Frequently Occurring Feeding Problems

Since a baby has little else to do in life besides eat and sleep, it would seem logical that eating would be something that presents little difficulty. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Many new moms run into feeding issues that while common, can be extremely frustrating. For an exhausted new mom, feeding problems can escalate into a major issue quickly. Take a look at some of the most frequently encountered feeding issues and how to resolve them.

Baby Won’t Latch On!

Breastfeeding moms are often discouraged and frustrated when what seems like the simplest of baby care tasks just doesn’t seem to be working. Poor latch is responsible for all kinds of problems, from gas in the baby to blocked milk ducts in the mother. Babies are born with the ability to suck, but latching on is just as new to them as it is to mom. It takes some practice, and sometimes requires some help.

First, try a different position, such as a football hold, to see if this helps baby access the nipple better. If you have tried everything and are still struggling, call in a pro. Make an appointment with a lactation consultant who can help you to get it figured out. Your obstetrician or the hospital where you gave birth should be able to direct you to a consultant.

Baby Won’t Take the Bottle!

Especially if you are introducing a bottle after breastfeeding, you might have some difficulty getting your baby to accept the different look and feel of the nipple. This will likely just take time, and some experimentation with different bottles. If your baby has been on the bottle since birth, however, and suddenly starts to refuse the bottle, there may be something else going on.

Refusing a bottle can be a sign of several possible problems, from teething to ear infections, both of which make sucking painful. It could also be a sign of an upset stomach. If a reason doesn’t present itself quickly and your baby continues to refuse the bottle, it’s best to put in a call to the pediatrician. An examination might reveal the reason for the refusal, and avoid potential dehydration from refusing fluids.

Formula Upsets My Baby’s Tummy

From the first day of formula feeding to a later transition from breast milk to formula, there can be problematic responses to some of the ingredients. The proteins in formula are more difficult for a baby to digest than those in breast milk, and can cause problems like gas, constipation and diarrhea. Fortunately, there are many different formulas on the market, and you should be able to find one that works for your child.

It’s possible that the reaction is being caused by an allergy to something in the formula, whether it’s cow’s milk or soy; in this case you may need to try a hypoallergenic formula. If problems persist, see your baby’s doctor.

My Baby Falls Asleep During Feedings!

Babies sleep a lot, and it doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong if your baby is falling asleep during feedings. It could be simple fatigue, or baby has had enough to eat and is satisfied. If you are worried that your baby is falling asleep before ingesting enough, try feeding in a brightly lit room that discourages sleep. Unwrap baby from any blankets or sleep sacks; the cooler air will also encourage wakefulness. It might not be pleasant to have to turn on the lights for a night feeding, but if you don’t think baby is eating enough it might be required.

During the day, try to pick a feeding time when your baby is most alert, generally shortly after waking up. You might also find baby is the hungriest right after a nap and will eat more.

Identifying and Treating Constipation in Your Baby

Constipation is one of the most common reasons that new mothers call their baby’s pediatrician for advice. While babies do get constipated, many of the incidents that lead to a call to the doctor aren’t constipation at all, but rather a normal change in a baby’s bowel movements. When baby really is constipated, however, it can make for a very unhappy baby and thus an unhappy mother too.

How Long Can a Baby Go Between Bowel Movements?

It isn’t necessary for a baby to have a bowel movement every day, and a space of a few days between dirty diapers isn’t anything to be concerned about. In a breastfed baby, bowel movements can occur as little as once a week, and a space of up to two weeks can be normal. Because the body absorbs breast milk so thoroughly, there is often little waste leftover to form stool. For this reason exclusively breastfed babies rarely become constipated.

How to Recognize Constipation

Merely not having a bowel movement for a few days doesn’t necessarily mean baby is constipated, as many new mothers believe. Constipation occurs when stool becomes backed up in the intestines in a large enough amount to cause pain and discomfort for baby. This is usually noticeable in baby’s behavior and mood. A constipated baby may become fussy or even extremely upset when attempting to pass a stool. This is because the stool has become hard, dense, and difficult to pass. If your child seems to strain when having a bowel movement but is not crying or in pain and passes soft stool, constipation isn’t a problem. In this case, infrequent stool is probably normal for your child at this stage of life.

When your baby starts to pass hard, small stools that are heavy and dense, and is showing significant distress when passing them, constipation is likely, even if the stools are being passed fairly frequently.

