Guide to bottle-feeding: best techniques and positions
Whether you choose to breastfeed your little one or use formula, at some point, you’re going to have to bottle-feed your baby. Therefore, it is essential to have a good understanding of how to bottle-feed an infant the right way.
This guide will cover everything you need to know about bottle-feeding, including how to choose the right bottle, how to know the right nipple size for your baby, and how to clean your baby’s bottle. We’ll also outline a few techniques and positions you can use to make bottle-feeding easier and more efficient for both you and your little one. Finally, we’ll offer some recommendations that will make your life even more convenient as you bottle feed, such as how to choose the right pumping bra for you.
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
How to choose the feeding bottle and nipple
The first step to proper bottle-feeding is choosing the right feeding bottle and nipple. Sure, you may have received lots of bottles as gifts during your baby shower, but are they right for your little one?
Well, your choice of feeding bottle will be dictated by your little one’s feeding needs. In most cases, a regular newborn baby bottle will do. However, some babies may develop gas issues over time. In such situations, bottles with an an infiltration system work well. These bottles are also great for preventing these issues from developing in the first place.
On the other hand, if your baby is used to breastfeeding, it is a good idea to get a bottle that mimics a breast to make the transition easier. Such babies have a harder time figuring out how to latch on conventional nipples, so these bottles make things simpler for them.
As you choose your feeding bottle, it is also important to consider how easy it will be to clean it. Get a bottle that is easy to take apart and clean. This will significantly lower the risk of contamination. An easy-to-clean bottle will have a wide neck and very few parts, including the nipple, bottle, and collar.
What about if your baby is already used to a certain type of bottle? Well, there is no need to change to a different type once you find something that your baby likes and is happy feeding from. In fact, making any drastic changes could actually have the opposite effect and make your little one have aharder time transitioning. Babies can be very resistant to change.
Finally, it is also important to pay attention to the flow of the nipple. Younger babies require a slower flow. As they grow older and become more confident feeding from a bottle, they can handle a faster flow. Eventually, they may start to prefer faster flows exclusively. It’s all about understanding and anticipating your little one’s preferences.
Bottle feeding positions
The position you hold the baby when bottle feeding is crucial to how well your baby feeds. Here are some of the positions you can use:
1. Cradling the baby in your arms
This is the position everyone imagines when it comes to bottle-feeding. In this position, you hold the baby close to your chest. Ensure that the baby rests in the crook of your arm. Hold her head and chest in a slight incline before administering the bottle.
2. Holding the baby upright
Instead of being in an inclined position, the baby can be sitting in an upright position with her head in the crook of your arm or chest. This method is suitable for babies who have reflux. Tilt the bottle to ensure that the nipple is filled with milk to avoid the baby gulping air that can lead to reflux.
3. Using a nursing pillow
A nursing pillow can also be a huge help in bottle feeding. With it, you’ll get to keep the baby's head and chest at an angle. This will give your arms a break as you hold the baby on your laps.
As you use the bottle feeding positions outlined above, be sure to incorporate the following techniques as well:
1. Switch sides
When bottle-feeding, remember to switch the baby from one side to the other. This will help prevent the baby from developing preferences that will only make your life harder. Plus, it gives your arms a break.
Switching sides also naturally helps pace the feeding and gives the baby a chance to decide if they are full or whether they want to continue feeding.
As your baby grows older, they might want to hold the bottle independently. You can allow them to do that but be sure to keep a close eye on them as they feed themselves.
2. Pace Feeding
Pace feeding is an important technique in bottle feeding that helps regulate your baby's feeding. In pace feeding, you closely follow the baby's cues, allowing for breaks as needed.
The breaks are important as they allow your little one to learn how to regulate their hunger. It also allows for enough time for digestion.
Additionally, you have to hold the bottle horizontally as opposed to vertically. Horizontally holding the bottle makes the baby work to pull the milk rather than have it drip into their mouth. You can give your baby a break every few minutes by leaning the bottle back so that the milk leaves the nipple.
Finally, burp the baby when she seems fussy or plays with the nipple mid-feed.
3. Pumping breast milk
Unless you are exclusively formula-feeding, pumping breast milk is an essential technique that every new mom should learn.
It will come in handy when making the transition from breastfeeding to bottle-feeding. You’ll also need to pump when you are delegating the feeding duties to your partner or caregiver.
Apart from investing in the best breast pump, you’ll also need to stock up on the right pumping bras for your pumpiung convenience. A hands-free pumping bra allows for easy pumping, leading to the best bottle-feeding experience.
How to choose the right pumping bra
So how do you choose the right pumping bra for you?
If you are like most mommies, you probably want a pumping bra that is not only stylish but also designed to support you and offer you enough convenience to pump on the go. We’re going to show you exactly how to find such a pumping bra.
Before we begin, though, you need to know the most important features to look for in a pumping bra. We highly recommend getting one that is stretchable, comes with one-hand open clips, and has hook & eye closure.
Here are the steps to follow when choosing a pumping bra:
1. Get your size
The first step is to measure yourself and have a good idea of what would fit you. We cover exactly how to do this in our guide on how to find the right fitting pumping bra. That guide also includes a size chart that will help you figure out what your exact size is.
2. Decide what type of pumping bra to go for
Once you know your cup size, you need to choose the right bra for your lifestyle. Pumping bras come in lots of different styles and designs. At the end of the day, the style you choose to go for is a personal decision. However, at Momanda, we have lots of options for every lifestyle and need.
3. Get your pumping bra
Once you know exactly what you are looking for, it’s now time to get your pumping bra. Our pumping bras are a great choice because they provide unbeatable comfort, convenience, and fit that will take your pumping and bottle feeding experience to the next level.
Not all moms can afford to breastfeed their little ones exclusively. Even those who do will eventually have to bottle-feed their babies at some point. This is why knowing how to bottle feed the right way is so important.
Hopefully, the tips and tricks outlined in this article will help you become a pro at this in no time. And while at it, do not forget to invest in a good pumping bra especially if you are planning to breastfeed and bottle-feed at the same time.
Momanda bras are a great choice because not only can they be used for hands-free pumping, but they are also great for nursing and daily usage. With them, you get a nursing bra and a pumping bra all in one. Plus, you get to feel pretty again, because these bras look amazing!
Angelia Smith - Feb. 15 2022
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