Bottle Feeding A Baby | The Complete How To Guide
Below is my practical guide on bottle feeding a baby. Scroll down and click NEXT to continue, and be sure to read the rest of the mimijumi Bottle Feeding Bible as well!
Sit Somewhere Comfortable
You will usually be sitting in the same position for 20 minutes, so get comfortable. Bottle feeding a baby doesn’t have to be at home in the lounge room, but make sure you are comfortable and sitting when you feed your baby. Try and avoid bottle feeding a baby (or breastfeeding for that matter) on public transport or while in a moving vehicle. Apart from the impracticality of it, all the motion hinders the ability for your baby to swallow properly and can increase the possibility of gas and colic. Also, make sure anything you may need is in easy reach when bottle feeding a baby.
Always Hold Your Baby While Bottle Feeding
It’s important to provide the most natural feeding experience possible, so I would encourage you to use the traditional breastfeeding holds as much as possible. These are usually referred to as the cradle hold or cross cradle hold, and are great for transitioning or weaning your baby from breast to bottle, especially when used in conjunction with natural bottles like mimijumi baby bottles. Bottle feeding a baby is also a really good time for you to bond with them. You can stroke their head, talk to them and feel what they are feeling. I have always enjoyed singing to my babies and looking into their eyes while feeding them. Feeding can be a very special time for you and your baby, so enjoy the quality time with them.
Support Their Head
This is a part of the cradle hold position, and is often taught by the midwife in hospital. You hold your baby in your arm, pressed against your body, their head supported in the nook of your arm. About 45 degrees is a good angle for them to be at when bottle feeding. Put a pillow under your baby to help support their weight while bottle feeding a baby for long periods. Never try bottle feeding a baby lying down, as the milk can flow into her middle ear and cause infections. You may also wish to tuck a tissue or burping cloth under her chin to prevent random wet burps!
Release Any Pressure From Bottle
After you’ve put warm milk into the bottle, either EBM or formula, and then screwed the lid on, sometimes pressure can build up in the bottle and make the milk spurt out on it’s own when tilted upside down. This is not how the bottle is designed, so it’s important you release this pressure before starting so the breastfeeding action is replicated and your bub controls the flow rate. To release the pressure, simple place 2 fingers on either side of the nipple tip and press down (make sure your hands are clean!). You’ll hear a faint hissing sound as the air is released. To check just tip the bottle upside down and make sure no milk spurts out. This only needs to be done once before feeding.
Fill the Bottle Nipple With Milk
This goes hand-in-hand with the above, but we thought that it merited its own point because of its importance. It may seem obvious, but lots of mums don’t realise they are doing it and the baby ends up sucking in air. Just regularly check the nipple of the bottle while bottle feeding a baby to make sure it is full of milk. With mimijumi bottles, you will see the little bubbles coming up from the nipple and forming on the surface.
Look For Signs That They Are Full
When your baby is full from bottle feeding, they will let you know. They will usually turn their head to the side, and may make a noise and wave their arms. If these things happen soon after you started, however, than this is a sign that they need burping. There are general rules on how much to feed your baby, but because every baby is different, don’t worry too much about feeding your baby the exact amount (when I say ‘exact’ here, abide by the rules, but if they leave 10mls in the bottom don’t have a conniption). If they are putting on adequate weight (your doctor will tell you), have wet nappies and seem content, then you’re on the right track! See our full page on When Your Baby Is Full HERE!
Because they haven’t developed their eating and swallowing skills yet, it is a natural occurrence for your baby to take in some air as a newborn while bottle feeding, no matter how good the anti-colic system is on the bottle. This is when you burp your baby. Burping your baby is done to release the air out of your baby’s tummy, usually by putting them over your shoulder. Some of the signs to look for are turning their head to the side, making noise and squirming, and if you hear them making loud sucking noises during the feed. If your baby does not show any of the signs that they are gassy, take a burping break about halfway through the feed just to check. See Our Full How To Burp A Baby page HERE!
Look For Signs Of Allergies
Some babies are allergic to formula and others may even have issues digesting breast milk. If you are concerned something is wrong and your baby is not happily settling after bottle feeding then consult your doctor. There are so many great products available on the market now for babies with particular dietary requirements so there is no need to despair!
Switch Your Arms
To keep things interesting (and your arm from falling asleep), switch arms and positioning while bottle feeding a baby. Babies are creatures of habit, changing arms is important otherwise your baby may form a preference and simply refuse to feed on another side.
Bottle Feeding A Baby With A Cold
Bottle feeding a baby with a blocked nose is difficult. There are several simple and effective products you can buy to help a baby with a cold. I recommend Eukybear or Vicks VapoRub, make sure you choose the product appropriate for your baby’s age and follow the instructions. You may wish to ask your pharmacist’s advice as well. Fess Little Noses is a brilliant product to use immediately before a feed. Make sure to use both the saline spray and the nose cleaner before each feed to ensure your baby’s nose is as clear as possible. This is also very helpful just before bed.
This bottle feeding a baby page continues, so CLICK HERE or the NEXT button below to keep reading! If you found the information you were looking for, please leave us your own tips on bottle feeding a baby in the comments section below! Otherwise please continue on with our Bottle Feeding Bible
Although the information on this page includes well thought-out, educated opinions, and all care has been taken putting it together, it is intended to be a guide only, and is NOT intended to be medical or other professional advice. The information contained herein is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, and you should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional on all issues relating to you, your baby or otherwise. We, any of our related entities, the author, or any other person or entity associated with the creation of this page or website does not accept any liability for any loss of any nature whatsoever arising out of them, and none of those parties shall be held liable to any extent whatsoever for any such loss.