Transitioning Newborns from NICU to Home

Appendix A: Family Information Packet (continued)

Newborn Feeding

Bottle Feeding

  • Feed your baby ONLY infant formula and breast milk for their first 4 to 6 months.
  • Feed your baby at least every 3 hours, day and night.
  • Before each feeding, warm the breast milk or formula to room temperature by placing the bottle in warm water; do not leave cold bottles on the counter to warm up.
  • Never heat breast milk or formula in a microwave oven.
  • Throw away any remaining breast milk or formula after each feeding.
  • When traveling, keep the breast milk or formula cold in a cooler.
Formula Preparation

Infant formulas are available in 3 ways:

  • Ready to Feed
    • Do not add water.
  • Liquid Concentrate
    • Add sterile water.
  • Powder
    • Add sterile water.
To make Sterile Water:
  • Boil water for 2 minutes.
  • Cover the pot.
  • Let water cool to room temperature.
Formula Storage and Use
  • Store prepared formula in a refrigerator.
  • Use formula in 24 to 48 hours.
Bottle Cleaning
  • Clean bottles and nipples by washing with hot, soapy water or on top rack of dishwasher.
  • Allow bottles and nipples to air dry.

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Breastfeeding Your Baby

Breastfed babies have:
  • Fewer ear infections.
  • Lower chance of asthma, food allergies, and dental cavities.
  • Protection against diarrhea, stomach, and lung infections.
  • Better nervous system development and higher IQ levels.
  • Lower risk of some childhood cancers.
  • Lower chance of becoming over weight.
Mothers who breastfeed have:
  • Lower risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer.
  • Lower chance of osteoporosis later in life.
  • Quicker return to pre-pregnancy weight.
  • Food source for their babies even during emergencies.
  • Lower chance of becoming pregnant before menstruation returns.

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Gastrostomy Tube (G Tube or Button)

Giving medicines and feeding if your baby has a gastrostomy tube
  • Clear the G tube or button as your health care provider showed you.
  • Check for placement of the G tube or button.
  • Slowly push in liquid medicine or feeding with a syringe.
  • If the pharmacist says it is ok, pills and capsules may be dissolved in 10 to 20 cc of warm tap water.
  • All medicines and feedings should be flushed in with 5 to 10 cc of warm tap water.
  • Ask your baby’s doctor, nurse, or pharmacist how to measure the tap water.
It is important to use the specific tube adapter made by the manufacturer of your button.
  • In fluid restricted babies flush medicines with ONLY 1 to 5 cc of warm tap water.
  • Vent the tube after feeding to remove excess air or fluid and reduce leaking.
Protecting the G Tube or Button
  • Snap t-shirts and onsies work best to prevent babies from pulling on the tube or button.
  • You may also use a sticky wrap or stretchy dressing.

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Page last reviewed December 2013
Page originally created December 2013
Internet Citation: Appendix A: Family Information Packet (continued). Content last reviewed December 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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