Bottle Feeding

Bottle feeding your baby

Choosing which way to feed your baby is a very personal decision. What’s never in dispute is that breast milk promotes healthy growth and protects your little one from illness and infection.

So even breastfeeding for one day is a great start for your baby.

But we understand that for some women this isn’t possible.

You may be bottle feeding a precious newborn or supplementing your breast milk with bottle feeds.

Perhaps you are moving to bottles as your baby ages or you can’t be with her all the time because of work or other commitments.  Whatever your reason, we are here to support your choice.

Breastfeeding Mother

The first few days

The bond you develop with your baby while feeding will be strong and nurturing, whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding.

You are your baby’s whole world and feeding is a big part of that, regardless of where it comes from!

The first milk that comes into your breasts is called colostrum. It’s rich with nutrients and helps protect your baby from infection.

This is a very important start for a newborn and it is highly recommended you breastfeed your baby during these first few days.

There will only be a small amount of colostrum and your baby will probably feed 8 to 12 times during the first 24 hours after birth. By day three the colostrum starts to change to full breast milk.

Bottle Feeding Baby

There’s so much choice!

When you first consider using a bottle, the choice of bottles and teats may overwhelm you. But we love sifting through all the options and selecting only the best for you to choose from.

And one of the bonuses of using bottles is the anti-colic and anti-reflux ranges which provide an extra level of comfort for you and your baby.

What’s more, these bottles are made to stimulate breastfeeding.

So if you are supplementing breastmilk with formula then these are definitely worth considering.

The MAM bottles have air ventilation holes at the bottom of the bottle. These holes regulate the air pressure inside the bottle which cuts down on the amount of air your baby swallows.

This helps to minimise reflux and colic pain.

Bottle for Baby Feeding

Go with the flow

The bottle teat is really important to get right for your baby. If she doesn’t like the feel, or the milk flow isn’t just right, then she’ll reject the bottle altogether. And there is a huge range of shapes and materials of teats to choose from.

The silky-soft silicone teat of the MAM bottle is a close feel to that of Mum’s breast, so it makes the switch from you to the bottle easy for your baby.

And the MAM bottles come in a range of flow speeds.

Test the flow of a bottle of room temperature milk mixture by holding it upside down. The milk should drip steadily, without pouring out in a stream. If you find you have to shake the bottle vigorously to get the milk to flow, then the teat may be too slow. Your baby might go to sleep before drinking as much as she needs.

If you can’t find a perfect teat for your bub, then go for a faster teat over a slower one. Don’t forget to check and replace the teats regularly.

How much milk?

If you choose to bottle feed from birth, then you will use an infant formula which is suitable from birth. Follow-on formula is only suitable for babies over six months.

For days one to four, start with 30-60 mL per day of correctly prepared formula, per kilogram of weight. And increase this amount over the next few days.

So by day five to three months your baby will be taking 150mL per kilogram per day.

Some babies, especially those who were preterm, will need up to 180-200 mL per kilogram per day.

Feeding with a bottle may be different to the breast, but you will still develop that extra special bond between mother and bub. Hold your baby close while you feed. And make eye contact with your baby. She will only have eyes for you. If she spills a bit of milk at the corners of her mouth don’t worry, that happens. This stops as your baby gets older.

Tips for Happy Bottle Feeding

Tips for happy feeding

Bottle-feeding your baby should be a happy and comfortable experience for you and your bub. That’s easy to say.

We know that babies can challenge you at feeding time – wiggling, rejecting the bottle, falling asleep, or bringing up all that milk you’ve just got her to take!

Every mum will experience at least one of these moments while feeding.

So we’ve put together some tips to help.

  • Always check the temperature of the formula before feeding by shaking a little milk from the teat onto the inside of your wrist – it should feel warm, not hot.
  • Give yourself plenty of time to feed, especially if it’s early days for you as a first-time parent. That way you will be less likely to get frustrated if your baby is a slow feeder.
  • Hold your baby comfortably and talk to her while feeding (if it doesn’t distract her). Parent-baby contact is extremely important.
  • Respond to your baby’s cues and remember your baby will pick up on your mood so try to be calm and relaxed while you feed.
  • Burping your baby is helpful to release any air she may have swallowed while feeding. Burp after every 30-60ml in a bottle-fed baby.
  • