You\u2019ve probably decided that it\u2019s time to try giving your baby the bottle. Perhaps you\u2019re tired of breastfeeding. Perhaps you want to try out those new baby formulas that all the other moms are raving about. Whatever the reason, you may be worried about making the same mistakes that other parents have in the past. We\u2019ve previously talked about the general guidelines you should know about bottle-feeding in another article. Now we need to talk about the common bottle-feeding sins parents commit that you may want to avoid. 1. Not Sterilising Enough Image credit: Shutterstock If you\u2019re unsure about how or how often you should sterilise, this article is a good place to start. However, a lot of experts have pointed out the heating plastic bottles may not be so good for the baby. Unfortunately sterilisation does involve a fair amount of heat. In order to minimise the risk of your baby consuming microplastics, here are some guidelines on what to avoid. Unsterilised bottles are a breeding ground for bacteria. Babies are especially sensitive to microbials and even a small amount can wreak havoc on their system. Bottles that have not been cleaned properly can cause upset stomach, diarrhoea and other ailments that can endanger your baby. The general rule of thumb is to use hot water and soap, and to wash after every use. Disassemble the parts, so you can clean every nook and cranny. The places where dried up milk and other nasties lurk. 2. Not Following The Instructions Image credit: Shutterstock Follow the instructions exactly how it says in the baby formula packaging. Do not dilute, over measure, or neglect the storage requirements. Baby formulas should not be used if left out for more than two hours at room temperature. So store it in the freezer immediately if not used. Another thing to watch out for is the type of water you use. Most parents are okay with using tap water, but this must be avoided. Malaysian tap water is not safe for drinking straight off the tap. You either need to boil it, or preferably filter it using a water purification system. If you\u2019re using breast milk, then the rules are a little different. Reheating breast milk requires you to either warm the milk in a bottle or double boiler. Direct heat destroys a lot of the essential nutrients, so some experts recommend feeding it cold or room temperature. That said, opt for a bottle warmer instead sticking to traditional reheating methods. 3. Choosing Plastic Instead of Glass Image credit: Shutterstock Parents usually reheat formulas straight in the bottle, and most baby bottles are made of plastic. I've mentioned before about the dangers of microplastics from baby bottles. Heating plastic bottles releases microplastics into the milk, and this may pose a certain danger to babies. While you can take the necessary precautions, perhaps it\u2019s better to eliminate the risk entirely from the equation. Opt for glass bottles instead of plastic ones. Glass bottles are inert and do not react to heat in the way that plastic ones do. However, if you're worried if they\u2019ll break, you can opt for silicone baby bottles instead. These are just as safe for babies as those made out of glass. 4. Using the Microwave Image credit: Shutterstock The microwave oven is a tool of convenience, which is why it is every parent\u2019s best friend, but don\u2019t be fooled. They may cause more harm than you think, especially when it comes to reheating milk bottles. The FDA does not recommend microwaving baby formulas for several reasons. The most important one is that it does not heat the milk evenly, resulting in hotspots that may burn your baby\u2019s mouth. Microwaving also releases a lot of microplastics. However, even if you don\u2019t use plastic bottles, microwaving still kills the nutrients and vitamins in the milk formula. If the thought of using the stove every time gives you nightmares, opt for bottle warmers. 5. Force-Feeding Your Baby Image credit: Shutterstock Some babies may not need a full bottle of milk. Most parents don\u2019t know this and end up force-feeding their baby. This is one of the least talked about mistakes of bottle-feeding One obvious way to avoid this is by making small batches, since you don\u2019t want to be reusing leftover milk. In order to avoid over-feeding your baby, look for baby bottles that have teats with a smaller opening. This ensures a safe, steady trickle instead of a tsunami of milk. Breastfed babies are less prone to overfeeding than bottle-fed babies. So, do what you will with that information. 6. Jumping to Conclusions Image credit: Shutterstock Just because your baby\u2019s crying doesn\u2019t mean they\u2019re hungry. If you\u2019re a new parent, you need to learn to recognize the signs. You can easily distinguish hunger from other discomforts if you pay attention. For instance, if a baby is hungry, they will follow you around the room with their eyes. They may also start sucking on their fingers and on nearby objects like toys. Hungry babies also get excitable since they\u2019re anticipating food, so they will open and close their mouths, smack their lips and drool. So, if you don\u2019t see these behaviours, and they\u2019re just crying, then it may be something else. Sometimes your baby just needs a diaper change, or some parental affection. 7. Recycling Left-Overs Image credit: Shutterstock Babies rarely finish their bottles in one go, and you may be tempted to save the leftovers for future mealtimes. Don\u2019t. Reusing milk is one of the cardinal sins of bottle-feeding. The CDC warns against reusing milk that that has coming into direct contact with the baby\u2019s mouth. Bacteria from the baby\u2019s saliva would have likely contaminated the milk, and reusing said milk may cause problems. New parents or parents with a tight budget may think it's ok to keep leftover milk to save money. This isn't the way to save a buck. Instead, mix up small batches of formula, so you don't waste any when your baby is full. This is a good tip for when you're starting out on bottle-feeding. 8. Not Burping your Baby Image credit: Shutterstock You should always try burping your baby after every bottle-feeding. Young babies tend to gulp in a lot of air between mouthfuls of milk. The swallowed air gets trapped with their food and may cause some discomfort later. Bloating is a common issue for many babies. Sometimes you need to give your young one a little pat on the back to help move things alone. There are several methods on how to burp a baby. The easiest ones would have to be the over the shoulder method. Make sure you have a towel ready. Babies will tend to puke out some of their food when they burp. Parenting is messy, but you don\u2019t want to be changing into a new pair of clothes every time. Learning from your mistakes We know better now about how to take care of babies, including how to bottle-feed them. While breastfeeding is still better, and cheaper, not all mothers choose to do so. These are usually for very practical reasons, such as the mother\u2019s health or the baby\u2019s safety. Some mothers may still choose to feed their baby breast milk, but may feel uncomfortable doing so the traditional way. Thankfully, modern times have given us a way around that. Parents have been bottle-feeding babies for decades, with very few risks. Nevertheless, this doesn\u2019t mean we can\u2019t take the practice to the next level and improve what needs improving. This is to ensure not only the child\u2019s safety, but the parents\u2019 convenience as well. For more insightful stories and fun recipes, stay tuned to Motherhood Story!