How to hold your baby when you’re bottlefeeding

You and baby need to be comfortable when you're bottlefeeding so you can hold the bottle at the right angle. Feeding expert Vicki Scott shares her advice on how to position your baby for a feed

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You’ve got to grips with making sure your bottles are super squeaky clean with our sterilising guide, and you’ve made the the formula perfectly thanks to our step by step tips on how to do it.

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But actually getting your baby in a position that’s comfortable for them – and you (or your partner) – can take a few tries to get right.

We got some step by step tips from feeding expert and midwife Vicki Scott (who is also a consultant for Philips AVENT bottles) on how to position your baby while you bottlefeed.

How to hold your baby correctly when bottlefeeding

  • Step 1: Get yourself comfortable and have some close contact with your baby during and after feeding. Make yourself as comfortable as possible, then cradle your baby in a semi-upright position on your lap, holding her with your arm.If you want to, hold her close, next to your skin. Remember to hold your baby in a more upright position than if she was being breastfed. It might help to put a pillow on your lap to raise your baby up when she is small. If you can, hold your baby so her face is about 20-25cm from yours, in a position where you can make eye contact. This will help the bonding precess. Try talking to her as well.
  • Step 2: Encourage your baby to open his mouth wide by touching the teat of his feeding bottle to his lip.
  • As your baby opens his mouth, gently introduce the teat. As you do this, make sure that your baby’s tongue is facing down. Don’t hold the bottle too flat or your baby will gulp in air rather than milk, causing her to get windy and uncomfortable. Make sure the bottle is tilted at enough of an angle so the teat is full of milk.
  • Step 3: Your baby’s lips should be around the wide part of the teat at the bottom. Look for a natural jaw movement and a wave-like pattern of tongue movement, which encourages natural suckling behaviour.
  • Step 4: Tilt the bottle so that the teat is always full of milk – this will make sure that your baby avoids swallowing air as he feeds.
  • Step 5: He will naturally release the bottle when he needs a break – or he may fall asleep.

(Remember once you’ve finished to throw away any remaining within the bottle within an hour. Never reheat milk, as it is no longer sterile and can become a breeding ground for germs.)

Don’t worry, the knack on how to hold your baby while bottlefeeding will come to you, and hopefully you’ll get to really enjoy these bonding times when you can sit quietly with your baby as they feed.

What did you do?

Expert tips are one thing but we’d love to know what you found helpful when bottlefeeding your baby – tell us on Facebook or in the comments below.

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