Bottle feeding tips for slow feeders

Bottle feeding tips for slow feeders

Breastfeeding has been widely acknowledged as the best possible nutrition for your baby, and should not be substituted for formula if possible. However, if you are unable to breastfeed, or are using a bottle for any other reasons, it is vital that you have all the information you need to keep your baby safe and healthy.

Just like breast-fed babies, some bottle fed babies are very slow to feed. Learning to drink from a bottle takes time, so you need to be patient.

  • Ensure that your baby is hungry when she feeds-but not so hungry that she's crying and won't take the bottle.
  • Your baby may not need to drink as much as you think she does-if she seems to have stopped taking any milk at all, put down the bottle and give her a break. If she's still not interested after a 5 minute break, you can consider her fed.
  • Experiement with different bottles and teats-some babies struggle with one style and have complete success with another.
  • Make sure that the milk is flowing fast enough. If she has to work very hard to get her milk so may get tired before she is full.
  • Try to keep distractions to a minimum when you give her a bottle so she concentrates on feeding rather than everything else that going on around her.

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 adapated for  KidspotNZ

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