Advice for bottle feeding
Bottle feeding positions
As with breastfeeding, there are certain positions that will suit your baby better when they move on to bottle feeding.
Holding the baby and the bottle
Hold your baby close to you on your lap in a semi-upright position so you can make eye contact. If necessary, put a pillow on your lap to raise your baby up.
- Your baby will enjoy feeding from the bottle more if you smile and chat
- Tilt the bottle so that the neck and teat fill up with milk, before you carefully place the teat in your baby’s mouth – this avoids swallowing any air bubbles, which could cause gas
- If your baby seems unsettled during the feed, the cause may be wind – try gently rubbing your baby’s back to encourage burping
- Try to get into the habit of burping about halfway through the feed and after feeding – this can help to prevent spitting up.
As with breastfeeding, alternate your hold positions from side to side. This will help your baby's eyes and neck to develop more equally. Try alternating halfway through the bottle after burping your baby. By doing this from the very start, your baby is less likely to choose a preferred side.
Underarm or rugby ball hold
The underarm hold is a good choice if you’ve had a caesarean delivery, or if you have twins. Place a pillow across your lap to help support your baby in this position.
Choosing the right teat
It’s important to get a teat with the right sized hole for your baby. You can choose slow, medium or fast flow teats.
- A newborn baby will normally need a soft, slow-flow teat
- If your baby seems to take a long time to finish a bottle or gives up in the middle, the hole may be too small – try changing to a medium-flow teat
- If your baby is spluttering as they feed, the hole in the teat may be too big
- You may also like to try variable-flow teats that can give slow, medium or fast flow using just the one teat