Bottle feeding

Bottle feeding

Breastfeeding provides babies with the best nutrition and is preferred whenever possible.

There is a lot of information available to help you if you are struggling with breastfeeding including the links at the bottom of this article. You could also consult with your Well Child nurse or call PlunketLine. Professional advice should be followed before using an infant formula.


How do I give my baby a bottle?

Before you start to feed, check the temperature and flow of the milk in the bottle to avoid any nasty surprises. The tightness of the bottle's cap will affect the milk flow - the tighter the cap, the slower the flow.

  • Hold your baby while you feed her. Don't be tempted to prop her up with the bottle - not only could she choke but she needs time to be held.
  • Get comfortable and support your baby's head and neck. If your baby's head is in the crook of your arm, you will be able to comfortably support and feed her. Tilt the bottle so that the teat fills with milk before offering the bottle to avoid your baby sucking air.
  • Move the teat over her lips. Doing this will start her sucking reflex.
  • Try for a burp. Take a break halfway though the bottle so that you can burp your baby. If you don't get a burp, or she gets upset, continue with the feed. Some babies want the whole bottle at once!

How much should I feed my baby?

  • Follow the suggested amount on the formula tine, but as this is a guide only, do be prepared to reduce or increase the amount according to your own baby's needs.
  • Almost all babies want to be fed on a 3 or 4 hourly basis when they're young.
  • If you find that your baby always drinks her whole bottle, you may want to consider increasing the amount you make up each time.
  • Don't ever force her to finish her bottle - check her weight gain before becoming concerned about her appetite (or lack of).
  • Always throw away any unfinished formula after an hour.


Regardless of the way she is fed - breast or bottle - your baby needs to be held and cuddled, so make sure that you always hold her during bottle feeds so that you can both enjoy your close time together.

Find more

Kidspot is dedicated to the promotion of breastfeeding as the best possible start in life for babies as well as being good for the health and wellbeing of mothers.

The World Health Organization recommends that infants start breastfeeding within one hour of life, are exclusively breastfed for six months, with timely introduction of adequate, safe and properly fed complementary foods while continuing breastfeeding for up to two years of age or beyond. Source:

Breastfeeding provides babies with the best nutrition and is preferred whenever possible. Good maternal nutrition is ideal for breastfeeding. You should be aware that reversing a decision not to breastfeed may prove difficult. Partially introducing formula could negatively affect your milk supply. Social and financial implications should be considered when selecting a method of feeding. Professional advice should be followed before using an infant formula. Proper use of an infant formula is important to the health of the infant and should only be used as directed.

If you’re worried about breastfeeding, your Well Child nurse or PlunketLine can help.



This article was written by Ella Walsh for our sister site and was adapted for  KidspotNZ

Connect with Kidspot:


what's new on kidspot