Bottle feeding has gone in and out of fashion through the decades and even though these days we constantly hear that 'breast is best', there are mothers out there who don't breastfeed their baby.
Whether by choice or necessity, they're bottle feeding. And along with bottle feeding comes a whole new set of equipment, choices and routines to become confident with.
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!
Regardless of the way she is fed - breast or bottle - your baby needs to be held and cuddled, so make sure that you hold always hold her during bottle feeds so that you can both enjoy your close time together.
- Discover the reasons why your baby may refuse the breast
- Find out what equipment you need for bottle feeding
- Discover important information about baby formula
- Tips on making up formula
- Weaning and your body
- What is lactose intolerance?
- Tips for coping with a baby who is lactose intolerant
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.
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