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How to Bottle Feed a Baby

Learning the proper techniques will help ensure that you and your baby can enjoy feeding times.


  • : These instructions cannot replace a physician’s advice. Consult your pediatrician if you have concerns about feeding or your infant’s health.
  • Step 1: Sterilize bottle Sterilize the bottle, the nipple, and ring by placing them in a pot of boiling water for five minutes or running them through a full dishwasher cycle. Wait for the parts to cool before using them.
  • Step 2: Fill the bottle Mix the formula according to container directions and pour it into the bottle or fill the bottle with three to four ounces of expressed breast milk.
  • Step 3: Warm the milk Warm the milk by placing the bottle in a bowl and running hot tap water over it.
  • TIP: Some babies like room-temperature or chilled milk.
  • : Never warm the bottle in the microwave -- it can create dangerously hot pockets of milk.
  • Step 4: Check the temperature Shake a few drops of milk onto the inside of your arm to check the temperature.
  • Step 5: Position your baby Sit in a comfortable chair and hold the baby upright in your lap with their head supported in the crook of your arm.
  • TIP: Use a pillow under your arm to help support the baby’s head more comfortably.
  • Step 6: Insert the nipple Insert the nipple into the baby's mouth holding the bottle at a 45-degree angle.
  • TIP: Make sure the nipple is already filled with milk before offering it to the baby. A half-filled nipple can make the baby swallow air, which causes gas.
  • Step 7: Enjoy feeding time Enjoy feeding time with your children by making eye contact and talking to them as they drink their fill.
  • Step 8: Burp the baby Place a burp cloth over your shoulder, lift your baby’s head to your shoulder, and pat and rub its back gently to bring up a burp.
  • FACT: Newborns can sleep from 15 to 20 hours a day in the first month.

You Will Need

  • Bottle with nipple and ring
  • Formula or expressed breast milk
  • Bowl
  • Comfortable spot
  • Pillow
  • Burp cloth

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