Since bottle feeding will be a large part of a nanny’s responsibility when caring for infants, it is important to consider important bottle feeding practices.
When bottle feeding an infant, cradle the infant’s head in the crook of your arm while holding her in a semi-upright position. Make sure that the bottle nipple is far enough back in the baby’s mouth and that the bottle is tipped upwards to facilitate the flow of breast milk or formula. The breast milk or formula should completely cover the nipple so that the baby isn’t swallowing air.
Avoid propping the baby’s bottle during feedings. When a bottle is propped, it is hard to read the baby’s signs that he may be full. In addition, the baby could choke, as liquid may still exit the nipple when the baby isn’t sucking.
Nannies should avoid feeding a baby while she is lying on her back, as she could choke or the liquid could run into her middle ear, potentially causing an infection. Nannies should also not put babies to sleep with bottles as doing so can contribute to tooth decay, according to the American Dental Association.
When caring for multiples, nannies should discuss the feeding preferences and patterns with the parents. Some parents choose to feed their babies at the same time, while others prefer to feed them one right after the other. Typically feeding both babies at the same time is preferred. Using a large twin feeding pillow can be helpful in positioning multiple babies for simultaneous feedings.
When caring for a premature baby or a baby with special health considerations, nannies should be sure that they are confident in their understanding of how and when the baby should be fed. This understanding should be based on specific recommendations made by the baby’s physician and instructions provided to the nanny by the parents.
While it may reduce waste, uneaten breast milk or formula in the bottle should not be placed in the fridge after a feeding. Instead it should be discarded since saliva from the baby’s mouth contains bacteria that could grow in the remaining breast milk or formula.
Nannies should always wash their hands using proper hand washing technique prior to preparing bottles and feeding a baby to reduce the spread of germs.