Whether you are fully bottle feeding, formula or breastmilk, it is always important to know how to do it baby-friendly so baby can learn how to gain control over the feed as well as avoiding overfeeding. Here are my useful tips:
- Paced bottle feeding is an important method to practice when offering the bottle. Not only does it avoid overfeeding it also helps baby digest the milk and signals when baby is full. Much like on the breast, it makes it a bit harder for baby to drink. So you are really pacing the amount baby will get which makes this very breastfeeding friendly.
- The mechanisms on baby’s mouth are different when bottle feeding and breastfeeding, so making sure to do take it steady to feed the bottle in a more upright position. It will help baby to not get lazy on the breast after.
- Start off by nursing baby in an upright position, offering a bottle that has a slow flow teat – you do not need to buy different flowing teats for growing babies. This is more a marketing campaign than anything. The flow of your milk from the breast is always the same so the rest should also stay as a slow flow option.
- If you pick up certain signs, for example, nose crinkles, hands splay or get tense, eyes widen or the swallowing motions change, offer a little pause during the feed.
- Just simply lean baby forwards a little with the bottle in the mouth and allow a little time for the milk to go down and for baby to relax again. Restart the feed slowly again.
- You could also remove the bottle gently and let baby indicate if more is needed.
- Taking a little break gives time for signals in the stomach to tell the brain if it is truly full, just like when you eat a meal. Taking breaks is natural for baby much like feeding on the breast. And like this, you are really feeding to baby’s appetite and won’t be overfeeding.
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