Feeding your baby is a very intimate act that strengthens your bond. This is precisely why you should limit the number of people who bottle feed your child. In order for a baby to feel comfortable and safe, you should avoid sudden changes. All humans are creatures of habit, and this goes for babies, too. In that respect, make sure that only people closest to your child are allowed to feed them. What’s more, the way you position your child, hold the bottle and cuddle afterwards, is important for the baby’s health and happiness.
The right positions
Once the bottle is appropriately sterilized and the formula is ready, you need to find the most comfortable position for your baby. Also, whichever feeding position you choose, it’s very important to maintain eye contact. Never feed your child when it is laying down.
One option is to cradle your child. The baby’s head should be safely supported in the crook of your arm, while your other arm should be around/underneath them. Make sure that you position the child in semi-upright position.
Another comfy way to bottle-feed your baby is to hold them in your lap. Position your baby on your lap so that they’re fairly upright, with their head supported comfortably and in line with their body. This way of bottle-feeding is very effective for babies that suffer from gas or acid reflux.
Use your lap again. This is another comfy position that works really well. Sit or lie down and prop your legs. The baby’s feet should be on your tummy and their head on your knees. This is definitely one of the best positions when it comes to eye contact. Also, it’s the best one to prevent your child from fidgeting as they suck on the bottle.
Holding the bottle
You should always pay attention to the way your baby drinks milk. You will definitely need to tilt the bottle several times. As your child drinks, it’s essential to move the bottle around a bit so that the milk always fills the teat of the bottle. Air balloons inside the bottle will help you keep check on the feeding process. The less air there’s in the teat, the fewer chances there are for painful gas.
Once they feel full, babies may need winding. There are several different positions to safely help your child to burp as well. Regardless of the position you go for, you should keep patting or rubbing your child’s back. Some of the milk may come along with the burp, so keep a cloth at hand. You can place baby’s head over your shoulder and support their bum with the same hand. On the other hand, you can put your baby in semi-upright position with their back to your stomach. In this case, you should slowly lean the child forwards and gently hold their chin for support. Finally, you can also lay your baby flat down on your lap, with their back to you.
During feeding, make sure that the environment is relaxed and noise-free. This will soothe the child and make feeding a lot easier. Of course, use this time to bond with your baby even more. As you make them extra comfortable with a cozy swaddle wrap, you can use this opportunity to cuddle and play with your child. That way, the baby will associate bottle feeding with something pleasant, warm and enjoyable.
It’s essential that everyone who bottle-feeds your baby knows how to handle this task properly. Moreover, never try to stop the feeding abruptly or force the child to drink more than they want. This can only make the baby scared and moody. If it happens that your child falls asleep with a bottle in their mouth, make sure to remove it slowly and gently. You may feel bad about disrupting your baby’s sleep, but that’s for their own good. When babies sleep with a bottle in their mouth, there is risk of them being more prone to tooth decay. Not to mention the possible choking hazard if there’s still milk in the bottle.