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Bottle Feeding Problems

Bottle Feeding Problems
We realise that Mums and Dads may have questions or worries about bottle feeding, so in this section we aim to cover some common problems.


As you feed your baby they are likely to swallow some air. If the air is left inside them it can be quite uncomfortable and your baby may cry or become unsettled. To avoid causing your baby any discomfort, you should spend a few minutes after each feed gently rubbing or patting your baby's back to encourage the trapped air to escape. You should hold your baby upright while doing this.


Possetting, reflux and regurgitation are all words used to describe babies bringing the milk back up after being fed. Most babies will bring up some milk after a feed, but some will vomit more than others. If you think your baby is vomiting too much, or if they seem to be in pain, you should contact your GP to check that everything is ok.

Vomiting can be caused by drinking too quickly so check the size of the hole in the teat of the bottle. If it seems quite large you should try a smaller one as that may help reduce the vomiting.

Vomiting may also be caused by drinking too much. All babies drink different amounts and at different speeds. Your baby will know when it has had too much so don't force them to drink more once they have stopped.


When using powdered formula it is important to measure the water:powder ratio as accurately as possible. If the mix is too strong your baby may become dehydrated and constipated. Using the correct measurements when making up bottles should mean your baby gains weight and dirties its nappy! If you think your baby is not gaining weight properly or if they have not gone to the toilet for a few days you should make an appointment with your GP.

Allergy to Formula

If you think your baby might be allergic to the formula you are feeding them with you should visit your GP who can recommend an alternative. If your baby has previously been diagnosed with a cow's milk allergy they will not be able to have hypoallergenic formula.

August 2012

The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and states that babies fed exclusively on breast milk for their first six months will develop most healthily.

Visit our Breastfeeding Section

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