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3 Common Misunderstandings About Bottle-Feeding

Breastfeeding has become so politically correct that moms who bottle-feed are reporting that they receive very little information on how to do it right, according to the latest review of studies. "Once a woman decides to bottle-feed, she should be supported," emphasizes British researcher Rajalakshmi Lakshman, M.D. After all, lack of information can lead to mistakes, she notes, and those mistakes can have health consequences. Some common misunderstandings:

You don't have to sterilize Unless you're worried about the cleanliness of your water, simply wash bottles and parts with soap and hot water or in the dishwasher, including before the first use.

The powder-to-water ratio matters Follow the preparation instructions to the letter. Using more water to "stretch" formula can result in seizures; using less can result in dehydration and obesity.

Switching formulas may not help fussiness Only a small percentage of infants truly need a specialized type of formula, but talk to your pediatrician if your baby is having frequent digestive difficulty and seems to be especially unhappy.

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