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Bottle-Feeding: 11 Common Bottle-Feeding Mistakes Every Parent Makes

A mother is the most precious gift bestowed upon the baby by the Almighty. Before the little one arrives in this world, he already has someone who loves him unconditionally. Parents and especially the mothers want nothing but the best for their babies. For this purpose, they don’t wait for the baby to arrive in this world to make things perfect for him, but rather mothers start changing their lifestyle and adopt healthy habits during pregnancy for the sake of their little ones.

They want the baby to be healthy, active, mentally, and physically strong, etc. In order to provide everything in perfection to their little one, they try their best to educate themselves about every trivial detail that might come across in their parenting journey.

They read and research information online, talk to the experts, ask for suggestions, and advice from family members and friends. Even though after so many efforts, they make certain errors. It is perfectly alright to make common parenting mistakes because parenting is all about trials and errors. One cannot expect himself to be the perfect parent and raise the baby without any mistakes.

Either it is making the baby sleep, bathing him, holding him, or even feeding him, mistakes are going to happen especially for the first time. 

Often the mother makes mistakes when she starts to breastfeed her baby. However, with time she gets a hold of things and becomes a pro. Similar is the case with bottle-feeding the baby. At first, mistakes are sure to happen but with proper knowledge and the right practice, the mistakes can be eradicated making bottle-feeding convenient for both the mother and the baby.

Sometimes it’s okay to make common parenting mistakes as long as it doesn’t harm the baby. But, when it comes to feeding the baby, either breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, mistakes can be fatal for the little one. Therefore, no risks can be taken in this regard.

If you are planning to start bottle-feeding your baby and looking for some set of advice to help you in this phase, then keep scrolling.

For all the mothers who are worried about making bottle-feeding mistakes, we are here to guide you. We have gathered 11 common bottle-feeding mistakes that normally every parent makes. Keep reading to find out which mistakes you have to avoid.

1. Forceful Feeding

This is the most common mistake which almost every parent makes. Often when the babies cry, parents think that his cries are because of his hunger. Therefore, as soon as the babies start crying, parents start to feed them.

If the baby is fed every time he cries, he will expect his caregivers to feed him even when he is not hungry. 

Overeating and eating frequently can have an adverse effect on health. If the baby cries it might be the cue that he is hungry, but not all the time. 

Babies might cry because of various reasons, for instance, they might be feeling cold, or they’re wet, etc.

Next time when your baby cries make sure not to feed him unless you are completely satisfied that he is hungry.

2. Incorrect Ratio Of Formula And Water

Baby formula is expensive. Purchasing this formula milk every week can put a burden on parent’s pockets. Especially when the baby grows up, he needs more of it. It can become really difficult for the parents to manage the costs of diapers and formula milk.

To save their hard-earned money, parents water down the formula milk. They add less formula and more water. It might look like a smart way to make the formula last longer but, the watery milk is of no use to the baby.

Formula milk is prepared by adding all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals which are mandatory for the physical and mental growth of the baby. Adding more water to the formula and not following the directions on the label will not give the required minerals and nutrients to the baby.

3. Forgetting To Clean And Sterilize The Bottles

Clean And Sterilize The Bottles

Babies do not have a strong immune system like adults. To protect their small bodies and delicate system, extra measures should be taken to maintain a high level of cleanliness.   

After the feeding time, mothers don’t take enough time to clean and sterilize the bottles properly. Failure to properly clean the bottles may lead to the molding of bacteria on the nipple of the bottle which may upset the baby’s stomach.

Excessive germs on the nipple can sometimes lead to diarrhea. It can cause severe dehydration and can erode the electrolytes in the baby’s system which might be fatal for the little one.

Make it a rule to wash the bottle properly and sterilize it in boiling water to avoid any contamination of bacteria.

4. Preparing The Bottles In Advance

Having a little one can sometimes make you feel that 24 hours in a day aren’t enough. You have to manage your house chores, fulfill professional commitments, and always be available for the baby. 

Mothers are often in search of smart ways to manage chores and the idea of preparing the bottles in advance for the baby may seem very appealing to them.

Preparing the bottles in advance is not a good idea because the formula milk once prepared, has to be consumed within 2 hours or else it will become unsafe for the baby’s tummy.

Don’t prepare the formula milk in advance. Prepare the bottle just a few minutes before you have to feed your baby. Don’t risk your baby’s health just to save a few minutes.

5. Heating Formula Milk In Microwave

Mothers are always running around the clock to manage all their tasks. Standing in the kitchen and using a stove to heat the water is time-consuming and the busy mother would opt for a microwave to heat the water.

Putting the bottle in the microwave will quickly heat the bottle, but it has its disadvantages. The hot bottle might scald the baby’s little mouth. Furthermore, the formula when added into the hot bottle, makes it lose its minerals and essential vitamins for the baby.

