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Life after birth : Bottlefeeding frequently asked questions

What is demand feeding?

Demand feeding literally means feeding on demand i.e. giving your newborn a feed when he wants it and not when you think he should have it. Babies should always be fed on demand as they know their appetites better than you do. The only exception are premature babies who tend to sleep a lot and need to be woken up for feeds every three hours.

Is it necessary for my baby to burp after every feed?

No, it isn't, although you must try and place him in a position to burp him after every feed. If he doesn't burp after half a minute, give up as he probably does not need to bring up any air.

What is(are) the best position(s) for winding my newborn?

There are different ways in which you can try and make your newborn bring up wind :

  • Place him against your shoulder and rub his back firmly but gently.
  • Place him on your lap, facing forwards and holding him under the chin to support the head while rubbing his back gently (you may have seen the nurse use this technique in the hospital during your stay there).
  • Hold him face down across your lap or in your arms.

For how long do I need to sterilise my baby's bottles and teats?

You must sterilise your baby's bottles and teats till the time your baby has milk in them.

Is it safe to use a microwave to heat my baby's milk?

It is best to warm your baby's milk by standing the bottle in warm water. If you do want to use a microwave, make sure that you shake the bottle thoroughly. Heating in a microwave can cause hot spots and you must be careful about that by shaking the bottle thoroughly.

Can I prepare the feeds for the whole day in advance?

You can prepare feeds in advance and store them in the fridge for 24 hours. Make sure you don't keep the bottles in the fridge door as the temperature is not constant there due to constant opening and closing of the fridge door.

I warmed milk for my baby but he hasn't even touched it. Should I discard the milk?

If your baby has not touched the milk, a bottle can be stored outside the fridge for upto 3 hours. Remember to discard the milk after that.

My baby has not finished his bottle. Should I save the milk for the next feed?

Once you warm milk for your baby and she starts drinking from it, you must discard the milk after one hour. All unfinished feeds must be discarded as they are a breeding ground for bacteria.

Food for thought...

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