Parent's Guide for Giving Toddler Milk Formula

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If you have recently decided to bottle-feed your newborn, you are probably full of questions about toddler milk formula preparation, feeding positions, sanitizing utensils, and burping techniques. Here are a few guidelines on how to feed your toddler milk formula successfully.

1. The first thing to do is to make sure all bottles, nipples, and other utensils to be used are clean. Wash the utensils in hot tap water with dishwashing detergent and rinse in hot tap water. If the water in your home is non-chlorinated water or well water, place the utensils in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Read the directions. Make sure you follow the manufacturer's directions for the formula type you choose. If you add too much water, your baby won't get the calories and nutrients she needs and if the water is too little, the high concentration of formula could cause dehydration or diarrhea.

3. Prepare the formula. Boil the water you plan to use in the formula for approximately one minute and then add it to the formula powder. If you are preparing the formula in advance, make sure it is stored in the refrigerator and if the refrigerated formula is not used within 24 hours, throw it out.

4. Warm the formula. Although refrigerated formula doesn't necessarily have to be warmed up for your baby, most infants prefer it at least at room temperature. The best and easiest way to warm refrigerated toddler formula is to place the bottle in a pan of water on the stove at low heat and then rotate it frequently. You must not use microwave oven to heat your toddler's bottle because this can overheat the milk in the center of the container. The bottle may feel comfortably warm to touch but the superheated milk in the center can scald your baby's mouth. Besides this, the bottle itself can explode if left in the microwave for a long time.

5. Proper feeding position. Cradle your baby in a semi-upright position and support her head. Do not feed her lying down as formula can flow into the middle ear, thereby causing an infection.

Also, to prevent your baby from swallowing air as she sucks, tilt the feeding bottle in such a way that the formula fills the neck of the bottle and covers the nipple.

6. Always take note of your baby's intake. Your baby may take less than an ounce at feedings for the first few days, and will probably be hungry every two to four hours. It is best to feed your baby on demand and don't encourage your baby to finish the bottle if he is not interested. Also, if he is still sucking enthusiastically when the bottle is empty, make sure you offer him more.

7. Burping. Usually, babies get cranky and fussy when they swallow air during feedings. Burp your baby frequently after every 2 or 3 ounces of formula to prevent a tummy full of air. If your baby doesn't burp after trying for a couple of minutes, resume feeding.

The three best positions for burping are;

On the lap: while sitting your baby upright, lean her weight forward against the heel of your hand and then firmly rub her back.

Over the shoulder: Drape your baby over your shoulder and firmly rub or pat her back.

Lying down: Gently place your baby stomach-down on your lap and firmly rub or pat her back.

I hope this guide helps most especially the new mums like me. If you want to add more tips, kindly leave them through the comments section below.