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Whether you start bottle feeding your baby right from the start or you introduce a bottle at some point during the first months of your little one’s life- here are some tips on how to create a bond with your baby while bottle feeding.
Bottle Feeding Do’s:
· Make sure that you have a lot of body (or skin) contact with your baby. Hold your baby as if you were breastfeeding her and change sides as well mid-feeding, or hold her with your left arm one feeding at the next feeding, hold her with your right arm.
· Hold her head at about the same height as your heart. That way you have the optimal distance that your baby needs to see your face well.
· Get to know your baby and learn to know when he is hungry. If you have a baby specialist or nanny who spends a lot of time with your baby make sure you keep your little one with you at least a few hours a day so that you too, learn to differentiate the cries.
· Keep a warm and quiet environment during feeds. Switch off the TV and focus your attention on your baby.
· Use a round nipple with a wide base.
· Use a glass or BPA-free bottle.
· Make sure the milk is at least room temperature. If you take out milk from the fridge, warm it in a warm water bath (never the microwave as it destroys the ingredients of breastmilk) and swirl it before use- but don’t shake it! Test the temperature on your wrist.
· When you start a feed, stroke your baby’s lips with the nipple lightly and wait until she opens her mouth.
· Make sure only 1 drop comes out of the nipple when you hold the bottle upside down. That way you ensure that it has a good flow and your baby still sucks on the nipple which is important for his development.
· Pace the feeding so that the feed takes about 20 minutes with a burp in the middle.
· Wash your bottles and nipples with soapy water after each use and sterilize once a day.
· If you are using formula the amount of what your baby needs may vary. Speak with your lactation consultant if you are unsure whether you are feeding too much or not enough.
· Don’t change formula brands without consulting your pediatrician or lactation consultant. Every change in milk puts stress on a baby’s gut so it is important to choose wisely which formula you’d switch and stick to.
Bottle feeding Dont’s:
· Don’t use a bouncer or other infant seat to feed her a bottle.
· Don’t put the bottle in his mouth and put a towel roll under his chin to keep the bottle in place. Always feed baby in your arms. That way you can react quickly when he starts coughing.
· Don’t push the bottle in your baby’s mouth. If he resists, wait until he is ready.
· Don’t give up after 1-2 tries. Come back to bottle feeding later in the day, or after baby is better rested, etc. Remember it takes time to adjust to something new.
Can you think of any other Bottle feeding Do’s or Dont’s that you’ve learned along the way as a parent? I’d love to hear them.
· Call on me if you have questions regarding bottle feeding. Whether it’s you, your partner, or a caretaker feeding your infant. I’m here to help!
What matters most is that your baby is fed and cared for (and that you are cared for, too!). Remember, no matter how your baby is being fed, love is the best “medicine” for your baby!