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Bottle-Feeding Primer

What to know, from Julie Segal, M.D., pediatrician at the Children's Wellness Center in Atlanta:

Keep it clean. Before using a new bottle, unscrew the nipple, pop it out of the ring, and sterilize each part or boil in water for five to ten minutes. No need to sterilize after each feeding -- just put the bottle in the dishwasher or wash with hot, sudsy water, with a bottle brush to scrub away milk residue.

Heat it right. Run filled bottles under hot water or use a warmer, then test the milk's temperature on your forearm. Don't use a microwave, which may leave hot spots. It's also fine to give your baby a room-temperature or slightly chilled bottle. (He'll like what he gets used to.)

Work the angle. With your baby lying semi-upright across your arm, tilt the end of the bottle up slightly. Milk should fill the entire nipple so air can't get in (that can give your baby gas). Never prop bottles up while you multitask. If your baby's mouth gets full, he can choke.

Give enough. Newborns typically take one to two ounces per feeding during the first weeks, and eat every two to three hours. As their digestive systems mature, babies take in more but eat less often. Generally, your baby should be eating one or two ounces more than the number of months old he is (up to eight ounces).

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