Bottle feeding hints and tips

Your baby might take to a bottle right away. They also might not. We’ve all hit barriers with feeding at one time or another. From trouble latching on to fussiness about guzzling from a bottle, feeding problems can be pretty common. As with most things, perseverance is key (however overwhelming it can feel at times!) and your baby will get into routine of gulping down milk whichever technique you end up going with. Whether you’re just getting into the swing of things or trying to finesse your bottle-feeding routine, here are some helpful hints to keep in mind for your next feed.

Always check the temperature

You wouldn’t hop right in the bath without checking the temperature, so don’t give your baby their milk without a quick check on the inside of your wrist. Your skin is thinner here, so it’s more sensitive to heat. ‘Just right’ is what you’re aiming for, so make sure it’s not too hot and not too cold.

Enjoy the peace

Baby is content, you’re content. That’s how it works, right? Guzzling milk is one of your baby’s favourite activities, if not the favourite (but sleeping is probably up there too). Baby being occupied and satisfied is a good time for you to have a breather as well.

Get into position

Feeds can sometimes take up to 20 minutes and that’s far too long to be sat in an awkward position. Have your baby lay in the crook of your arm so they’re half and half between sitting up and lying down. Switch arms mid-way through to avoid aches. Pro tip: have a pillow beside you to rest your arm on.

Don’t forget to burp baby

Bubbles are bound to get trapped in their tummy sometimes but a good belch mid and post feed should fix things. If there’s a lot of burping going down and its affecting feeds, take a look at how you’re holding your bottle; this could be the culprit.

Keep the bottle tilted

If you’re holding the bottle horizontal, the chances are your baby is gulping down air as well as milk, leading to one gassy baby. Keep the bottle tilted enough that the teat is always full of milk. Problem solved.

Enlist some help

Baby not taking to the bottle? Hand over the responsibility to your partner or whoever is in charge when you’re not around.

Ease into routine

Going back to work? Decide how things are going to work when it comes to feeding. If you’re switching from breast to bottle or introducing formula, have a transitional period so it doesn’t come as too much of a shock to everyone.

Important Notice:

  • Breastfeeding is best for babies and provides many benefits. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, you eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast and bottle feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of your own breast milk, and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. The social and financial implications of using an infant milk should be considered. Improper use of an infant milk or inappropriate foods or feeding methods may present a health hazard. If you use an infant milk, you should follow manufacturer’s instructions for use carefully – failure to follow the instructions may make your baby ill.
  • Follow on milk is only suitable for babies over 6 months, as part of a mixed diet and should not be used as a breastmilk substitute before 6 months. We advise that all formula milks be used on the advice of a doctor, midwife, health visitor, public health nurse, dietitian, pharmacist or other professional responsible for maternal and child care, based on your baby’s individual needs.
  • Use Growing Up milk as part of a varied balanced diet from 12th month.

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