In this article
The Correct Bottle Feeding Positions for BabiesAmount of Formula to Feed the BabyOther Tips for Bottle Feeding
Many new parents complain that their babies spill out most of the milk while feeding. This mainly occurs due to the wrong positions of feeding when you have made the switch from the breast to the bottle. If you do not feed your newborn properly, the chance of milk spillage becomes greater. In addition, a wrong feeding position can cause the milk to flow into the mid ear canal of the baby leading to an infection. Most importantly, your child would not get the adequate portion of milk when the bottle feeding positions are not proper! This makes it critical to know the right postures and positions for bottle-feeding.
The Correct Bottle Feeding Positions for Babies
Sit The Baby Up:
Feeding the baby in a sitting position prevents gas and reflux as the food can flow down smoothly. In the case of a newborn, try to sit him up supporting his back on your lap. Take care that he is in an upright position while sucking the milk from the bottle.
Cradle The Baby:
Cradling is another ideal position for bottle feeding. To do this, put your infant’s head in a folded arm. Place another arm beneath the baby to support him properly. Keep your baby in a semi-upright position. Avoid feeding the baby when he is lying down. It does not only increase the chance of spillage, but also the risk of the milk flowing into the baby’s ear canal causing an infection later.
Lean The Baby on One Side:
This position is especially beneficial if the baby spills a lot or has a runny nose. Make the baby lie on his side on your thigh with his body placed obliquely to the ground and his head and back leaning on the other thigh. You can change his posture by moving your knees or making him change the side of leaning.
Put The Baby in Your Lap:
To feed in this position, you need to sit first with your legs crossed. Place the baby in your lap in an upright position. Rest the baby’s head on your inclined knees. Experts say that this is so far the best bottle-feeding position, as both the mom and child can see each other.
Use a Boppy Pillow:
A boppy pillow is also an ideal as well as comfortable option for the right bottle feeding position for your baby. This slightly inclined pillow keeps the baby’s head elevated making it convenient for feeding.
Sometimes, babies start to hold the bottle even when they are too young to do so. You can let the baby hold the bottle, but keep a hand on it for support. Ensure that the head of the baby is in line with his body, so that he can breathe and suckle from the bottle effectively. Once the baby starts sitting on his own, you can make him sit in a high chair and feed him milk in a spill-proof cup.
Amount of Formula to Feed the Baby
Each baby has a different need; hence you cannot strictly adhere to a set guideline when it comes to estimating the amount of formula for your baby. If your baby is on combination feeding, of breast milk and formula milk, the recommended quantity mentioned below may not be applicable. Consult the baby’s pediatrician in case you have any doubts.
As for the quantity, your infant’s requirements would vary between 150 ml to 200 ml of formula per kg of his body weight each day. Hence, if he is 3 kg, he would require 450 ml - 500 ml within a span of one day. However, during the initial days, he may have less formula and gradually develop bigger appetite as he grows up. Remember, all babies drink different amounts and your baby may take less or more in some feedings; hence do not worry. Also, check with your doctor to make sure that your baby is gaining the right amount of weight.
Other Tips for Bottle Feeding
- Keep the head of the baby elevated while feeding in comparison to the rest of the body. Support his head with your arm or a pillow.
- Never make the newborn lie on his back and suck from the bottle, as it can lead to choking because of spillage.
- Don’t let the baby move his head a lot while feeding as it can interfere with breathing.
- Don’t force feed your baby when he is cranky or crying as this may lead the milk to flow into the larynx instead of the food pipe.
- Place the baby’s head on your shoulder and hold him in a vertical position after the feeding. Pat his back gently to make him burp.
Implement these positions while feeding your baby. It will help a lot to feed him in a better and more efficient manner. Establish a routine in order to know how much milk your baby needs each day and the quantity required. Happy feeding!