Tips for Bottle Feeding Your Baby
If you have decided to use formula, or occasionally need to pump for your breastfed baby, using a bottle can often come with difficulties. To avoid problems with bottle feeding and have your baby smoothly drinking from the bottle, follow our tips below.
Choose the right equipment
Finding the most suitable teat, or nipple, for your baby is essential as an inappropriate flow rate can lead to feeding problems. To prevent a too fast or too slow flow rate, make sure to check the recommended age of the teat.
However, these are only guidelines and may not be suitable for your baby. To check if the nipple is right, measure the time of bottle feeds. Babies under 3 months should finish within 20-40 minutes, while babies between 3-6 months should take 15-30 minutes. Babies 6 months and over should complete their feed within 10-20 minutes.
Find the proper position
Positioning your baby in the proper way will also help greatly in successful bottle feeding. To do so, support your baby’s head with the crook of your arm, making sure the head, neck, and body are in a straight line. Prop him at 45 degrees to prevent him from swallowing too much air. If your arm tires, try switching arms or tucking a pillow underneath to rest your arm on.
Feed in a relaxing environment
Avoid bottle feeding in noisy or busy places. Your baby is a sensitive being and is more likely to be receptive to the bottle in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Try to create a good feeding environment by dimming the lights and sitting in a comfortable chair.
Avoid screwing the bottle ring on too tight
Maintaining even pressure within the bottle is important. If the bottle ring is screwed on too tightly, this prevents air from entering the bottle, making it harder for your baby to suck against the negative pressure. You will know the ring is screwed on just right when you can see a steady flow of bubbles enter the bottle when your baby drinks without any leaks.
Enlist dad’s help
Babies occasionally refuse to take a bottle from mom, especially those who have been breastfed. Just the sound or smell of mom can cause a baby to struggle and resist. In this case, try passing the feeding job to dad. Your baby may be more likely to take the bottle when offered by the father.