How to Bottle-Feed Your Baby

Breastfeeding a newborn

The good news is that most newborns can easily learn how to use a baby bottlenose, even if they’re used from the beginning. One thing seems to be natural!

It is easy to learn, and there are many other benefits to giving bottles to babies early. It’s easy to use: Your partner, or other caregivers, can feed the baby. This will allow you to rest and get some much-needed sleep.

The bottle-feeding formula has the added benefit of not having to pump or worrying about not having enough milk while you are away. A caregiver can make formula for your child whenever she requires it.

When is it appropriate to give a baby a bottle?

If your baby is only bottle-fed, it’s best to start immediately after the birth.

The baby may not like the bottle if you wait too long. She might prefer breast milk because it’s what she’s used to.

How to bottle-feed your baby

Some babies will take to the bottle like a fish to water. Others may need some practice and coaxing to learn how to use it. These tips will help you get started with bottle-feeding.

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Make sure to prepare the bottle.

Preparing a formula for serving is as simple as reading the instructions on the canister. Follow these directions. If you aren’t using pre-made formulas, different formulas might require different amounts of powder or liquid concentrate to water. Your newborn’s health could be at risk if you add too much or too little water.

Warm the bottle by running it under warm water for a few seconds, then put it in a pot or bowl of hot water. If your baby prefers a cold beverage, you can skip warming the bottle. Avoid heating a bottle in the microwave. It can cause uneven heat that could burn your baby’s lips.

Do not add baby cereal to formula milk or breast milk, no matter its brand. The cereal will not help your baby sleep through the night. Babies may have trouble swallowing it or choke on it. If your baby drinks more than she should, she might gain weight.

Check the bottle

Give the formula-filled bottles a shake before you start to feed. Next, swirl the bottles with breast milk and then check the temperature. A few drops on your wrist will indicate if the liquid is too hot. If the liquid is lukewarm, you are good to go.

Get into (a comfortable) bottle-feeding position.

Your baby will likely spend at least 20 minutes with you, so relax and settle down. Your arm should support your baby’s head. Then, prop her up at 45 degrees with her neck and head aligned. Keep a pillow at your side to keep your arm from getting tired.

Halfway through the bottle, stop and switch sides. This will give your baby something to look at and also give you some relief for your sore arm!

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Do a nipple check.

Pay attention to your baby’s body language and facial expressions as she drinks. Your baby may be making snoring and gulping sounds while she eats, and the milk will drip out of her lips.

The flow may be too slow if she is very focused on sucking and seems frustrated. If this is the case, loosen the cap slightly (too tight can cause a vacuum) or get a new nipple.

Problems and solutions for bottle-feeding

Although it is generally easy to start bottle-feeding, sometimes there are problems. They are common and usually easy to fix.

While bottle-feeding, your baby may squirm, cry, or turn her head away.

She may have gas in her small stomach. If she is feeling unwell or if she turns away from the bottle but doesn’t feel full, you can try burping. A preemptive belch break can be used halfway through the feeding process.

Mid-feed, your baby falls asleep.

Check to make sure she isn’t asleep. Although she may seem to be suckling so happy that she has gone to La-La Land, she is just taking her time with the contents of her bottle.

If she is really tired, gently wake her up and get her to finish the meal. You can undress her by tickling her feet, bounding her, changing positions, or pausing to change diapers.

Another thing to remember: Frequent feeding parties could indicate that naptime is becoming more frequent. It might be worth changing your sweetie’s food schedule.

Your baby doesn’t like the nipple or the bottle.

The formula can flow too quickly or slowly with angled neck bottles and nipples. This can lead to the baby having to work harder. You can try different options to get a better fit.

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A stuffy nose is a sign that your baby is sick.

Sometimes, a cold can make it difficult for your baby to swallow. To help with the congestion, use a cool-mist humidifier, saline drops from the pharmacy, and a suction lamp. Keep giving bottles as usual. She will likely only miss one or two meals and make up the calories when she feels better.

After feeding, your baby may feel uncomfortable.

She could be allergic to milk protein from cows, which is the main ingredient in many baby formulas. Talk to your pediatrician if she is experiencing symptoms such as crying after breastfeeding, poor feeding, wheezing or digestive problems, watery eyes or a rash. Switching formulas might be all it takes to make your baby feel better.

Signs that your baby is hungry

The ideal is to feed your baby as soon as they feel hungry. Do not wait to cry. Your little one might be feeling uncomfortably hungry by then, especially if she continues to cry. Although she might not be very large, she will make her needs known through:

  • Nuzzling your breasts
  • Sexy sucking furiously on her hands, your shirt, or your arm
  • Open her mouth
  • Rooting reflex (baby tilts her head to the side and opens her mouth to search for a food source. Often after she has been stroked on the cheek)
  • Sucking on her lips or tongue (which could look like she’s sticking out her tongue)
  • Making lip-smacking sounds
  • It will usually be a brief, low-pitched, wailing sound that rises or falls if she does cry.