While some mothers claim that they were able to nurse their newborns from birth to their first birthday without making use of a single feeding bottle, other mothers are quick to testify of how the feeding bottle made nursing their babies a breeze. It goes without saying that once you decide to make use of the feeding bottle; you have to be more hygiene conscious as you would not want to feed your baby germs from insanitary food utensils.
The process of feeding your baby tends to forge closer ties between baby and parents. The following tips show how to better connect during baby’s feed time when bottle feeding.
• Let Feeding Time Spell Snuggle Time
Hold your baby as close to your chest as possible while feeding him. A baby put to the breast to feed is sure of being in close contact with his mother’s chest; there is no need to deprive a bottle feeding baby of same. Do not yield to the temptation of supporting the bottle with say, a pillow while you go off to do other things. It is dangerous, rather; always hold your baby close and secure when feeding him.
• He Deserves Your Full Attention When Feeding
In a way, see your baby like an honoured guest at the dinner table whom you engage in intelligent conversation with. Make eye contact and engage your baby in polite talk when feeding. It would beneficial if you transfer him from one arm to the other about midway into his bottle. A baby sucking from the breast gets to move from one breast to the other; let the bottle fed baby mirror this; it is a good way to break the monotony.
• Give Him The Right Teats
While major and well known brands such as, Avent and Tommee Tippee bottle teats come perforated to suit the age and needs of your baby, some lesser known brands might not come pierced at all. In case you have bought this kind, be careful not to slash through the teat so that baby does not choke on the fast flow. Also, check the specifications before you buy your bottles. For example, when buying for a new born child, a stage1 or slow flow level should be considered.
• Feed Him When He Is Hungry Not When Your Schedule Says
The advice that you feed your baby on demand goes for both breastfeeding and bottle-feeding babies. In considering that you would take some more time to prepare the bottle, it is advisable for a mother to learn to recognize her baby’s early hungry signs. The following actions from your baby might be indicative of hunger;
– Continuously licking his lips
– Sucking his fingers or clothing
– Hitting you repetitively
– Splaying his fingers around your chest
– Being more fidgety than usual
• Give Him The Pacifier If The Need Arises
You may offer the pacifier to your bottle fed baby while holding him close to you when he requires comfort nursing. There is no truth in the old wives fable that using pacifiers will give your baby ‘rabbit teeth’!
• Allow Baby Resting Periods During A Feed
Ensure that your baby gets to rest during a feed by deliberately controlling the flow of milk from the bottle. Avoid your baby choking on his food by holding his bottle right; also never tilt your baby’s head backwards in an attempt to make him suck faster. Your baby has the ability to suck out the needed amount of milk per time; there is no need to pour it down his throat in a rush.
Make bottle feeding time a pleasant experience. Regardless, of what anyone says about the contents of your baby’s bottle; expressed breast milk, formula milk or plain water, inasmuch as you have a healthy and happy baby, believe that you are a good mother doing a great job.