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Taking Your Baby Home
by Robert M. Selig, M.D., FAAP & Joann C. Cozza, D.O., FAAP

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12: Do I Have To Sterilize The Bottles And Nipples?

No. It is not necessary to boil or sterilize your bottles and nipples (including pacifiers). They can be washed in warm water or placed in the top rack of your dishwasher. Wash the bottles as soon as they are finished to prevent milk from sticking to the sides of the bottle.


13: Is It Necessary To Throw Out Formula That My Baby Does Not Finish?

No. You may put the formula back in the refrigerator and use it at the next feeding. Once the formula has been opened, it may spoil if left out of the refrigerator more than a few hours. Do not microwave formula as it may destroy the vitamins in the formula.


14: How Much Should My Baby Be Drinking And How Often?

Your baby is an individual and will try to develop his/her own schedule. There are ways that you can encourage your baby to conform to a schedule that will suit you. Bottle fed babies can go at least 3 hours and usually 4 hours from the beginning of one feeding to the next. Babies can develop bad habits if you let them. Some will snack, drinking 1 ounce every hour, 2 ounces every 2 hours, 3 ounces every 3 hours, or preferably 4 ounces every 4 hours.

Spreading out the time between feedings may increase your baby's appetite. If your baby takes more at that feeding, it will be easier to wait 4 hours until the next feeding.

If your baby wants to be fed sooner than 3 hours from the beginning of one feeding to the next, try to hold off the next feeding by playing or taking your baby for a stroll. He/she may not be happy in the beginning, but with persistence, your baby will stretch out his/her feedings.

In the first few days, your baby may only drink 1 2 ounces at each feeding. Be patient. This is normal. As long as your baby is having 6 8 wet diapers (urine) in a 24 hour period, then he/she is drinking enough. Always offer more formula until your baby lets you know he/she is done (maximum of 8 ounces per feeding).


15: Should I Wake My Baby For A Feeding?

Breast feeding: We recommend waking your baby every 2 3 hours during the hours that you are normally awake (8 AM 12 PM) for a nursing. If you have trouble waking your baby, some form of stimulation may help (changing diaper, unwrapping, playing). If this does not work, do not give up. Try again every 15 20 minutes. If allowed, some babies will sleep for extended periods (more than 3 hours) during the day and then get up frequently during the night.

Breast-fed babies can get into a habit of snacking, where he/she nurses for short periods every hour. This pattern of nursing is normal if you have the time. Holding your baby off at least 2 hours from the beginning of one nursing until the beginning of the next nursing, will help prevent this habit from developing.

Bottle feeding: Bottle-fed babies can usually be fed every 4 hours during your normal waking hours. If your baby becomes fussy sooner than 3 hours and wants to eat, try to hold off until at least 3 hours. You can play with your baby, distract your baby by using a baby swing, rock your baby in a stroller or carry your baby around in a snuggly.

If you can hold your baby off, he/she will be hungrier and will take more formula at that feeding. In turn, this increased amount will extend the time until he/she becomes hungry again.


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