Deciding whether to breast-feed or bottle feed your newborn baby is a decision every new mom must make. However, even if you have decided that you will breast feed, at some point during your baby's development, you will eventually begin bottle-feeding for one reason or another. This article will cover how to properly prepare your baby's bottle once bottle-feeding has begun.
Cleanliness is the key to proper bottle preparation. Everything you do during the preparation process will bear this in mind. This includes cleanliness of the preparer, as well as cleanliness of the baby bottle and all associated equipment (bottle, nipple, cap and ring).
First, ensure that your workspace is cleaned, and sanitized. This can be done by first clearing it of all debris, and then wiping the area with a sanitizing "wipey," or towelette. You can also spray the area with a disinfectant, and then wipe it down with a clean cloth or paper towel.
Thoroughly washing your hands should be the next step to take before you begin handling your baby's bottle and equipment. Use common sense rules of thumb to wash your hands. For example, use warm water and hand soap, and scrub vigorously. No special soap needs to be used. Wash for at least 20 seconds by either counting out the seconds (one one-thousand, two one-thousand, etc.), or by singing the "ABC's" song. If you have to, use a stopwatch.
Next, wash all equipment in hot soapy water making sure to scrub everything thoroughly. The equipment to be washed includes nipples, bottles, rings, and caps. You should use a bottle and a nipple brush to make sure these are clean both inside and out. Make sure to rinse everything in hot water after it has been cleansed with soap. This will help with the disinfection process.
If you feel that further disinfection is required, you can boil all equipment in a pot. Make sure to use enough water to cover everything. Boil for a minimum of five minutes to ensure proper disinfection. Once the boiling process is complete, use tongs to remove all the equipment and let everything air dry.
If you are using disposable plastic bag liners, it's very important that you do not re-use the liners. Make sure to throw out the bag after a single use. Disinfect the rest of the equipment as described above.
Ensuring proper baby bottle preparation is very important for the health of your baby. The number one key point to remember is cleanliness. Clean your work area before you begin, and then thoroughly wash your hands before touching your baby's bottle and equipment. Then, you'll be able to use proper bottle cleaning procedures as described in this article to always provide a clean, sanitary, and safe bottle for your baby.