Treating Constipation

Most pediatricians will recommend a small amount of fruit juice such as apple juice to get things moving. Remember to closely follow your doctor’s recommendation for the amount of juice, because too much can swing the pendulum in the other direction and cause diarrhea. In severe cases, a glycerin suppository may be recommended to soften the stool and clear out the bowels.

Treating a one-time case of constipation is usually fairly simple and straightforward. If your baby has regular, recurring constipation, however, it’s a good idea to take a look at what you are feeding. A change to a different formula is a good idea, as an intolerance for one of the ingredients in formula is a common culprit in constipation. Your baby may not be able to tolerate cow’s milk proteins and will do better on a soy formula.

If changing formulas does not seem to alleviate the problem, it’s probably time to talk to your baby’s doctor about the ongoing problem, and work together to find a solution. The constipation could be caused by a blockage or another condition affecting the bowels and causing them to fail to move stools along properly. These are rare problems, but warrant investigation if common methods fail to successfully treat your baby’s constipation.

Many babies will encounter constipation at some point, whether from a problem with formula or when starting solids, another constipation culprit. Fortunately, most cases are easily treated and do not become serious problems.

Cow’s Milk and Babies: Wait until One Year

Although your baby may have been on a cow’s milk based formula since birth and has tried other dairy products such as yogurt, you should still hold off on giving your baby cow’s milk for the first 12 months of life. Cow’s milk can cause a number of problems, and differs from other dairy based products in its safety for babies.

Cow’s Milk and Baby’s Body

Under one year of age, your baby’s digestive system simply isn’t ready for cow’s milk. The proteins can be difficult to digest and can cause gastrointestinal problems. In large amounts, cow’s milk can damage the lining of baby’s stomach, resulting in internal bleeding. This is only one of the ways in which cow’s milk can lead to low iron levels in baby and serious consequences.

Cow’s milk is also known to block the absorption of iron, which is essential to your baby’s blood. Iron helps to create new red blood cells and also hemoglobin. Low iron results in low levels of red blood cells and a reduced ability for oxygen to be carried throughout the body. This is known as iron deficiency anemia, and it is common in babies who do not get enough iron through baby food diet. Cow’s milk can cause iron deficiency anemia through both blocked iron absorption and also by causing stomach bleeding that leaches more iron from the bloodstream.

As your baby grows past one year, the digestive system will be better able to handle the proteins in milk, but the risk of anemia still exists, so cow’s milk intake should always be regulated.

Why Some Dairy Products are Safe

Not all dairy carries the same risks as cow’s milk. In foods like cheese and yogurt the processing methods that are used in manufacturing break down the protein and the lactose, making them easier to digest. This is why many lactose intolerant people are able to eat these foods and yet can’t drink milk. The same applies to cow’s milk based formulas, however there are still some babies who can’t tolerate even the dairy protein in these formulas and need a different option.

The main difference between milk and other dairy products is that yogurt and cheese are unlikely to be eaten in large amounts, and are even less likely to replace formula or breast milk. During the first year, your baby needs all the nutrients that are provided by these sources. Cow’s milk does not provide everything a baby needs nutritionally. After one year old, babies are able to use cow’s milk as a beverage because they are eating larger amounts of solid baby foods that provide a much better nutritional base. A baby who starts drinking cow’s milk too early may skip formula or breast milk feedings and lose important nutrients.

Until your baby is a year old, the only beverage that is really required is breast milk or formula. Along with meeting all of your baby’s nutritional needs, they also offer plenty of fluid intake to keep baby hydrated. Once your baby is a year old, you can start to replace these feedings with cow’s milk and wean from the breast or bottle. At this time you should still be cautious that baby gets less than 24 ounces of cow’s milk every day. This will prevent anemia and also make certain milk isn’t replacing meals.

Favorite Snacks for Babies and Toddlers

When your baby has graduated from breast milk or formula and is eating three meals a day, snacks will become an important part of the daily routine. A small, healthy snack twice a day, usually mid-morning and mid-afternoon can be a healthy addition to your child’s diet as long as you make smart choices that will both please your child and provide important nutrients.

Look for snacks that are kid-friendly, provide sustained energy, and that are easy for your older baby or toddler to eat. Snack time shouldn’t take a long time, or a lot of preparation, so having snacks ready to go will make it easier to choose right.

