Thanks to the commercial preparations. there is a marked reduction in the amount of tedious work a mother has to endure in order to feed her infant by bottle. Until the development of these excellent preparations, the daily task of sterilizing and preparing formula was a time-consuming chore for a woman already hard pressed to keep up with a demanding schedule. The economy-minded may protest that making one’s own formula in the kitchen saves money. but the woman who has tried both ways will probably conclude that the saving in dollars is not worth the extra trouble.
On the other hand, some parents with real financial constraints may choose the cheaper method with the full realization that their infant will be properly nourished. The preparation of formulas requires a small amount of equipment, some of which can be adapted to other uses when the baby is weaned. Nursing bottles come in two sizes, four ounce and eight ounce.
Since the baby will begin with the small ones and grow into the larger size, you will need about eight of each. Any bottles you buy should be of heat-resistant, unbreakable glass or clear plastic, smooth inside and with a graduated scale in ounces plainly marked on the outside. You will need the scale to measure haw much formula you are pouring. If early in the game you have occasion to buy a six-pack of commercial formula. you will be that much ahead, because those bottles can be used again for formula of your own preparation.
You will need caps. collars,…and nipples for the bottles. All these components can be bought separately. Make sure that you have at least a dozen nipples on hand. Extra collars with the little disks that convert
them into caps are always handy. You will want a bristle brush fur scrubbing the bottles and a pair of metal tongs for handling them. You will find use for a heat-resistant glass measuring cup, a measuring spoon, glass funnel, can opener. standard tablespoon, strainer, and a glass jar with a tightly fitting screw top to keep sterilized nipples and collars uncontaminated. The sterilizer. of course, is the main piece of equipment.
This contraption need be nothing more complicated than a deep kettle with a lid and rack for the bottles. Sterilizers come in a variety of styles (more accurately. in a range of prices) , and you can suit your own taste and pocketbook. When the baby is weaned, you can add the sterilizer to your collection of kitchen pots and pans. Even the bottle rack will be worth keeping—you can use it for steaming asparagus.
The old ideas about sterilizing the formula and the utensils have undergone some modification in recent years. When bottle feeding was first attracting attention, infections among the newborn constinned a serious health problem. Since those days we have developed effective inoculations and medicines against some of the most dreaded infections, and we have greatly improved the sanitation of our water supplies. Under conditions of ordinary cleanliness, the majority of American babies probably could get by today without any sterilization of their bottles or formulas. but there is no point in subjecting them to needless risk.
Unless your own doctor advises otherwise, you should sterilize at least for the baby’s first two months. The procedures for sterilizing are really quite simple. When the baby has finished a bottle. rinse it and the collar and nipple under the faucet. If you are not going to wash the bottle immediately, leave it filled with water until you do. For washing use either scrap or a dishwashing detergent. Scrub the inside of the bottle and the screw threads of the collar thoroughly with the bristle brush.
The brush will be more effective for digging into nooks and crannies if it has a hook on the bristle end. Wash the nipples by forcing soapy water through them. Bold the nipple between your first two fingers, fill it with soapy water, and then press down with your thumb. The water will shoot out in a fine stream. Use the same trick with clear water to rinse. Ile thorough about rinsing bottles. nipples, and collars. With the bottles. nipples. and collars washed clean, you have a choice of two methods for the sterilization proper. You can boil the utensils and the formula separately or (the simpler way) fill the bottles with the mixed and boiled.