or denial. This will also prevent leaving your baby hungry before he gets used to the bottle.
● Let someone else feed her especially the first bottle
The first time will be extremely difficult for you to feed your baby. This is because he can feel your presence and he will not understand why he has to feed from elsewhere. Allowing someone else to do it will reduce the confusion and not feel betrayed. You can ask your spouse.
● Start with a slow-flow nipple
A slow-flow nipple is a preferred because it will not release too much milk, which may choke the baby. A slow-flow nipple will allow him suck just enough.
● Do not be present in the room during the introduction process
Your presence will only act as a distraction as babies can not only see you but also sense your presence. They can also distinguish your voice. Your absence will push your baby to feeding since they know they will not have anything.
The above tips will help you to introduce the bottle without having to interfere so much with your baby’s feeding patterns. In addition, it will help your baby to accept the bottle more readily even when he is trying to resist. Make the introduction gradual ad do not overdo it.
What Size Bottles do you Need?
Feeding baby bottles come in different sizes and depending on how old your baby is and on your reference and needs, you will be able to pick the right size to meet your objectives. In addition, there are brands that sell baby bottles as a package where they offer a variety of sizes to suit different needs. However, it is recommended that you at least own a 4 or 9 oz bottle. The smaller size is ideal for the younger babies.
How will you be cleaning your Bottles?
Hygiene is a very important aspect when caring and feeding a baby. In this, you must ensure that all their feeding bottles are clean at all times when not in use. You therefore need to clean them and sterilize your baby’s bottles to ensure that your baby is not exposed to any germs and harmful microorganisms and bacteria. Keep in mind that a healthy baby is a happy baby. The following will help you to clean and sterilize your baby bottles efficiently and effectively to help you meet your objectives.
● To clean your baby bottles
Cleaning of your baby bottles is a must after every use. To clean them:
– Wash them in warm soapy water to kill germs and remove all dirt. Ensure you do not use harsh soaps, abrasives, or chemical products to prevent leaving any residue that may affect your baby later when in use.
– Use a brush to reach all corners of the bottles as well as any folds if any depending on the shape of your bottles.
– Thoroughly rinse the bottles in warm water.
– Dry the bottles and allow them to drip water.
– Store them appropriately to ensure that they remain clean and ensure they are covered.
● To sterilize your bottles
Sterilizing your baby bottles ensures that you kill any bacteria from developing or growing. You kill every chance of providing an environment that will harbor harmful bacteria. There are different ways to sterilize your baby bottles. You may opt to invest in an electric sterilizer or you can use a microwave. Others will opt to boil the bottles. This applies to the nipples and other attachments. When using the electric sterilizer, it will come with instructions on how to use it and how long you should use it.
How Often Will You Use a Bottle?
The frequency of using your baby bottles will depend on how much milk is required, your baby’s age, as well as your baby’s feeding patterns. In addition, it will also be dependent on the type of bottles you use. For those using disposable bottles, this concern does not apply. This is because they dispose of the bottles. On the other hand, this will apply to parents who are using reusable bottles. There are tips that will determine how often you will use a bottle.
A key determinant is if you will be bottle-feeding as well as breast-feeding. For parents who will exclusively bottle feed, the frequency of using the bottle will increase as opposed to mothers who will breastfeed part-time and bottle feed part-time.
What will you be Putting in the Bottle?
Baby feeding bottles initially starts to serve the purpose of helping you to feed your baby. The key objective is to put milk in it. With time, feeding bottles may be used to feed your baby with water and the diversity expands with some mothers using them with fresh juices, as the baby grows older. Depending on the liquid, you will determine which nipple to use. This is to ensure that the flow of the fluid is not too much so that the baby does not choke from flow that is too fast. It is therefore, important that you consider the type of fluid that you will be using it for before you can decide on which nipple to purchase.
Do you prefer Reusable bottles or Disposable?
Baby bottles can be disposable or reusable. They each come with advantages and disadvantages. It is therefore, important to consider your preferences as well as the current need.
● Disposable bottles
Disposable bottles come with disposable inserts. They come with a disposable sterilized liner that you are supposed to use and throw away with every feeding. This makes them convenient and it makes it easy to clean. On the other hand, you will be required to have a constant supply of liners, which will in turn make its use expensive. It is however advisable that you shop around before you can settle for one to use. You can also ask other parents on their experience so you can weigh your options, as there are many brands and models in the market.
● Reusable bottles
Reusable bottles require that you clean them frequently and sterilize them from time to time. Reusable bottles can be made of plastic, aluminum, as well as glass. These will serve you in the long-term and are generally more affordable as opposed to disposable bottles. However, they are easy to maintain as you can sterilize them frequently while maintaining their quality.
How many Bottles Will You Need?
Different parents will require a different number of bottles depending on their needs. However, it is necessary that every parent should have a minimum of three bottles. It is also important that at least one be of a different size. For mothers who will be away longer, they need to increase the number of bottles to ensure the milk left for the baby is sufficient to feed him until you get back. The following factors will determine the number of bottles to own.
● Mothers who choose to exclusively bottle feed will require more bottles as opposed to a mother who is bottle-feeding part-time.
● The older your baby gets, the more the bottles you need.
How Much Milk Should My Baby Drink?
The question of how much milk a baby should drink is dependent on a few factors. However, the most important aspect is the age of your baby. The younger your baby, the less he will require to get full. However, be sure to check on your baby’s feeding pattern as well as your baby’s appetite because babies are different from each other. To give you a rough estimate, the following will help you understand how much milk your baby should drink.
● As a newborn, it is expected that your baby will consume about 1.5 to 3 ounces of milk on every feeding. Babies this age are likely to feed with intervals of 2-3 hours.
● At the age of 2 months, your baby is likely to consume 4-5 ounces of milk and his feeding is likely to be at intervals of every 3-4 hours.
● At the age of 4 months, the amount will increase to between 4-6 ounces of milk with every feeding. The frequency of intake will depend on your baby’s intake.
● At the age of 6 months, the amount will increase to about 6-8 ounces and the frequency will be about every 4-5 hours.
Looking at the above, it is okay to pump and bottle-feed your baby instead of breastfeeding as long as you have the right bottles, the knowledge of how much milk you should express as, as well as check on hygiene. Bottom line is that it is healthier and advisable to ensure your baby takes the mother’s milk to benefit from the nutrients from breast milk.