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  Bottle Feeding – Practical Guidelines
I am so nervous that I won’t disinfect the bottles properly and baby will get sick. Please can I have some hard and fast rules to follow for formula feeding?

Millions of babies are fed formula every year and don’t get sick. However babies do have limited immunity and are prone to diarrhoea and thrush if their bottles are not kept properly clean. The rules are really simple and easy to follow.

I am so nervous that I won't disinfect the bottles properly and baby will get sick. Please can I have some hard and fast rules to follow for formula feeding?

• Boil the kettle and allow time for the water to cool before you make up formula

• Wash your hands

• When you get home from buying formula, clean the tins thoroughly with hot water and washing up liquid. Open the tin with the opener provided and not a tin opener if possible

• Wash bottles and teats immediately after use. Then scrub teats with salt to rid them of any milky layer.

• Buy sterilising solution (such as Miltons), which is recommended for babies' bottles, from your pharmacy. Read the instructions carefully to get correct dilution, use a non-metallic container and eliminate all bubbles from bottles and teats.

• Replace sterilising solution every 24 hours and soak bottles and teats for a minimum of 30 minutes before use.

• Leave bottles and teats to soak between feeds and do not rinse before use. Protein in milk will neutralise the sterilising solution. Rinsing introduces bacteria into the clean items!

• It's vital to make the formula up exactly according to the directions on the container. Never ever meddle with this recipe! You can change the volume that you give the baby but not the dilution.

• Formula served at room temperature is fine for your baby. It is best not to get into the routine of warming the bottle unless the baby shows a strong preference for warm milk. Milk can be warmed if necessary by placing the closed bottle in warm water, not by microwaving. Body temperature is fine, and can be checked by dripping some onto your wrist.

• Never keep formula left over from a feed. Throw it away.

• If you make up formula in advance for travelling or for a night feed, keep it well chilled, to prevent the growth of bacteria, until it is required.

See also:

Bottle feeding - Advantages

Bottle feeding - Choice of teat

Bottle feeding - Choosing the best formula

Bottle feeding - Combining with breastfeeding

Bottle feeding - Drawbacks

Bottle feeding - Intolerance/Allergy to Cow's Milk

Bottle feeding - Physical contact and Propping

Bottle feeding - Pros and cons

Bottle feeding - Quantity

Bottle feeding - Reducing mother's milk supply

Bottle feeding - Switching from breastfeeding

Bottle feeding - Travelling
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