When it comes to infant feeding choices there is a lot of information and opinions.
Most of the conversation lies with what you are feeding your baby; here’s looking at you Breastmilk VS. Formula debate rather than how you feed your baby.
Today, let’s talk about the Paced Bottle Feeding method and why this is such a great option for bottle-fed babies.
This method allows babies to control the feeding session just as they would if they were fed at the breast. Practicing paced bottle feeding allows you and your baby to understand their hunger cues more accurately. In addition, it allows more time to assess when they are full or finished eating.
Choose any bottle you like; however, remember a wide base and a slow flow nipple are key.
Here are the steps to follow for Paced Bottle Feeding:
- Hold your baby in an upright position with your hand or arm supporting their head and neck. Feeding your baby skin to skin is a lovely way to bond with them.
- Holding the bottle horizontally, touch the nipple to your baby’s upper lip and allow them to open their mouth wide. Mimicking what would be done at the breast.
- Let your baby bring the nipple into their mouth, do not force the nipple in.
- Keep the bottle in a horizontal position and resist the temptation to tilt the bottle back.
- Fill the nipple with milk, and let the baby suck three to five times. Give them a small break to swallow, and then repeat by filling the tip again. This mimics how the baby pulls milk from the breast, drinks, and swallows in a slower, more controlled way.
- It’s okay if the baby pops off the nipple from time to time. Try burping them or switching sides. Then repeat the above steps again.
- Keep a close eye on how long, and how much your baby has eaten, if they are popping off the nipple a few times in a row, this may be an indicator that they are full.
This method takes some practice and can sometimes feel overwhelming if your baby is fussy or very hungry and crying.
It can be very tempting to pop the bottle in the baby’s mouth and tilt them back to drink.
Remember, stay patient, stay calm. This has nothing to do with bottle vs breast. Soon your baby will realize you are offering food, and all of a sudden, they will calm down enough to eat.
Regardless if you are exclusively bottle feeding or supplementing between the breast and the bottle; paced bottle feeding is an excellent way of avoiding what some still refer to as “nipple confusion.”