Babies are born knowing how to suck, which is why taking a bottle should be easy…right? Although most babies know instinctively what to do when given a bottle, it’s not uncommon for a few issues to arise during feedings. With a few tips, most bottle-feeding problems can be resolved easily.
Feeding time naps can make it difficult for parents to make sure baby is getting all of the nutrients she needs, which is why a change in her feeding schedule may be necessary if she’s regularly dozing off while sucking from a bottle. If feeding time is lapsing into nap time, adjust her feeding schedule accordingly. If she still seems to want to sleep more than eat, try changing her feeding position or remove a layer of clothing. A diaper change or burping session are also good ways to gently stimulate a sleepy baby.
If it seems like your baby is spitting up more than she’s eating, it may be time to employ a few bottle-feeding tricks. Although it’s normal for babies to spit up during a feeding, there’s no harm in keeping the amount of milk she spits up to a minimum. To help reduce the amount of spit up, try increasing the number of times you burp her – every 3 to 5 minutes is recommended.
Smaller feedings at more intervals during the day can also help keep spit up to a minimum. Some other tips that are effective at helping reduce spit up, include:
Most feedings last about 20 minutes (give or take), so it’s best if you get yourself and your baby into a comfortable position. Cradle baby in your arms while making sure her head is supported with the inside of your elbow. It’s best to keep her at a 45-degree angle, which helps reduce the amount of air she takes in and ultimately, the amount of gas she’ll have. Support your arm with a pillow and switch sides half way through a feeding to keep baby interested and give your arm a break.
If your baby is turning up her nose to her bottle less than half way through a feeding, chances are she’s gassy. If you burp her and she continues to eat, it’s most likely she had a tummy full of gas. To help prevent gas from building up, most experts agree a burping session half way through a bottle is good. Increase the number of burping sessions if your baby spits up a lot.