bottle feeding mistakes parents must avoid

According to the NHS (National Health Service), mistakes can lead to an increased risk of overfeeding, diarrhoea, indigestion, and vomiting.

Common bottle feeding mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1 : Improper sterilization

Among the common bottle feeding mistakes to avoid, the first is improper sterilization. The safety and hygiene of your baby’s feeding supplies depend on the proper sterilization of bottles, nipples, and feeding appliances.

It lessens the possibility of getting sick and assists in getting rid of hazardous microorganisms.

Due to their immature immune systems and increased susceptibility to infections, sterilization is required for bottle-feeding babies.

improper sterilization

Follow these steps to guarantee effective sterilization:

  • Warm soapy water should be used to clean bottles, nipples, and other feeding equipment.
  • Remove any soap residue, carefully rinse.
  • Select a sterilization method: boiling, steam sterilization, or solution sterilization.
  • Boil bottles and nipples in a kettle of boiling water for at least 5 minutes, making sure they are completely submerged.
  • For steam sterilization, use an electric sterilizer or microwave sterilizer as directed by the manufacturer.
  • Prepare a sterilizing solution per the instructions, soak the objects, and thoroughly rinse before use.

Mistake #2 : Overheating the bottle

Your baby’s health is seriously at stake if you overheat a bottle. Burns and scalds may result, especially on their delicate mouth and throat.

Additionally, excessive heat might lower the quality of breast milk or formula, diminish its nutritional value, and perhaps worsen your baby’s digestion.

overheating the bottle

Safe ways to heat bottles to the right temperature:

  • Make use of a bottle warmer that is intended only for heating bottles, that too for the correct warming intervals, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Place the bottle in a bowl or washbasin that has been filled with warm water. To ensure equal heating, occasionally swirl the bottle. To avoid overheating, regularly check the temperature.
  • Hold the bottle under warm running water.

Mistake #3 : Mixing breast milk and formula milk

Mixing breast milk and formula milk in the same bottle is a bottle feeding mistakes that parents must avoid. This practice can lead to problems including;

mixing breast milk and formula milk

Inconsistent Nutrition

  • Breast milk and formula milk have distinct compositions that are customized to fulfill the individual demands of the baby.
  • Mixing them can cause a nutrient imbalance, thereby impairing the baby’s development.

Risk of Contamination

  • Breast milk contains antibodies and enzymes that help protect the newborn from illnesses.
  • Mixing it with formula might raise the risk of bacterial development and contamination, compromising the milk’s safety.

The following remedies can be tried to avoid these bottle feeding mistakes

Try Separate Feeding

  • Initially, to start with, offer breast milk for one feed and formula for another if you are separating your feeds.
  • This enables the proper preparation and administration of each type of milk to the baby without sacrificing their nutritional worth.

Combination Feeding

  • If necessary, augment breastfeeding with formula before continuing.
  • By avoiding mixing the two types of milk, the baby can take advantage of their distinct qualities.

Mistake #4 : Forcing the baby to finish the bottle

Understanding your baby’s hunger and fullness cues is important. Baby appetites are distinctive, and they can distinguish between being hungry and satisfied.

Even when a baby shows symptoms of being full, forcing them to complete a bottle can interfere with their natural feeding behaviors and result in overfeeding.

Respecting their cues and letting them control their own intake is essential.

forcing the baby to finish the bottle

When to stop feeding and how to recognize the signs of fullness?

The key to preventing overdrinking is recognizing the indications of fullness.

Watch for signs such as turning away from the bottle, slowing down sucking, spitting out the nipple, or losing interest in feeding.

These signals show that your baby has had enough and is content.

Mistake #5 : Neglecting proper positioning

Proper bottle-feeding placement is critical for your baby’s comfort and digestion.

Improper posture can cause problems like swallowing air, an increased risk of ear infections, and feeding pain.

It is critical to place your infant in a comfortable and supportive position.

neglecting proper positioning

Correct holding techniques and comfortable positions for bottle feeding:

  • Hold your infant in the cradle position by placing their head in the crook of your arm and holding their neck and shoulders steady with your hand. Bring the bottle at a little angle to their mouth.
  • Supporting their back with your arm or a pillow, place your infant in a semi-upright position. To guarantee that the nipple is always filled with milk and to limit air intake, tilt the bottle just a little.
  • For older infants who can handle the bottle on their own, the side-lying position may be employed under close supervision. When feeding your infant, place them on their side and give them a pillow for their head.


Bottle feeding is a significant responsibility that requires careful attention. By recognizing and avoiding these common bottle feeding mistakes discussed in this blog, parents can greatly enhance their baby’s feeding experience and overall well-being.

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Dr. Deepthi Jammi (Director, Jammi Scans) is a qualified OB/GYN and Post-Doc in Maternal Fetal Medicine. As a pregnancy ultrasound expert, she is passionate about healthy pregnancies and works towards spreading awareness on the latest diagnostic options available for parents to choose from. Dr.Deepthi has received gold medals and awards in Fetal Medicine at international and national conferences, and has appeared in numerous prestigious regional magazines and TV interviews.

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