Here’s How to Bottle-Feed Your Baby

Here’s How to Bottle-Feed Your Baby

If you’re breastfeeding your baby, you probably don’t need to be told how to bottle-feed your baby; it’s only if you’re switching to formula that this advice will come in handy. After all, bottle-feeding isn’t that complicated, as it involves just three basic steps: preparing the formula, warming the bottles, and feeding your baby! If you can follow those steps competently and carefully, your baby will grow into a happy, healthy toddler in no time. Here’s how to bottle-feed your baby the right way!

Bottle-Feeding a Newborn

This can be an intimidating process for new parents. It’s important to remember that every baby is different, and yours may take some time to get used to feeding with a bottle. Make sure you’re being patient while encouraging him or her during feedings.

When you finish a feeding, make sure your baby burps – if they don’t burp on their own, gently pat their back until they do so (this can take several minutes). This will help prevent gas and other stomach issues. Finally, always wash and sterilize your bottles before using them – even if they were just used by another family member! If your baby ends up having problems eating from a bottle early on, contact your pediatrician for help.

When Should you Introduce a Bottle to your Baby?

According to most pediatricians, you should introduce a bottle once your baby is 6 weeks old and has developed enough hand and mouth coordination to hold his own bottle. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right away, though—you’ll have plenty of time between now and when baby starts eating solids. Of course, not all babies are ready at 6 weeks.

If your child is younger than that, keep offering him a cup with a little bit of breast milk or formula in it during feedings until he seems interested in drinking from an actual bottle. Once he’s started grabbing for toys and trying to pick up small objects with his hands (by about 4 months), he’s probably ready for a bottle as well.

How to Bottle-Feed your Baby

The first step in bottle feeding is to prepare your baby’s formula. If you’re using a powdered formula, mix it with water that has been boiled and cooled. (Don’t use tap water—the chlorine in it will harm your baby.) Babies up to three months old need only one feeding per day.

If your infant is between four and six months old, however, they should get two feedings daily. Once they are six months old, most babies can start eating solids as well as continuing to be fed breast milk or formula by bottle.

Choose the Right Bottle

A newborn baby’s stomach is very small, so it doesn’t need a lot of food. A newborn’s stomach holds about 1 ounce (30 ml) of milk, according to MedlinePlus. Each feeding should last no longer than 15 minutes per side (for a total of 30 minutes for each feeding).

After you feed your baby for about 2 weeks, you can start offering her expressed breast milk or formula in addition to breastfeeding sessions. For example, you might begin with three breastfeedings and one bottle feed per day. As your baby grows and develops more motor skills, she will be able to eat from a bottle on her own—usually between 4 and 6 months old.

Breastfeeding Vs. Formula

So, you’ve decided not to breastfeed and that you want your baby bottle-fed. That’s fine—many parents do so without problem. But there are a few steps that can help your baby get off on a good start and make breastfeeding easier if (or when) you go back to it.

Start by making sure that all of your bottles, nipples, and valves are clean, sterilized, and in excellent condition—bacteria or damaged parts can be dangerous for babies and cause trouble later on as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using plain tap water heated in a stovetop kettle or microwave oven; formula also works but usually doesn’t heat up as quickly or evenly as tap water does.

When To Start

Some experts recommend starting solids at around six months of age. It’s a good idea to start when your baby is showing signs that she’s ready for solid foods, like turning her head toward food or trying to grab food from others’ plates.

If you don’t want to wait until six months, though, it’s fine to start solids earlier—at four months or five months—as long as your baby appears healthy and isn’t underweight. Remember that breast milk or formula is still a baby’s main source of nutrition during those first few years; solids aren’t meant to replace that sustenance, they’re just an additional source of vitamins and minerals.

How Much

The amount of formula you use will depend on how old your baby is. As a general rule, as babies get older they need less formula. When feeding your newborn, aim for 30 ml per ounce (120 ml/kg) of body weight; most newborns should drink 3 or 4 ounces at each feeding.

If a newborn is underweight, adjust the amount of formula given until he or she weighs in at 8 pounds (3.5 kg). Babies weighing more than 8 pounds may require 1 oz more formula per pound of body weight above 8 pounds.

The Feeding Routine

You’ve gotten your baby home from hospital, and she’s in your arms. You might be thinking: what now? How am I supposed to feed her? She’s been nursing—how do I bottle-feed her? What do I do if she doesn’t finish all of her food? Will she be hungry in a few hours? Is there anything I can eat while feeding my baby (she must be starving!)?! Whether you’re feeding formula or breast milk, here’s how to bottle-feed your baby safely—without feeling stressed out.

Bottle-Feeding Problems And Solutions

Bottle-feeding an infant can be difficult and often stressful. Learn how to bottle feed a baby by following these steps: 1. Make sure your baby is properly latched onto your nipple or bottle. 2. Hold your bottle or breast in a steady position so that it doesn’t wobble around while feeding. 

Offer milk in small amounts, not large gulps, and remember to burp your baby every few minutes after each feeding session ends; some experts also recommend patting them on their back or applying gentle pressure with your fingers on their chin once they’ve finished nursing for optimal digestion—especially if you’re breastfeeding since there are important digestive enzymes located just under that area of skin. 

Signs your Baby is Hungry

It’s one of those things new parents are told over and over again: Keep a watchful eye on your baby. If you notice any sudden or unusual changes in your baby’s behavior, be sure to act fast. Here are a few signs that your baby is hungry Babies can start showing signs of hunger as early as two weeks old.

Their bodies aren’t developed enough yet to fully communicate their needs, so it falls on us to pay attention and learn what our babies need from us (and when). The good news? There are plenty of ways for parents to keep tabs on their little ones—and make sure they get fed when they need it most. Here are some tips for feeding your baby safely and effectively at every stage.

Bonding With your Baby During Bottle-Feeding

When you and your baby spend time together, it’s called bonding. Bonding is important because it helps you get closer to your baby. Bonding with your baby can help her feel safe, secure, and loved by you. When you bond with your baby during bottle-feeding, she may look at you more often, smile at you more often, and pay attention to what’s going on around her more often than if she were bottle-fed alone. And when babies are held a lot during bottle-feeding and other times of day—like when they’re changed or put down for naps—they tend to cry less! All these benefits of bonding make it an important part of raising happy and healthy babies.


Maybe breastfeeding is more natural and seems easier, but keep in mind that bottle feeding is still a viable way of providing your baby with sustenance. Get expert help if you need it, don’t worry about what your mother-in-law thinks—and for goodness sake, trust yourself! Do whatever works best for you and your little one. No matter what feeding method you choose, just remember that babies eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full. That shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.


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