If you are not able to breastfeed, or if you are feeding your baby EBM
(expressed breast milk) from a bottle, you can still recreate some of
the bonding experience of breastfeeding by bottle-nursing. Other people
can use this method with your baby if they are watching them for you,
but it's best if you are your baby's primary source of milk, just as if
you were breastfeeding.
Do you think these tips are helpful to new moms? Did you bottle feed your baby this way
Only group members can vote in this poll.
5% - I think they're helpful but I didn't bottle feed my baby that way.
41% - Yes, I think they're great tips and I fed my baby that way.
5% - I think the tips are irrelevent. I have/had no interest in making my bottle feeding experiance more like breastfeeding.
Despite prevalent attitudes today, there's no shame in bottle-nursing.
Choosing whether to breastfeed or bottle-nurse is a personal decision
and no one should be able to sway you from your decision. Stay positive
about your decision to bottle nurse.
Hold your baby in the same positions you would if you were nursing her.
Get skin-to-skin as much as possible, as often as possible. Your baby
needs to benefit from your warm skin, your breathing and your heartbeat.
Be sure to include extra snuggling and skin-to-skin contact throughout
the day when you're not feeding the baby
Take your time and get comfortable with pillows or a Boppy, just as you would if you were nursing.
You can even prop a small baby comfortably on a pillow so she is facing
you, and then you have a free hand to touch her. Let her play with your
hands, your fingers, your face. Gently discourage her from playing with
the hard, plastic bottle by offering your soft, warm skin.
Don't rush things. Let
the baby eat at his or her own pace. Sometimes you have to take the
nipple out a bit and let the baby "catch up" on swallowing, much like
during breastfeeding let-down. Don't force-feed the baby. S/he will
start and stop on their own. Be patient. Your baby will let you know
when s/he is done.
A good latch is just as important for bottle-feeding as it is for breastfeeding.
Breastfed babies develop their jaw, tongue and facial muscles and
coordination through suckling, so ensure your bottle-fed baby has a good
latch. Her lips should be everted (rolled outwards), and touching the
nipple all the way around so no air gets in her mouth. Look at pictures
of breastfeeding latches to learn more.
Each baby is unique and has his or her own suckling technique.
You may need to go through several styles of bottles and nipples before
you find the one that's right for your baby. Pay attention to your
baby's comfort level during eating - is it too slow? Too fast? Is the
nipple too wide or too narrow? Is the baby taking in too much air
(causing painful gas and fussiness)? Are they just chewing on the nipple
and not able to suck effectively? (Also, remember your baby's suckling
style will change as s/he grows.)
Gaze into your baby's eyes, talk to her, sing to her.
Rock in a rocking chair or glider. Curl up in bed. Dim the lights, shut
out distractions, and focus entirely on your baby - because the bottle
is between you and your baby, you'll need to go the extra mile to get
close to the breastfeeding experience.
Always offer formula at near-body temperature.
Some babies will take a room-temperature or cold bottle, but remember,
with bottle-feeding you need to compensate for having that bottle
between you and your baby.
DO NOT BOTTLE-PROP. EVER. It is unsafe. Also, because
you have the bottle between you and your baby, you can compensate for
any lack of physical bonding by dedicating yourself to bottle-nursing
with love. Bottle-propping leads to feeding problems, possible choking,
and dental problems, in addition to possibly creating detachment in both
parent and baby.