Breast milk contains all of the essential vitamins, trace elements, nutrients and minerals needed for the first few months of baby’s life. The antibodies in breast milk also help to strengthen baby’s immune system. However, women are not always willing or able to breastfeed. There are a variety of reasons why many families combine breastfeeding with bottle feeding and baby formula. Read on to find out why you should only feed your baby first infant formula in these cases, as well as how to prepare a baby bottle correctly!
The first infant formula is most like the mother's milk in terms of composition. Just like breast milk , pre-formula only contains lactose, has whey protein, which is thought to be easier to digest than other types of formulat, and a better fatty acid composition. Unless a midwife, health visitor or GP suggests otherwise, first infant formula is the only formula you need to give your baby throughout the entire first year of his or her life.
Correct preparation of a bottle is important for babies because the immune and digestive systems are not fully developed yet. For example, some key "good" intestinal bacteria responsible for digestion are missing at this stage of life. Since some antibodies are still lacking, careful hygiene is essential to avoid harming your baby's health. Here are some tips:
1. Keep a clean bottle ready
Only use sterilised bottles for the first 12 months. It is best to always have clean bottles on hand so that your little one does not have to go hungry (and maybe cry) for too long. MAM bottles can be sterilised in a few different ways: in boiling water, using an electric or microwave steam steriliser , or in the microwave with no added parts. The MAM Easy Start™ Anti-Colic bottle has an innovative self-sterilising function that makes it possible to sterilise the bottle in the microwave in three minutes by just adding water.
How to self-sterilise MAM bottles?
2. Follow the instructions on the packaging
The method of preparation and in particular the quantity can vary depending on the baby formula and the manufacturer. It is therefore best to follow the instructions on the packaging during preparation.
3. Always use boiled water
Boiling kills dangerous germs that may be present in the water, as well as in pipes and tanks. Warm water from the tap is particularly prone to contamination with bacteria.
Tip: You should use freshly boiled drinking water; never use bottled water, water that has been artificially softened or boiled before.
Important: let the water cool down a little after boiling (for no longer than 30 mins, so that the temperature remains at, at least, 70° C) and check the temperature, e.g., with a thermometer, before adding it to the bottle. You will find precise information on the correct water temperature on the formula packaging.
4. Stir thoroughly
Make sure that the powder is completely dissolved and that the heat is evenly distributed. Allow the bottle to cool on the side or by holding the bottle under cold running water. Check the temperature again before feeding – e.g., against the inside of your wrist or with a thermometer. The ideal temperature is 35-37°C because this corresponds to body temperature. The milk should never be too hot! This is important in order to avoid scalding your baby, but also because valuable fats are destroyed at 40°C.
5. Create a pleasant environment
A relaxed atmosphere also ensures a calmer drinking flow – and that in turn helps to prevent too much air from getting into your baby's tummy and your little one suffering from unnecessary gas. It is best to allow plenty of time and pause every now and then during feeding to prevent choking and spit up.
6. Wind your baby
After feeding, always lay your baby over your shoulder for a while and gently rub up and down its back to burp your baby and allow any swallowed air to escape.
Tip: there are also special bottles that help prevent babies from swallowing air during feeding.
7. Bottle cleaning
Unscrew the bottle, separate and rinse all parts with water and mild detergent. You can also wash the parts of the bottle in the top compartment of the dishwasher. Only after washing the bottle should you sterilise it.