Bottle feeding can be a great way for baby to get the nutrition she needs and it can also be very convenient for mom. But it’s not always easy. There is a learning-curve and there are aspects that can sometime make bottle feeding a little difficult.
Traveling with bottles and formula
I was never able to breastfeed due to a medication that I am required to take regularly. I must admit that I have always been a little jealous of breastfeeding moms who have to take very few items along with them when going out or traveling. It would be so nice to pop some diapers in my purse and head out the door knowing that I can feed my baby whenever he is hungry.
However, I do have to bottle feed (and most of the time it is very convenient.) So now that I’m feeding a second baby I’ve tried many different routines for traveling with my baby’s bottles. Here are a few routines I’ve used.
- Pour baby’s formula in individual compartments of a travel formula dispenser. I have a 3 section dispenser and each section holds 8 ounces. Then fill up each bottle you’re taking out with the appropriate amount of warm water. I would store the bottles of warm water in a thermal tote. Then mix the formula into the bottle at feeding time.
- Dispense the appropriate amount of formula in the bottles you’re taking out. Then fill an easy-pour thermos with warm water. The nice thing about a thermos is you will be able to use it for many more things beyond bottle feeding. Then mix the water into the bottles at feeding time.
If your baby prefers warm bottles and you don’t have warm water on hand you can buy a bottle warmer for your car to warm bottles on the go! Just remember to give it plenty of time to warm up. Don’t wait until baby is hungry! You can use your BlueSmart mia to make sure the temperature of baby’s bottle is perfect every time. Your mia’s battery will last a whole day on a full charge so you can easily pop it in your diaper bag.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
Cleaning bottles properly is so important to ensure baby isn’t ingesting any harmful bacteria. Here are some tips to make it easier for you.
Using a dishwasher
If you have a dishwasher, wash all parts separately in a basket on the top rack. In my experience, the bottles are washed best in an otherwise empty dishwasher. Make sure to use your dishwasher’s sanitizing setting.
Washing by hand
- As you use your bottles, rinse them right away to hinder bacteria growth.
- Wash all parts separately with a bottle brush in hot, soapy water.
- There are so many great products you can use to sterilize your baby’s bottles. Personally, I use an electric steamer that sterilizes my bottles in minutes with a little water and the push of a button!
One of the great things about the Bluesmart mia is it is easy to clean. The indicator puck can be hand washed along with your bottles and the silicone smart sleeve can be hand washed or put in the dishwasher.
Choosing the Right Nipple and Assuring Proper Tightness and Flow
It can be really difficult to know if your baby is feeding well and at the proper pace. If the nipple size is incorrect or the nipple ring is too tight baby can have a tough time feeding.
If the nipple is too big baby can be overwhelmed by the formula and struggle to eat quickly enough. If the nipple is too small baby can suck in air trying to get more food out of the too small hole. Here are some general guidelines from Kidspot for how long a baby should take to feed:
Birth to 3 months: 20-40 minutes
3 to 6 months: 15-30 minutes
Over 6 months: 10-20 minutes
If you notice your baby is taking too long to feed and is tiring from feeding you may need to try a faster flow nipple. If you notice cues from baby that indicate she is being overwhelmed by her food you may want to try a slower flow nipple.
The BlueSmart mia can help you in this area too. The timer feature can track your baby’s feeding durations to help you decide whether you should change their bottle’s nipple size.
Assuring the nipple ring is screwed on correctly is also important. If it is too tight baby will have to suck harder and harder to get milk out. Older babies will learn to release the nipple in order to release pressure but young babies can get easily frustrated. Screw the nipple ring on tight enough not to let out milk but not so tight that air can’t get through.
Positioning and Environment
Properly positioning baby for feeding can be a daunting task. They have to be comfortable for a good amount of time and so do you. There are so many tips that can be given in this area, but here a few of the crucial ones.
- Find a quiet, peaceful space to feed (if you can)
- Lay your baby in a semi-reclined position with a slight tilt of the head in the crook of your elbow.
- Hold the bottle at a 90-degree angle
- Switch arms throughout the feeding to give your arm a break and give baby a new perspective
The BlueSmart mia has a motion sensor to alert you when the bottle angle is not optimal for feeding. It’s a great tool for new parents and caregivers who are just getting the hang of bottle feeding!
These are just a few bottle feeding problems and solutions. What are some problems you’ve dealt with and how did you solve them?