Bottle Feeding: Common Struggles Moms Have to Face

Many people cannot (or choose not) to breastfeed exclusively. For many reasons, from job responsibilities to insufficient to no breast milk. Whatever the reason, most moms will be bottle feed our babies either breast milk or formula at some point.

Every mum will face different challenges when bottle-feeding their infant and must adjust to their baby's needs. Here are some struggles and solutions moms may face when bottle-feeding their babies.

 

Lost Lids and Bottle Caps

Losing bottle caps and lids is so frustrating. They are buried in the bottom of your diaper bag or they have been used as a teething toy in a pinch.    As a result, moms should have extra lids and bottle caps around.  Did you know you can buy just the caps on Amazon?  But what do you do with them once you have them?  Here are three fun organization ideas (for the extra organized mama!) that will help.

1. Shower caddy - hang it over your pantry door to keep extra bottles and caps. The little hooks that stick out the bottom can be used to hang bibs.

2.  Plastic stackable drawers - a great place to organize caps, lids and nipples.

3.  Bottle Drying rack  - this is always a natural place sto store you bottle

 baby bottle organization

Discarded Milk

Unlike breast milk, bottled milk will spoil after a few hours, the only choice being to discard it. That doesn't sound too good for your finances if you are using baby formula or for the time you spent pumping breast milk into the bottles. Even after you have fed your infant, leftovers will need to be discarded.

To help prevent lost milk, you must understand your child's milk intake through trial and error. Leftover milk promotes the growth of bacteria that will cause abdominal pain, stomach irritation, and diarrhea. Therefore, discard the remaining milk after your child is satiated.

 

Feeding Aversion

Feeding aversion is one of the most stressful situations any parent may face with their infant. The child may refuse to feed out of the bottle in tantrums, screaming, and wiggling episodes. Bottle-feeding aversions can be due to nipple sizes that make the child uncomfortable during feeding. Nipple levels correlate with age. Consequently, you should be very intentional about choosing the right nipple size.

It may also be associated with milk temperature or poor rationing of the milk formula. 

Making Records of Bottle and Nipples Changes

This task may seem relatively easy, but it gives many bottle-feeding parents a headache. It is paramount for parents to recall when they last changed bottle caps, lids, and nipples to schedule the next changes. Generally, the bottles you use to feed your infant should be changed every six months, while the nipples should be changed every three months. It will ensure that there is less chance of bacterial growth.

If you need help remembering when the bottles and nipples need to be changed, you can keep track of previous and scheduled changes in a spreadsheet. You might also add the event to your phone calendar to ensure you are reminded in time.

 

Milk Leaks From the Nipples or Lids

This is challenging to avoid, especially if you are using older bottles. You find that bottle lids loosely sit on the bottle, and the nipples leak the contents due to wear and tear or simply poor fitting. That is why it is important for parents to make bottle changes at least every three months and make nipple changes as often as possible.  Also a burp cloth or bib is good to have around feedings for this purpose.

 

Bottle Sterilization

Baby bottles need to be kept in a clean environment. They also need to be sterilized before and after use. Many parents, however, don’t know how to sterilize baby bottles. They often clean with other utensils, which promotes the growth of bacteria.

If you want to sterilize your baby bottles, boil them in water for at least five minutes. Direct contact afterward should be strictly avoided. Use tongs to remove the bottles and place them in a sterile bottle holder.

 

Choking/Gagging Hazards

Bottles, unlike breasts, do not easily control milk flow. If not closely monitored, the baby will likely gag from an overflow of milk from the nipple.

Therefore, it is necessary to put the baby and the bottle at the correct angle to prevent gagging. You are also advised to pick the right nipple size for your child. Most of all is being attentive and avoid distractions when bottle-feeding your baby.

 

Appropriate Formula Bottle Temperature

Breastfeeding mothers do not usually have to worry about their milk's temperature as the body is already well prepared to produce suitable temperate milk. For bottle feeders, however, it can be pretty challenging when bottle feeding as you must ensure the milk is at the right temperature. In older times, the parent had to physically feel the temperature by spilling some milk on their elbow.

In recent years, you can use milk-warming devices. The beauty of these devices is the ease of warming milk even with the feeding bottle. The machines are also quite affordable and easy to use.

 

Baby Formula Intolerance

Unlike breast milk, baby formulas can be hard to digest for infants causing stomach problems, including fussiness in children, diarrhea, vomiting, and noticeable weight loss. It is, therefore, important for parents to be keen to notice intolerance in infants.

Parents using formula are advised to continue with the original baby formula brand provided at birth. It is also essential to look into the different nutritional values various baby formulas have to pick the most appropriate. Always talk to your pediatrician before feeding your baby any formula.

 

Final Thoughts

Even though every bottle-feeding mom goes through these struggles, new moms are often more frustrated with the challenges of bottle-feeding. However, it is good to understand that these challenges are common to most, if not all, parents and that they have solutions. If you feel overwhelmed, it is advisable to seek advice from other moms to see if they can help.

 

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