If you are in a hurry or simply want to save time then get a good quality bottle warmer to heat the feeding bottles.

6. Using Tap Water

When it comes to babies, mothers do not hesitate to go overboard and maintain a high level of cleanliness for the babies. Especially, during this time when most of the world has been stricken with COVID-19. Mothers want to make sure that their babies are away from all kinds of bacteria and viruses. 

Even though mothers put in extra efforts for the health and hygiene of the babies, they sometimes make a very common parenting mistake i.e. of using plain tap water for babies.

Unlike adults, babies do not have a strong immune system to fight all the germs that enter inside their bodies. Tap water contains a lot of impurities which can upset the stomach and intestines of the baby. 

Make sure to boil the water and let it cool for 5 minutes before you prepare the bottle. If boiling the tap water is not a convenient option for you then you can easily purchase distilled water at stores.

7. Reusing The Formula Milk

A baby in the house means living on a tight budget. Parents have to spend their money on baby's essentials such as clothes, diapers, formula, visits to doctors, and the list continues.

Saving and reusing things is always a good idea, but only for adults. Many parents are tempted to apply the same principle to the baby as well. The majority of the babies do not finish their bottles and they are half to quarter full.

Instead of discarding the leftover milk, many mothers put it in the refrigerator to warm it later and feed the baby. This isn’t a good idea. The bacteria in the baby’s mouth is likely to enter the formula which might multiply itself in the milk.

Once the bottle-feeding time is over, discard the leftover milk. Prepare a fresh bottle whenever your little one is hungry.

8. Not Burping The Baby

Feeding a bottle to the baby may take up some time. Once the babies are done, parents make a run to clean the house and fulfill their professional commitments. After feeding, they simply make the baby lie down and do not burp them.

When a baby suckles, he swallows a lot of air which gets trapped inside his belly. The air stuck in their tummies can be painful and prevents them from feeding properly as they feel full.

When the baby is halfway through the bottle, pick him up, place him on your shoulder, and gently rub his back. This allows the gas inside his stomach to be released and makes the digestion and absorption of nutrients easier for the baby.

9. Letting The Baby Fall Asleep With The Bottle

Handing the bottle to the little one before sleep will not only make a mess but, it’ll be very risky for the baby. 

When the baby sleeps with a bottle inside his mouth, the leftover milk can stick to the baby’s gum which can cause infection and cavities. Furthermore, if the baby sleeps with a bottle inside his mouth, it increases the chances of choking.

Many parents let the baby sleep with the bottle because when they try to pull the bottle out of the baby’s mouth he wakes up. If your baby does the same then replace the bottle with bib dummies.

Bib dummies soothe and calm the baby. Babies find comfort and protection when they suck. Give your babies bib dummies when they fall asleep. They are safe and will soothe the baby making him fall asleep faster.

10. Not Making A Proper Routine

Newborns are less likely to become cranky if they have a fixed schedule. The earlier their routines are made, the more they adjust to it. Many parents fail to develop a proper routine for their babies assuming that it’s not important.

When babies have a routine they know exactly when they are going to have bottle-feeding, changing, and sleeping time. This makes their body adaptable and disciplined. Babies feed better when they are fed according to their routine. They absorb more nutrients which are vital for their growth and healthy weight gain.

If the baby doesn’t have a routine and parents give him the bottle as per their convenience then it is not healthy for the baby.  This practice of parents either overfeeds the baby or under feeds them.

If you want your baby to stay healthy and absorb all the nutrients that his body needs, then make sure you set a routine for them

11. Failing To Check The Expiry Dates

Check The Expiry Dates

Your baby is wailing out of hunger and he wants the bottle immediately. You grab the formula milk, open it, and scoop out its contents…but, wait. Did you check the manufacturing and expiry dates?

A lot of mothers aren’t in the habit of checking the expiry dates of the formula. Whenever you buy the formula, make sure that you check its expiry date. If the baby drinks expired formula then don’t be surprised if he becomes sick or simply refuses to take the milk because of its bad taste.

Along with the expiry dates, also check that the tin is properly sealed and not dented or damaged from any side. If there are any cracks, or if the tin isn’t sealed properly, then keep it back and inform the store manager to get it removed from the shelves.

Conclusion

Feeding the baby is a special moment for the parents. During this time parents get an opportunity to bond with their little ones and spend some extra time with them.

A baby’s health should be the first priority of every parent. Make sure that you are familiar with the proper method to feed your child to ensure that he gets the proper nourishment and minerals for his mental and physical growth.

Don’t leave the baby unattended while he is feeding on the bottle. The little one always looks for opportunities when he is alone so that he can pull off his latest stunts. Don’t give this opportunity to your kids at this stage. It will pose a threat to their safety.

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