For many moms, the decision to bottle-feed is not an easy one and oftentimes, is associated with feelings of guilt and sadness. Most feelings of guilt stem from what moms think they’ll miss out on when breastfeeding – that special bond between mom and baby. But, just because a mom chooses to bottle feed, doesn’t mean she can’t create a special experience for herself and her baby.
By following a few tricks, feeding time can be a special time for you and your baby. And, what’s even better is that dad, grandma or aunt can also employ these tricks to create a memorable feeding time for your little guy or gal.
Babies are easily distracted and stimulated by a lot, which is why it’s best to keep the environment calm and soothing during feeding time. Some of the easiest ways to create a soothing environment is to turn off the TV, put down the phone or Ipad, and play lullaby music.
When you talk to baby, talk quietly. Although your baby can’t talk to you (yet!) they will learn to recognize the tones of your voice, and learn to recognize when you’re trying to soothe and calm her. Babies who are consistently talked to also grasp the rhythms of language earlier, reports a developmental psychologist at Stanford University.
It may not seem like a big deal, but finding the right bottle and nipple can help make feeding times stress free. Babies struggling with grasping a nipple or taking in a lot amount of air during feedings may act fussy or irritated. If your baby seems uncomfortable during feedings, it may be time to switch your bottle and nipple. There’s no lack of selection when it comes to feeding gear, so pick a few bottles you think your baby will like and try them one by one till your little one seems at ease.
You don’t have to breastfeed to practice skin to skin. Studies have shown that skin-to-skin contact helps regulate temperature and breathing in newborns, and helps reduce anxiety in older children. Skin to skin allows both mother and child to utilize all of their senses to create a strong bond. Although studies have shown that skin-to-skin is best at birth, newer findings have shown that skin-to-skin contact throughout infancy has many benefits.
As you can see, there are many ways for you to nurture a close bond between you and your child when bottle-feeding. Hopefully, these tricks will inspire you to use feedings as a way to create a strong bond between you and your little one.