Favorite Snacks for Older Babies

When your older baby is ready to start snacking, he probably still won’t have all his teeth or be able to chew some of the snack options grown ups enjoy. Still, there are plenty of snack options for babies that are healthy, easy to eat and great tasting too.

Your baby’s favorite snack might be one of his first finger foods. Cheerios, the popular early choice for babies learning to pick up foods with the thumb and forefinger, will continue to be a much-loved snack for some time. They are easily portable, don’t require refrigeration and are made with healthy whole oats. Other similar dry cereals will work just as well, just be sure to watch out for sugar content by reading the nutrition label on the cereal box.

Add some protein to your baby’s snack with small pieces of cheese, which will be very popular with older babies. Use caution to cut the pieces small enough to avoid a choking hazard – try cutting thin strips rather than cubes or chunks. Yogurt is another excellent snack option for older babies that adds protein.

Bananas are an excellent snack choice that babies love. One of his first baby foods, he can now handle slices of banana, which are easy for him to hold and also soft enough to prevent a choking hazard.

Favorite Snacks for Toddlers

Once your toddler has cut her molars, a whole new world of food opens up, and that translates to snacks as well. Favorite toddler snacks will be a little more advanced than those you offered her as a baby. Now is the time to look to all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables, and take previously loved snacks a little further.

Popular snacks with the toddler crowd include thin cut apple slices – add some peanut butter or a yogurt dip for a little extra protein, berries such as blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, and grapes (cut up as they are still a choking hazard). Your toddler may also be ready for some raw veggies, such as thin carrot sticks and cucumber slices.

Toddlers still love cheese, and you can now offer slices paired with healthy whole grain crackers. Mix it up with different types of cheese for new tastes. Try melting cheese on the crackers in your toaster oven, and topping it with a small chunk of tomato for a different twist on a traditional snack.

The ability to self-feed with a spoon makes a cup of yogurt or applesauce an even more appealing snack for both mom and toddler alike. She will love feeling like a grown-up eating her own snack, and you will be free to get other things done!

Snack time for babies and toddlers is a great time for fun foods that are both healthy and delicious. The purpose of snacks is to keep your child going in between meals, so keep them small – remember it’s just a snack, not a second lunch!

Starting Baby on Snacks

When your baby starts to master the art of eating solid foods and increases his intake, you will probably start thinking about adding a snack or two to his diet. The key to giving your baby snacks is to remember that they should be small portions and should be healthy choices. Snack time is also a great time for baby to work on his pincer grasp, so finger foods are a great choice.

When to Add Snacks

Most babies will start on finger foods at around 9 months of age, when they start to develop the pincer grasp. This is a great time to add a snack to your baby’s menu. Remember that during these early days of solid foods, your baby is still getting most of his nutrition from breast milk or formula. Snacks are about developing skills more than about nutrition.

That doesn’t mean that what your baby eats for a snack shouldn’t be nutritious! At this age, everything your baby eats should be basic, healthy foods, and this includes snacks. Start with one small snack a day. You might want to save it for a time when you need a few minutes to accomplish something, especially if you plan to serve a finger food as a snack. As with meals, serve snacks after a breast or bottle feeding to ensure the solid food does not replace the essential nutrition of breast milk or formula.

Good Snack Choices for Babies

Healthy snacks for babies should be fairly similar to the foods they are eating as meals, with the exception of adding some classic finger foods. Remember that a snack should not be a meal, but should be small portions of a food that will help baby hang in until the next scheduled feeding. Before serving any snack, make certain your baby is able to eat the food in question – you should be seeing signs of the ability to mash food with her gums and she should be handling thicker, chunkier foods. Otherwise, you will have to stick to smooth snacks that don’t require chewing.

Fruit, cereals like Cheerios, yogurt and cheese are all great snack choices for babies. Soft fruits like bananas and peaches make great snacks that baby can easily mash with his gums. Be sure to cut them into small enough bites to avoid any risk of choking.

Many babies love cheese, and it makes an excellent snack. It’s a good source of protein as well as calcium. Cut it into small slices, and start with a fairly soft, mild flavored cheese like mozzarella. You can then move on stronger cheeses as baby adjusts. A few pieces of cheese served with a food that provides fiber, such as applesauce or whole grain cereal like Cheerios will make a good balanced snack with both protein and fiber for sustained energy.

