Tips for Bottle Feeding Comfortably
To get the best out of feeding time it is important to make sure both you and your baby are comfortable.
First of all, make sure you are in a comfortable position yourself and you have plenty of time. You shouldn't try to bottle feed in a rush because your baby might need to take a break or have a nap in the middle of a feed and carry on after a few minutes. Also, giving your baby a feed is an important bonding experience so you should enjoy the time you have without feeling rushed.
Babies love skin-to-skin contact, so take opportunities to bottle feed your baby in this way.
Hold your baby in an upright position, making sure you support the head so they are able to breathe and swallow properly.
When feeding your baby you should tilt the teat slightly so it is full of milk at all times to avoid your baby taking in too much air. You can tell if your baby is taking in too much air because they will make lots of loud, sucking noises. Keep your baby propped up and tilt the bottle a bit more to improve the situation.
Sometimes as your baby is sucking you will notice the teat become flattened. Just put a finger into the corner of your baby's mouth and remove your finger when the vacuum has been released.
During the feed your baby will pause every now and again to see if it has had enough. If your baby doesn't seem to want any more milk you shouldn't try to force them to drink more. Throw away any unused feed.
At the end of the feed, hold your baby upright and gently rub or pat their back to allow them to get rid of any wind. It can be uncomfortable for the baby to have wind so it is important you do this after each feed. They will probably break from feeding every now and again to have a burp anyway.
Remember to never leave your baby with a bottle propped upright in its mouth as this is a choking hazard.
Bottle Feeding after a CaesareanAfter having a C-section you may be in a bit of discomfort and sitting in some positions may cause you some pain. Your midwife should discuss with you various positions that will make bottle feeding more comfortable for you.
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