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Updated on July 30, 2008

Tips on feeding your newborn baby

Being the mother of five children from the ages of twenty-two down to my three month old baby, I am always surprised at how the ways to care for your newborn are constantly changing!

I often wonder, as the new suggestions are brought to my attention, how my previous newborns made it through without me knowing this new "suggestion" or guideline from the Pediatrician.

I must start by saying , and this should go without saying, breast-milk is always the best for your newborn. That being said, some of us are sometimes left feeling inadequate because we can't breastfeed our babies for one reason or another. So, we must resort to the use of formulas to provide the much needed nutrition for our newborns. I am one of these women. I have learned over the years to "get-over" the guilt trip society and a few nosey ninnies like to place on me. I learned after my first two kids that it was easier to answer the question "Are you breast feeding?" with a polite "Yes" and move on.

Differences between breastfeeding and formula feeding:

  • Cost- well, you got me there, breast-milk is free!
  • Availability- as long as you buy enough formula and keep stocked up they are both readily available
  • Nutrition- Formulas have gotten better and better over the years at matching the nutrition and proportions that human milk provides
  • Immunities- While breast milk does provide immunities from the mothers milk as well as infection fighting white blood cells, the risks of either breast fed or formula fed babies contracting a serious infection is low
  • Weight-loss- though it doesn't effect the baby, some say breast feeding promotes weight loss in the mothers
  • Obesity- Breast feeding MAY reduce the risk of obesity in the baby's future. I have five children, none of which are obese from being formula fed.

So, there you have it, no reason to feel guilty because you aren't able to breast feed your baby!

Now , about formulas, there are several formulas out there to choose from and your doctor will suggest the ones that most closely fits your babies needs. Don't worry, as you may end up changing the formula brand.type before you find the one that your baby agrees with the most. Once you find the brand/type, now you can choose from these listed below:

  • Ready to feed: All you have to do is measure the amount of ounces into the bottle, that's it, then feed your baby- This is the most expensive choice.
  • Concentrated- This comes fully concentrated and must be mixed with equal amounts of water before being measured and feed to your baby. Second most expensive choice
  • Powdered- Dry mix. This you mix by adding one level scoop( provided in the can) per two ounces of water. The cheapest choice.

Now the things to remember if you are choosing the above types that you must mix with water: You may use tap water- so long as your water is safe and doesn't come from a well or isn't highly fluoridated. If you have any concerns, you may boil the water first but let it cool before mixing with formula.

Before feeding your baby:

You just came home with that wonderful newborn baby and now it's time for his first home feeding.

The steps you want to remember are these:

  • Make sure you sterilize all bottles, nipples and nipple rings before first time use. Boiling or sterilizing after that is not needed so long as you make sure to wash them well in hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly or run them through the dishwasher.
  • Hopefully you have chosen your formula - now you measure and mix your formula( if you have not chosen the "ready to feed") be sure to follow the above steps concerning your water and fill the bottle.
  • Shake well- rather it's Ready to Feed or the mixable type, always shake well.
  • Now you are ready to feed your baby- It is no longer required to "heat" formula, room temperature is fine.
  • Don't forget to "burp" your baby after every ounce to prevent painful gas & tummy aches.

Ready to feed
Ready to feed


Earlier I mentioned the fact that recommendations are constantly changing and the new things I've learn with this last baby have surprised me.

It was only five years ago, at the birth of my daughter, that they were still recommending boiling water, sterilizing bottles before every use and warming the milk !


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    • profile image

      First baby 5 years ago

      I've been feeling guilty that I've had to change to formula feeding my 3 weeks old after 5 days of breast feeding my little on lost the 10% of his weight he was 9lb 11oz when he was born. I wasn't producing milk quick enough for him and he was on the breast 24/7 and crying. I lost 3 pints of blood during my emergency c section and that made me anaemic and my milk wasn't rich enough for him. I feel guilty because formula milk has made him uncomfortable and his skin bad and we're having to keep changing the brand of formula to find what one suits him health visitors and midwives say it's normal and keep going but it doesn't stop me feeling bad for putting my little through having to try an digest formula a baby cow has 5 stomachs to digest dairy food my little one only has one that isn't working properly just yet. Doctor won't let us try dairy free formula as he say that it's not proper allergy so we've got to go through all the formula's until little one is covered in a rash all over and crying in pain every time he passed wind or has a poo have we?!

    • profile image

      Holiday 6 years ago

      Thank you very much for sharing your experience. My wife have not able to produce good amount of breast milk so we have been feed our baby with formulas. As a father i was worried and feeling guilty. After reading your article I felt release. Tks

    • Just Toyia profile image

      Just Toyia 9 years ago from Tennessee

      This is information for the USA.

    • profile image

      health worker 9 years ago

      no mother should be "made" to feel guilty about her method of feeding in my view. midwives promote breast feeding, yes it's best for baby for certain and mum. However, some women do not get on with it well, or rather some babies don't.. it can take a lot of hard work and perseverance, but sometimes it does not happen, then the mom says she will try bottle. I must say, midwives should support moms in the chosen feeding method, but they must have all the facts, there are many points against bottle feeding, and pro breast feeding, in order to make the right choice.

      beware of this information regards making up feeds however, all water MUST be boiled and used within 30-40 minutes, to mix up the feed, don't repeatedly boil, due to rising nitrates levels in the water, use fresh drawn water every time, and make the feeds up for each feeding fresh, don't store. use meticulous handwashing, and in the uk it definitely is one level scoop to ONE fluid ounce. If you dilute it as this article says, (one scoop to two fl oz !!, is not correct in the uk ? whether this is in another country ? ) your baby will lose weight and will become ill :( ALWAYS ask a midwife or health visitor or doctor.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 9 years ago from India

      I loved breastfeeding my daughter - I know so many friends who just hated it! Maybe the world should just let Moms enjoy their babies without a whole lot of dos and don'ts. It just makes bringing up children so much easier. Instead of which so many mothers are trying desperately to live up to the image of a perfect mother - the blueprint of which has been drawn up by strangers! I believe - and it's a personal opinion :) - that a lot of love is what is needed most - and every mother is guided best by her own instincts when it comes to her baby!

    • Just Toyia profile image

      Just Toyia 10 years ago from Tennessee

      Thanks Amy Jane-yea, I was made to feel by some that I was some how less of a woman and less of a Mother. Of course, these were mostly strangers.

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 10 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks for posting this - I think so many women go through alot trying to breastfeed and then feel so horrible when things go wrong and they can't. I know it was hard for me. There is a lot of pressure that is put on new moms about so many things. They should be free to make their decisions without the guilt.