Tips for Bottle Feeding Successfully
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.
Keep Baby Awake During Feedings
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.
Baby Seems to Spit Up More than She’s Eating
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:
- Keeping her belly free from tight fitting clothing or diapers
- Keeping her head higher than her feet while bottle feeding
- Keeping her upright after a feeding for about 20 minutes or so
Make You and Baby Comfortable
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.