Breastfeeding is best! We strongly encourage mothers to breastfeed.
However… There are times when a baby may be fed from a bottle. Breastfeeding mothers may provide their own milk in the bottle for someone else to feed the baby when they’re away. And sometimes mothers have medical reasons or personal reasons for using formula.
Tips for safe bottle feeding It’s important to feed babies safely. If your baby is fed with a bottle, follow these tips to keep her safe!
Is someone else bottle feeding your baby? If so, make sure that person knows how to safely bottle feed your baby.
Babies can choke! Never prop the bottle. Babies can choke if the bottle is propped in their mouths!
Hold your baby close! Always hold your baby close when you are feeding her. This is the safe way to bottle feed her. And your warmth and eye contact will help her feel loved and secure.
Do not put your baby to bed with a bottle! This can cause your baby to choke, get ear infections, and get cavities, even before her baby teeth have come in!
Follow the directions! If you feed your baby formula, follow the directions on the formula can carefully. This is very, very important.
If you add too much water when you’re mixing the formula, your baby will not receive enough nutrition to be healthy.
If you don’t add enough water, the formula can cause serious problems for your baby’s stomach, heart, liver and other organs.
Extremely dangerous! Drinking formula with too much water or too little water is extremely dangerous!
Ask for more information! There are other important tips for safely feeding your baby infant formula. It’s a good idea to ask your doctor for directions. Read more about safe bottlefeeding here>>
More tips for keeping your baby healthy Follow these tips to keep your baby healthy.
Only the right amount Help your baby drink the right amount for her. Hold the bottle mostly sideways, at an angle, not straight up. Then the milk will flow into your baby’s mouth at the right speed. This way, your baby will not eat too much.
Babies are born with tiny tummies. They don’t need to eat very much at one time. New babies and older babies know when they’re hungry and when they’re full. But if you bottle feed them more than they need over and over again, they stop knowing when they’re full. That’s a problem. Read more here>>
Overweight or diabetic Babies who continue to drink and eat too much may become very overweight when they are children. If those children continue to gain weight too quickly as they grow, they may even become diabetic when they are teenagers or young adults.
Take breaks! When you feed your baby, take breaks. Give your baby a chance to show you that she isn’t hungry anymore or that she’s still hungry. How does your baby tell you when she’s full or still hungry? Read more here>>
Little by little Stop bottle feeding your baby little by little when she is about one year old. Feed her less milk and more family food. She is able to use a cup by then, and she needs to eat a variety of foods.
Read about moving to a cup here>>
Is your baby is ready for solids? Learn more here>>
How do you begin to serve your baby solid foods? Read more here>>
Are you a WIC parent? If you are a WIC parent, you can also
• ask your WIC educator how to bottle feed safely.
• talk to your WIC educator about the foods that are best for your baby.
• go to a WIC parent session about readiness for solid foods.