Sometimes it may be necessary to feed the baby milk from a bottle. For example, if you are partially breastfeeding or do not want to/cannot breastfeed or if for some reason the baby is unable to suckle. Close body contact is important for both you and the baby regardless of the chosen method of feeding.
Good advice for feeding your baby with a bottle
- When bottle feeding, it is good to have the baby in a semi-reclining position in your arms and to support the baby's head and neck with your arm.
- The baby should be facing you so that it has eye contact with you.
- Place a pillow under your arm if you need support.
- You can change sides, just as you do when breastfeeding.
- Hold the baby close, if possible skin-to-skin, as this makes the baby feel safe.
- Make sure to warm the milk to body temperature in a bain-marie.
- Let the baby open its mouth to reach the teat.
- Hold the bottle still and do not force the baby to feed if it wants to take a break.
- Some babies need to be winded several times during feeding while others do not.
- Remember that the bottle should be angled upwards so there is always milk in the teat.
- Do not rush the feed, let it take the time it takes. Your baby should dictate the pace.
- Do not leave the baby on its own with the bottle.
- It is important that the baby is close to you when it is feeding, if it is left alone there is a risk of choking.
- After feeding, the baby may need to be held close in your arms for a little while, preferably in an upright position.
- Any left over milk should be discarded.