What You Need To Have To Feed Your Baby Safely
After learning how to feed your baby, the next question that many parents might have is - how to do it safely? especially during the pandemic when personal hygiene concern is becoming a global concern.
According to Baby Centre Medical Advisory Board (UK), there are several key practice that parents should practice whenever they are feeding their baby.
1. Ensure Baby Feeding Equipment Is Clean
First and foremost, wash your hands. Disinfect the surface used to organise your baby's feeding equipment. Then, clean the feeding equipment thoroughly, including bottles, teats, retaining rings, and caps:
- Wash baby's feeding equipment using hot, soapy water as soon as possible after each feed
- Keep brushes exclusively just for cleaning bottles, to scrub inside bottles. Use small teat brush to clean through teat holes, turn teats inside out when washing and get them thoroughly clean. Don't be tempted to use salt to clean teats, salt can be dangerous for your baby.
- You can put your baby's feeding equipment through a dish washer cycle, this cleans it but doesn't sterilise it. Make sure bottles, lids and teats are facing downwards when you do this. You may want to hand-wash teats as you can be more thorough than your dishwasher.
- Rinse all feeding equipment in clean, cold, running tap water.
Once your baby's feeding equipment is clean, the next step is sterilisation
2. Sterilise Feeding Bottle
Sterilise feeding bottle before each feed would be ideal as sterilising kills germs that can gather on your baby's bottle and potentially in milk. These germs could make your baby ill with vomiting and diarrhoea.
You can sterilise your baby's feeding equipment:
- Boiling it for at least 10 minutes in a large, covered pan. Check teats often because boiling can make them more prone to damage.
- With an electric steam steriliser.
- With a microwave steriliser.
- Soaking it in cold-water sterilising solution.
It is recommended to leave bottles and teats in the steriliser or pan until you need them to prepare feed for your baby, clean your hands and take the equipment with sterile tongs. Put the teats and lids on the bottles straight away and then place the bottles on disinfected surface.
It is recommended to sterilise all feeding equipment until your baby is at least one year old, with regular check teats and bottles, and throw out any with splits or cracks.
You can check out the milk bottle steriliser here
3. Too hot or too cold
One of the basic rule for feeding your baby is to ensure that the milk is not too hot and not too cold, rule of thumb is that milk for baby is always good to serve with moderate temperature.
If you are using expressed breast milk, or ready-made formula, you can warm the bottle with bowl of warm water. Leave it for no more than 15 minutes. You can also buy an electric bottle warmer, which takes around four minutes to six minutes to heat a bottle to the correct temperature.
You may check out more information about bottle warmer here
It's not recommended to use a microwave to warm milk for your little one. Microwave ovens do not heat the milk evenly, it can lead to hot spots, which can burn your baby's mouth and seriously hurt his small mouth and lip and not to mention overheating the milk can also break down vital nutrients.
Before feeding your little one, it is mandatory for parents to test the temperature of the milk by tipping a little milk on your wrist. It should feel warm, not hot and not cold. If the milk become too hot and necessary to cold it down fast, you can cool the milk by holding the bottle under cold running water. Make sure the tap water doesn't splash the sterilised teat.
With technology, nowadays you can test your baby food and milk without the need to tip milk on your wrist anymore, check this out here
4. Get comfortable
When you feeding your baby, tilt the bottle slightly, so that the teat is always full of milk, not air. Your baby may feed in short bursts of sucking with a rest in between. These breaks in feeding give your little one time to feel if your baby is full or not.
To help your baby swallow less air, prop the baby up a little as your little one feeds. Never feed your baby lying flat or leave the baby alone propped up with a bottle, as the baby may choke.
You may make use of additional tool to make your baby comfortable during the feeding process, you may check this out here for more information