As your baby eats larger meals more often, you will probably want to add a second snack. Into the second year of life, when formula or breast milk no longer provides all of baby’s nutrition, baby should be eating three meals a day along with two snacks. At this point, it will become more important to provide nutritious snacks that will keep baby going until her next meal. As baby grows, her snack options will expand along with her skills; she will be better able to chew and will often eat snacks without much assistance, giving mom a much-needed break.

Timing of Solids with Bottle or Breastfeeding

Through the first year of your baby’s life, the number one source of nutrition is breast milk or formula. Although you can start solid baby foods around 6 months old, it will be a long time before your baby is able to get all of the necessary calories, vitamins, and minerals for growth and health from solids. Therefore breastfeeding or formula remain vital to your baby’s health.

Solids: Before or After?

When you first start out with solid foods, your baby will likely take so little that it won’t really matter when you do the feeding. The small amount consumed won’t have much impact on your baby’s appetite for the breast or bottle. As your baby progresses with solids, however, and starts to take larger amounts, you will need to pay attention to make sure that solid feedings do not replace breast milk or formula feedings.

When your baby starts to take enough solids that it impacts appetite, you should be sure to feed solids after breast or bottle feeding rather than before. Wait a little while before offering the solids so that baby won’t be too full and will be interested in eating, but don’t wait too long. You want baby to have some room for solids, but not be on an empty tummy. If your baby is too hungry and fills up on solids, a missed formula or breast feeding may result. At this stage in your baby’s development, the nutrients from solid foods aren’t enough to make up for what would be missed by skipping a bottle or a nursing session. Furthermore, if you are nursing and baby starts to skip feedings, this will have an impact on your milk production. Milk supply will drop as the demand drops, so make sure baby is nursing often enough to keep your supply up.

When Solids Increase

When your baby increases solid feedings to twice and then three times a day, these meals (as long as they are healthy and balanced, and offer a wide variety of nutrition) will start to fill nutritional needs much better. This is the beginning of baby weaning from the breast or bottle, but make sure it doesn’t happen too fast! Continue to offer breast milk or formula prior to solid feedings. As your baby’s digestive system gets used to the solids, liquid sustenance won’t be quite as filling. It is likely that even after a whole bottle or regular nursing your baby will still have enough room for a solid meal.

As before, give a little time in between to make a bit more room, but don’t wait until baby is starving! As your baby’s first birthday approaches, solids will become more important and you will see a decrease in bottle and breast feedings. This is ok, as long as your baby is gaining weight appropriately and getting all the necessary nutrients for good health. This is also a good time to allow the less frequent feedings to slowly decrease milk production as you head towards weaning.

Remember, babies should continue to receive most of their nutrition from breast milk or formula until their first birthday, at which point you can switch to cow’s milk as long as your pediatrician approves. Up until this point, it’s best to follow the breast or formula first, solids second rule.

Probiotics and Your Baby’s Health

The newest word in the area of immune health and digestive support is probiotics. These helpful bacteria are proving to have a number of benefits for good health in both adults and children. From thrush to colic to gastroenteritis, probiotics have been connected with helping to treat a number of conditions in babies.

How Probiotics Work

The human body is filled with microorganisms, some of which are beneficial to the body’s function, and some of which are not. Good bacteria exist naturally in the digestive system, but many factors can lead to reducing their levels so that they are no longer able to perform their tasks. This can cause reduced immunity to illness, poor digestion, and influence a number of other problems in the body.

Probiotics are supplements that can be taken as pills or added to foods to populate your body with good bacteria and help to bring the balance back to normal. These supplements add to your body’s natural supply of beneficial bacteria to help regulate your digestion and support your immune system.

What Can Probiotics Do for Your Baby?

Research is still being done on probiotics and their effects on the body. So far, there is encouraging evidence that these supplements may provide relief for a number of problems suffered by babies. Reducing colic, improving digestion to reduce gas, constipation and diarrhea, and lessening the impact of viral infections on your baby’s stomach are just a few of the benefits research is turning up for the use of probiotics.

Probiotics have also been connected with improvements in eczema, and with treating thrush, a yeast infection of the mouth that is common in young babies. If your baby has to take antibiotics, which are known for encouraging yeast infections and also causing diarrhea, a probiotic supplement will reduce these reactions.

