How To Feed A Baby

In hospitals, there should be one nurse allocated to the duty of making up infant feeds. The nurse should be in good health and if she has a cold, sore throat or any sepsis, the nurse should not carry out this task. The nurse should wear a mask and a gown and her hands should be thoroughly clean, having been washed under hot  running water with soap and dried on a clean towel.

The bottles and teats should be sterile and if cows’ milk or evaporated milk is used, the nurse should make up the total amount of feeds for twenty-four hours. If dried milk is being used, each feed should be made up just prior to the feeding time. The feeds can be placed in the sterile feeding bottles sealed with a sterile cap and placed in the refrigerator till required.

Before giving the feed, the bottle should be placed for five minutes in a jug of hot water to warm it to the correct temperature which is 37.7 degrees centigrade (100 degree F). The sterile teat should be applied just before giving the feed.

 

HOW TO FEED A BABY

  • The baby should be lifted from his or her cot and a feeding cloth placed under his chin to protect his clothes.
  • The nurse should hold the child in his or her arms as near as possible to the position required for breast feeding; this gives him a feeling of security.
  • The teat and temperature of the feed should be tested, the milk should flow evenly at the rate of approximately sixteen drops per minute or more freely if the baby is ill and less able to suck.
  • The nurse should feed the baby not too slowly and not too quickly, taking fifteen to twenty minutes to complete the feed.
  • During the period of feeding, make sure that the teat is full of milk, if it is allowed to empty, the baby will suck air.
  • At least once during the feed, the nurse should lift the baby up onto his or her shoulder and rub the baby’s back in a circular movement to help him or her bring up wind. This should also be done at the end of the feed before placing the baby in his or her cot.

 

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THE FEEDING BOTTLES AND TEATS AFTER USE

 

Cleaning Of Bottles

After use, the feeding bottle should be rinsed in cold running water, washed in hot soapy water using a bottle brush to remove milk from the rims then rinse again in cold water.

 

Cleaning Of Teats

After use, the teat should be rinsed in cold water and washed in warm soapy water; a brush with little salt can be used to remove milk from the ridges. It should then be rinsed in fresh cold water.

 

Sterilization Of Bottle And Teats

By boiling the bottle and teat should be immersed in a sterilizer of plain water which is brought to the boil and boiled for three to five minutes. The teat is removed with sterile forceps and placed in a dry, sterile, covered container. The bottle is treated in the same way but not until the water in the sterilizer has cooled. By the use of milton, the bottle and teat can be steeped in a solution of milton. This solution is made up by adding one table-teaspoonful of milton to two pints of water. The bottle and teat may remain in this solution until it is again required for use.

After sterilization by milton, it is not necessary to rinse the bottle or teat as any active material left will revert to common salt when it comes in contact with the protein in milk.

 

WEANING

This is a gradual process. It should begin with the introduction of small amounts of easily digested, semi-solid foods to replace part of the 2 p.m feed. Gradually, over several months, feeds consisting only milk are replaced. The cod-liver oil and orange juice should be continued till the weaning is completed and the child is on a full mixed diet. Nurses should ensure that mothers understand that solid food is given to replace breast or bottle feeds.

 

FEEDING OF CHILDREN

When the child is eating, the full family diet special care should be taken to ensure that the intake of protein, salts and vitamins is sufficient to meet the needs of a rapidly growing child. The types of food most suitable and which should be given regularly are:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Fruits
  • Meat
  • Cereals of all kinds
  • Green Vegetable
  • Salads

As young children may develop diseases carried by uncooked food, great care should be taken to ensure that uncooked fruit and vegetables are washed with clean water. In the hospital, when children are not well; they may be finding it difficult to eat. The nurse must be patient and considerate as the child requires kind and helpful supervision. The nurse may also require to teach the child good eating habits. His gown should be protected by a feeder and the bed linen by a napkin or feeding cloth. If the child can feed his or herself, he or she should be encouraged to do so.