If you have never fed a baby before, you might be daunted at the prospect. After a few times though, you’ll wonder what you worried about.
We all love a top hint, so when it comes to bottle feeding tips we think the experts – a.k.a the parents who do it every day – would be the perfect ones to share their life hacks. They told us this…
This might be the calmest part of your day with a newborn so enjoy it. Get comfortable and keep the remote control and the phone in arm’s reach, then enjoy the closeness with your little one.
Perfect moment or two
Feeding time can be the perfect moment to force yourself to forget the stresses of the day and have a magical moment with your child. Your baby may guzzle their milk quickly or take their time. Either way you’ve heard everybody say it goes so fast, so slow it all down for just a few minutes and enjoy the moment, however long or short it is.
We all like our coffee at just the right temperature. Not too hot and not too cold. If your baby likes a warm bottle, use the inside of your wrist and if it’s a comfortable temperature you’re good to go. Why your wrist? Because it’s sensitive to heat and a pretty convenient place to access in public too.
Up a bit, down a bit…
You might have been told 45 degrees is the perfect angle to hold your baby for a feed. But if that’s all a bit scientific for you, the crook of your arm is actually the perfect place for your baby to get comfortable so long as your baby is about half way between sitting up and lying down. Simple as that really.
Air… your worst enemy
When it comes to feeding, air in milk usually sends shivers up the spine of most parents and can lead to that most dreaded subject of colic. A quick tip for bottle feeding is to make sure the bottle isn’t held too flat. Always tilt the bottle so the teat is full of milk. You’ll need to tip it higher as the bottle slowly drains.
Your beautiful newborn with their soft gums won’t stay that way for long. Soon teeth will arrive and from then onwards you need to check your teats for signs of biting. Teats are soft for little gums so teeth can damage them. If you’re little one is teething or likes chewing, keep an eye out and replace your teats. This goes for soothers too.
What advice do you have for a baby that won’t take a bottle?
Whether you are moving from breast to bottle or combination feeding, it can be pretty frustrating if your little one refuses the bottle. It will certainly lead you to wonder who the boss in this relationship really is! It’s a problem many parents face and there’s lots of advice out there but no magic solution. But before you try every bottle brand on the market to find the one they like, some perseverance and a common sense approach might get you a little closer and save you money.
Let’s face it, your baby has had the luxury of your warm comfortable breast so far and anything else isn’t going to be quite so lovely. So expecting instant results is rather unrealistic. The longer your baby has been on the breast, the more unimpressed he or she is likely to be when you give them their bottle. So be prepared for things not to go as smoothly as you might expect.
But before you tear your hair out, remember most babies go through this and get there in the end. Here’s some bottle feeding advice for you to take into account if your baby won’t take a bottle.
If you’re moving onto a bottle as you’re going back to work, give you and your baby plenty of time to get into a new routine. If you’re planning on moving to formula, try to get them comfortable on the bottle with breastmilk before changing to formula.
Bring in the volunteers
Imagine you’re on a diet and you’re having your healthy lunch with a scrumptious cake on the table. No wonder your baby isn’t co-operating when the thing they want the most (your breast) is right there. Try getting others to do the feed so you’re not around to remind them of what they’d prefer.
Once you have tried all the above and more, you may be tempted to keep trying different bottles and teats until your baby accepts one. Each time you try a bottle though, your baby gets a little more comfortable with it. Assuming you’ve tried all the above, six tries of the same bottle is likely to be as successful as trying six different bottles one at a time. So save your money and persevere with the bottle you think is closest to breast in shape and movement.