Baby's First Bottle

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Baby's first bottle is a momentous occasion--time to get dad involved. Some moms rely on bottles to supplement breastmilk, others opt to go straight to bottles for medical or personal reasons. Whatever the case, Momtrends is here to make the first few bottles less stressful and more memorable.

Step 1: Before baby arrives do your research. By now you already know to avoid bottles with BPA. WebMD defines Bisphenol A (BPA) as a chemical found in polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. To read up on BPA studies and findings, head to Toxilogic--a site devoted to creating healthier kids. Most manufacturers have stopped using BPA, but you'll want to read labels. For more tips on protecting your family from toxins visit the Soft Landing Blog.

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Step 2: Bottle shopping. You'll need to decide if you are going to go glass or plastic. Glass is thought to be the best bet for keeping baby away from toxins. Brands to consider include Born Free,Dr.Browns and Weil Baby has a new line out. That said, it's glass. It can break. Consider a silicone wrap to keep things shard-free in your house (remember you'll be feeding when your wits are not about you and could easily drop a bottle). Plastic is widely available in BPA-free models (Momtrends used Avent). Buy newborn nipples to get you started and a bottle brush to clean the hard to reach spots.

Tip: Don't invest in a ton of bottles right away. Pick up a few different brands to try before committing to a bottle system.

What you don't need: Bottle Warmer or Sterilizer (WebMD says it is unnecessary).

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Nice to have but not necessary:Drying rack for bottles. We love this one from Skip Hop ($28)

Step 3: Clean and dry all your supplies and store for baby's arrival.

When to start a bottle: Depends on you and your baby. Some moms start right in the hospital (though we encourage you to try breastfeeding). Others opt to pump breastmilk when they return to work or after baby seems to get the hang of feeding to allow a weary mom to share late-night feedings with dad. As for formula, your doctor will let you know if you need to supplement your breastmilk. A word on nipple confusions (or will my baby stop breastfeeding if I give him a bottle). Dr. Sears says breastfed babies should not be given artificial nipples during the "first three to four weeks when they are learning and perfecting their breastfeeding skills."

And let me be clear--if you choose to breastfeed exclusively until your child can drink from a cup we applaud your efforts and hope you'll join us again next week for the Baby's First Series.

Step 4: Getting milk into baby. Don't expect you baby to drain 6 oz. on his first go. Your doctor will tell you how much to feed your baby. The experience of feeding baby should be a joyous one. Don't try to multitask (phone off, no tv please). Snuggle up with your little man (or petite princess) and breathe. Dim lighting helps as does soothing music (have a burp clothe ready for spills). Baby will pick up on your n
ervousness. So try to relax and take a moment to memorize your newborn's features--they will grow in the blink of an eye.

Momtrends Baby's First is Sponsored by Scandinavian Child and Lillebaby.

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Lillebaby and Scandinavian child are sponsors of Momtrends Baby's First Series.

They do not control editorial content and all the views and advice are those of the editor.

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