If you are having your first baby or will soon be babysitting for someone, then it’s very important that you understand bottle feeding safety. The bottle is essential to feeding a baby who is not breastfed (and sometimes also those who are) but if it is not used correctly, it can harbor many health and safety risks to the baby. When you learn what these are, you can also learn to avoid the risks and feed your baby safely.
Here are some baby bottle safety tips:
• Don’t microwave your bottles to heat them- this can cause uneven heating which can burn baby’s mouth and with many types of plastic bottles, it’s also unhealthy to microwave the plastic.
• Don’t use hot tap water to mix your baby’s formula. This is commonly done with powder formula to help it dissolve but hot water is more likely to have more lead in it than cold water. Also, water that has been sitting in the pipes for longer run a higher risk. So if the water has not been ran in hours, run it for a couple minutes before using it to make the baby bottle.
• Don’t open a new can of baby formula right off the shelf. If you formula-feed your baby, be sure to wash the lid of the can well before opening and using the formula to make a bottle. Washing with soap and water gets rid of the dust and bacteria that can build on the can, which can make your baby sick.
• Never add extra water to your baby’s bottle to try to “get more” out of your formula. This can throw off your baby’s sodium levels and leads to seizures. To prevent this, fill the bottle with the correct amount of water first and then add the formula in last.
• Don’t put anything other than approved formula in your baby’s bottle. Adding sugary drinks, sodas and other things to your baby’s bottle is not good for their nutrition and also can cause serious damage to the teeth (even if they have not formed in yet).
• If you lose a bottle and milk spoils in it, it’s typically best to just throw it out. We’ve probably all been there before; you find an old bottle of milk under your car seat or behind the couch and you can’t even remember how long it’s been there. Don’t risk it; just throw it out.
Now that you know these baby bottle safety tips, you can be sure you remain safe when feeding your baby or any bottle-fed child that is in your care.