Although breast milk is the recommended meal for babies, it is usually aided by formula milk which is usually in the form of milk powder. Consequently, milk powder is seen to be most popular amongst mothers that have challenges breastfeeding, mothers that do not have time to breastfeed regularly, and other categories of mothers. However, it is still possible to breastfeed and also give formula milk.
However, some babies reject milk powder at a certain stage of growth. This rejection can be for just some time until the proper remedy is found, or it can be for life. When a mother realizes that the baby is rejecting milk powder, she should be very hasty in finding the cause and proffering a solution; most especially if formula milk is the main food of the baby.
The problem most of the time is that most mothers do not know how to make a proper milk formula which can cause rejection. Most mothers think milk formula is made by simply putting the milk powder into the warm water, which is a wrong presumption. Making milk formula properly with milk powder is more complex and requires high precision.
What Is the Proper Way to Make Milk Formula?
Bearing in mind that the immune system of babies is extremely fragile, making milk formula requires a very high level of precision. With the following steps, a perfect milk formula can be made;
- Ensure the milk powder is still edible. This is the very first and most important step in this process, as every other step depends on it. You are to check the shelf life of the milk powder which is written on the can; if the shelf life has not expired, it can still be used. Also check if the milk powder can have bulges on its sides, leaks, and also check if the can is rusted. If all these are present, please do not use that milk powder.
- Wash your hands thoroughly. Before you start the preparation, neat hands are a necessity. It is imperative to wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds at least
- Clean the bottle and nipple thoroughly. The bottle should be washed with a special detergent before every meal. The nipple (the part the child would suck on) should be cleaned with water and vinegar with a ratio of 1:1. Also, clean the cover of the milk can with hot water before you open it.
- Make the milk formula. Put sterilized warm water into the washed bottle. Add an adequate amount of milk powder and shake very well.
- Heat the bottle properly. Never heat the bottle in a microwave. Put hot water into a bowl or pan, shake the bottle very well, and put it in the bowl. Before you feed, pour one or two drops at the back of your hand to check the temperature.
- Store the milk formula properly. If the milk is not given immediately, mark the date you prepared it and store it in a refrigerator. Do not feed any ilk that has stayed for 24 hours in the refrigerator. When you want to feed, bring it out and heat the bottle again before you feed.
Why Do Babies Reject Milk Powder?
With a perfect milk formula with the perfect temperature, some babies still reject it. Different situations can lead to this rejection which includes:
- Using pacifiers for breastfeeding babies. Let it be known that babies that are being breastfed do not like pacifiers. This is always a very astonishing fact to accept by the mother. This can cause rejection of milk formula as to the baby, the pacifier feels different from the mother’s nipple.
- The taste and smell of milk powder. Although babies are very young, they tend to make their own choices; most especially in the feeding aspect. Some babies find the smell of milk powder to be very awful, and some do not like the taste at all.
- Distraction and change in appetite due to growth. Within 3 to 4 months as the child develops, the visual and hearing parts of the body also improve to a very great extent. These developments tend to distract the baby as he would see everything, hear everything, and try everything. This is very frustrating as the mother might be in a hurry and the baby would not eat anything at the end, or he might eat less than supposed.Still in this period, the baby would want to try new flavors as he might have been tired of milk; this is because, at this period, the lactase enzyme in the body begins to decrease. This decrement would lead to a change in taste and a change in appetite.
- Wrong method of feeding. The best method of feeding milk, especially when a bottle is involved, is at 45 degrees to the mouth gently. If the baby is not fed at 45 degrees, or if the bottle is not given gently, the bottle would be pressing the tongue of the baby. This makes it very difficult for the baby to drink.
- Sickness or oral disease. If the baby rejects milk powder, the mother should also check if the baby is sick (oral sickness in particular). This is because, if the child is sick with indigestion or anything, treatment is to be given immediately.
What Mistakes Should Be Prevented When A Baby Rejects Milk Powder?
Without any iota of doubt, most mothers get very disturbed when their baby rejects milk. In this disturbance, they tend to make mistakes that might lead to further complications. Such mistakes include:
- Rushing to the hospital immediately. If the baby does not show symptoms of any sickness, then this is a very wrong thing to do. Study and understand your child, try a new method two or three times before you judge if it is successful or not.
- Forcing the baby to eat. This should be the last thing to do for your child. Make efforts to find the cause first.
- Getting over-worried. Most mothers get over worried about their baby’s nutritional state. In this state, they try to find solutions that might cause more harm.
What Should Be Done When A Baby Rejects Milk Powder?
If the mother can figure out the accurate reason why the baby is rejecting milk powder, she is to give accurate solutions too. These solutions are to be given as early as possible. The following solutions can be given:
- Choose a very good pacifier. It is most advised to pick an extremely soft pacifier. This is because the nipple is soft, and it might give a very similar sensation to that of a nipple.
- Find out what exactly in the bottle that the baby does not like. Check if the baby does not like the pacifier or the milk. You can check by putting breast milk into the bottle; if the baby drinks it, then he does not like the milk, if he doesn’t drink, he does not like the pacifier. If it is milk, you can use a different brand.
- Give the baby supplementary food on time. If the baby does not like milk powder, you can also consider giving supplementary foods. Foods like egg yolk, liver powder, fruit puree, rotten porridge, and others can be given. These foods are to be given gradually (from small, soft, or thin forms to big, thick, or strong forms). If the baby is still breastfeeding, be very careful so it won’t affect the amount of milk. Please only do this if the child is up to 4 months and shows the necessary signs.
- Give more breast milk. If the baby is too young to start taking supplementary foods, the mother should give more breast milk. Most mothers are not confident with their amount of breast milk, but in this case, they have to be.
- Make the pacifier bigger. By opening or trying to make the mouth of the pacifier bigger there is s higher chance of the baby taking more of it. Although it is going to be slow, it is much better if the baby would at least eat something.
- Lure the baby to eat. As the baby begins to be curious about the world, you can use his curiosity to your advantage. Simply eat or pretend to drink milk in front of the baby, and when he stares at you, you can then feed him.
- Use another tool to feed. Other than bottles, you can use small spoons, a drinking cup, or a small dropper. You can also try using the lid of a bottle.
- Make the baby hungry. You can make the baby a bit hungry, and then give him milk formula. The child would accept it at this point
Other methods include feeding the baby when he is almost sleeping, changing from breastfeeding to bottle feeding and changing back immediately, and feeding immediately after bath.
Milk powder has its importance at a certain stage in the growth of a baby. Its rejection can be fatal, but remedies should be given on time. Take out time to discover the reason the infant is rejecting the formula and seek suitable alternatives if all else fails.