Probiotics can also shorten the amount of time your baby will have to suffer with a stomach bug, as the good bacteria will more quickly bring health back to the digestive system.

Breast milk does a better job of supporting production of good bacteria in your baby than formula, but even breast fed babies can benefit from the addition of supplementary probiotics.

How Should I give My Baby Probiotics?

Some new formulas contain probiotic cultures, but if your baby is not using formula, or you do not wish to use that type of formula, there are other ways to add probiotics to your baby’s diet. Probiotics capsules can be opened and added to baby’s bottle or even put directly into baby’s mouth. If your baby is eating solid baby foods, you can add probiotics to purees or also choose foods that naturally provide probiotics.

The most commonly known food that provides probiotic benefits is yogurt. Many commercial yogurts, however, have been heated to extend shelf life. To truly reap the probiotic benefits of yogurt, you should look for one that has not been heated, usually available in health and natural food stores. Many other foods are now showing up on the shelves that have had probiotics added, as their popularity rises due to the new research.

Although probiotics are believed to be safe for use in very young babies, you should always discuss any supplement or medication with your baby’s doctor prior to using it. Your doctor can recommend the best way to add probiotics to baby’s diet as well as the appropriate amount of the supplement for the most benefit.

Breastfeeding for Working Moms

Returning to work can be a difficult challenge for moms who would like to continue breastfeeding their baby. In addition to fitting work and family time into your busy schedule, you must now add pumping and cleaning of bottles and pump parts. But if you can manage to find a way, continuing to breastfeed your baby after returning to work is a healthy choice for your little one.

Continued Health Benefits and Immunity

Unless you are one of the lucky few who have a family member able to watch your baby, or can afford a nanny in your home, odds are your baby will be going to daycare when you go back to work. This means baby will be exposed to a lot more germs than at home with you. The antibodies and nutrients a baby receives from breast milk mean a stronger immune system, which could keep your baby from getting sick. While it does take extra time to pump and provide breast milk for your baby, it’s nothing compared to the time you will lose from work if you have to be at home with a sick infant.

In addition to keeping baby’s immune system strong, the longer you breastfeed, the more of the other health benefits your baby will receive. Especially if you are going back to work fairly soon after baby is born, continued breastfeeding until at least 4 months of age will give your baby a good start on the path to health.

Pumping at Work

One of the biggest challenges working moms face is finding both a time and place to pump at work. If you don’t have a private office and don’t want to use the restroom, ask your boss if there is a meeting room or other private space where you can close the door and pump. Some moms also use their car to pump, which might be difficult depending on what your parking space is like.

If you don’t have access to a refrigerator at work in which to store the pumped milk, keep a cooler filled with ice in the trunk of your car. You can safely store your milk there until you get it home. A small cooler bag with an ice pack or two kept near your desk works great too. Cleaning up the pump parts after use can be difficult if all you have access to is a restroom sink. There are convenient wipes you can use to clean the parts quickly, and give them a wash at home – or, keep the parts cold along with the milk until you get home.

Compromises are Ok

If you are really struggling to provide enough breast milk for your baby while working, don’t let it become a source of major stress for you. It’s ok to supplement with formula. Breastfeeding isn’t an all or nothing proposition. Whatever amount of breast milk your baby receives will help. If you choose to use formula during the day and nurse in the evenings, that is ok! You have a lot to deal with, so don’t feel bad if you have to make compromises.

Every bit of breast milk your baby receives will help, so do your best to continue some level of breastfeeding when you return to work, if you can. There is no doubt that it is a challenge that requires some effort and ingenuity, but the benefits to your baby are well worth it.

The Right Water for Formula Preparation

There is some disagreement as to whether or not boiling the water to mix with formula is necessary. It was once generally believed to be necessary, but the recommendation has come and gone in the past few decades. Whether or not you should boil the water for your baby’s formula depends mainly on the quality of your tap water.

Fluoride in Tap Water

Fluoride is added to tap water in most locations, and while it is generally good for your teeth, too much fluoride can actually cause staining on a baby’s teeth. These white lines or spots on teeth are known as enamel fluorosis, and it occurs when baby teeth are exposed to too much fluoride while they are still in the gums. While it isn’t actually harmful to baby, the marks on the teeth can not be removed.

