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Bottles, Nipples, Formula - OH MY!

Published January 15, 2008        by Nicole

Using formula means you need bottles, nipples, and other paraphernalia. There’s really little difference between plastic and glass bottles except that glass bottles are more breakable. What size you choose is also a matter of convenience. Some parents find special bottle/bottle liner systems handier. But more often than not, you will have received these in your baby diaper cakes or other baby shower gifts.

Nipples come in many different sizes and shapes. Some are promoted as being “more like mother” because of their shape. What’s really important is not what the nipple looks like in the package, but how it works when your baby is sucking on it. If you find a nipple that meets your baby’s needs, stick with it.

You may wonder if it’s necessary to sterilize your baby’s bottles and nipples. If your water supply is safe and clean, there’s no need to sterilize or boil bottles and nipples. Clean them with hot, soapy water and then rinse and thoroughly dry them. Some mothers put the bottles in the dishwasher.

Mixing and Storing Formula

With the concentrated and powdered formulas, water must be added before use. Except when told otherwise by your doctor, never add more formula than the instructions say. Over-diluting formula on a regular basis leads to malnutrition.

If your water supply is clean and safe, there’s no need to boil the water before adding it to the formula. As a general rule of thumb, if you can drink the water without problems, so can your baby. If you have concerns regarding water quality, check with your local water or health department, or discuss your concerns with your baby’s doctor.

If you just mix one bottle of formula at a time, you can just add cold tap water to the powder, mix it well, and feed your baby. In areas with fluoride in the water, you won’t need to give your baby supplemental fluoride. Avoid using hot tap water- it has a greater tendency to pick up lead from plumbing.

Mixed or open formula can be safely kept refrigerated for twenty four hours. If you are traveling, the most convenient form is powdered. You simply add water and you are ready to feed your baby. You should be extremely cautious, however, if there is any question to water quality- for example, an camping trips or in foreign countries.