Like many things, learning to bottle feed is new to you and your baby. We recommend that you help your baby learn to feed by teaching him/her “paced bottle feeding.”
What is paced bottle feeding?
In paced bottle feeding, the parent controls the flow of milk. This allows your baby to drink at a comfortable rate and helps prevent overfeeding.
How to pace bottle feed:
- Hold you baby in an upright position, supporting her head and neck with your hand.
- Use a wide-based, slow-flow nipple.
- Touch the baby’s upper lip with the bottle nipple.
- Gently allow baby to pull the nipple into her mouth. Do not force the nipple into baby’s mouth.
- Keep the bottle horizontal so the nipple is partially full. This will slow the flow of milk. It is not necessary to keep the nipple full of milk.
- Count your baby’s sucks and swallows. If your baby does not take a breath by the third to fifth suck, remove the bottle and take a three to five second pause to let her breathe.
- Often baby will swallow, then breathe, and then open her mouth. This shows she is ready to begin feeding again.
- Switch sides halfway through the feeding.
- The feeding should last 10 to 20 minutes.
Remove the bottle if your baby shows any of these “take a break” signs:
- Milk spilling from her mouth.
- Opening eyes widely.
- Stiffening of arms and legs.
- Flaring nostrils.
- Lips turning blue.
Watch for these cues that suggest your baby is satisfied:
- Falling asleep.
- Turning head aside.
- No longer sucking.
- Letting go of the nipple.
Discard any milk your baby does not finish.