The best alternatives to human milk are commercial infant formulas, which are designed to closely approximate human milk. Formulas are available in Ready-To-Use, concentrate and powder forms. Instructions on the formula can and should be followed carefully. It is not important to sterilize the water or bottle prior to preparing formula. If you have a dishwasher put nipples, caps and tops in a nylon bag and the bottles in the rack and allow the entire cycle to run. If you don't have a dishwasher, wash nipples and bottles well, pour boiling water over both and they will be clean enough. When bottle feeding seat yourself comfortably and hold your baby; never prop the bottle. As you hold the bottle the neck and nipple should always be filled with formula to prevent the baby from sucking and swallowing air. You will need to occasionally take the nipple out of the baby's mouth to keep it from collapsing. Check the hole size occasionally to see that milk drops steadily but does not stream from the hole. If your baby shows any signs of milk allergy or lactose intolerance your pediatrician may recommend a soy based formula. Please ask your doctor before making any changes in your baby's diet. The amount of formula your baby takes will vary. Most infants are consuming about 1 1/2 to 2 ounces as they leave the nursery and by one month of age, are requiring 4 to 5 ounces per feeding. Most babies need to feed every three to four hours but no rigid schedule should be adhered to. The best way to judge if your baby is getting enough milk is to document a steady weight gain of approximately two pounds a month for the first six months of life.