Boiling does not remove fluoride from tap water, so if you live in an area with a high level of fluoride in the water, you might want to consider using bottled water instead. There are some filtration systems available for home use that will remove the fluoride.

Other Problems With Tap Water

Tap water quality varies greatly from area to area. Some cities have very high quality tap water while other cities may not. Rural areas vary as to whether they receive water from a municipal source or from a well. The best thing to do when deciding whether or not to boil the water for your baby’s formula is to talk to your baby’s doctor.

If your baby has any kind of medical condition that weakens the immune system or is premature, it is a very good precaution to boil the tap water prior to using it. Babies with weakened immune systems may not be able to handle any potential bacteria found in your water source.

If you don’t plan to boil your tap water before use, you should take the precaution of running the water on cold for several minutes prior to using it to reduce levels of lead or other potential minerals contaminating the water.

How to Boil Tap Water

If your doctor recommends that you do boil the water, simply bring it to a boil on the stove top and let it cool. It isn’t necessary to let it boil for long. Before using it, let it cool, and then either use it right away or store it in sterilized bottles for future use. It should be kept in the fridge and tightly sealed to avoid recontamination.

Bottled Water

If you decide to use bottled water, use caution when selecting it. You want water that is sterile, and many bottled waters are not. Do not use spring water, which is exactly what it sounds like – water from a natural source. There is no way of knowing what could be in the water. Most other bottled waters are from the same municipal sources that provide our tap water, although they have been through further purification processes.

In order to be absolutely safe, choose water that is labeled for use in preparing formula. Many major supermarkets and also baby supply stores will carry this type of water. It is more expensive than using tap water of course, but will give you peace of mind and save you the time involved in boiling.

Proper Handling of Breast Milk and Formula

Because your baby’s system is very delicate, caution should be used when handling and preparing bottles of both breast milk and formula for your baby. Cleanliness and attention to temperature are vitally important steps in feeding your baby a safe, healthy bottle.

Handling Breast Milk

When pumping breast milk, be sure to wash everything thoroughly, including your hands before handling pump parts and bottles. Pumped breast milk can be left out at room temperature for some time, from four hours to up to 8 hours. Fresh breast milk contains the highest level of nutrition, as some compounds can be damaged by cold temperatures. If your baby will be feeding soon, it’s best to leave it out. If you aren’t planning to use pumped breast milk soon however, you should get it into the fridge immediately, or freeze it for later use. Breast milk can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.

While it’s normal to shake up a bottle of formula to dissolve powder into water, you should never shake breast milk. Shaking can damage the delicate molecules and affect the composition of breast milk. You will notice that the fat separates and sits on top of the milk when it is refrigerated. This is normal. The best way to recombine the fat into the milk is to wait until the milk is warmed and then gently swirl it around. This will provide enough agitation to get the fat back into the milk without damaging it.

Once you have thawed breast milk that has been frozen, you should not refreeze it. Frozen breast milk is good for about 3 months in the freezer section of your fridge, and 6 months in a deep freezer.

Handling Formula

Formula is a little different from breast milk. As long as it remains unmixed, powdered formula is good for quite a while. Check the expiration date on the can to know how long it will be ok unopened – an open can is good for about a month. Once mixed, however, formula has a shorter shelf life. A bottle of mixed formula should not be left out at room temperature for longer than an hour, and should be discarded after 48 hours in the fridge.

Always mix formula according to the manufacturers directions. Formula should not be diluted with extra water. The best choice for mixing formula is water that has been boiled and then cooled.

Tips for Bottle Feeding

Whether the bottle contains formula or breast milk, you should always discard what is left in the bottle after feeding. Bacteria can get into the bottle from baby’s mouth and cause the leftover liquid to go bad, so don’t save it for a later feeding.

Bottles should be warmed carefully using a bottle warmer or warm water. Never microwave a bottle as it can create dangerous hot spots in the liquid and lead to burns. Microwaving breast milk can also damage its composition. Don’t forget to test the temperature of the liquid inside the bottle – feeling the outside of the bottle is not an accurate measure of how hot the breast milk or formula inside might be.

Make sure that the bottles and nipples are clean and sterile before adding the breast milk or formula, and wash everything in clean soapy water after use. If you dump the leftovers immediately after a feeding, the likelihood of it being fed to baby by accident will be lessened. Also, you can wash the bottle immediately before the contents can start to go bad.

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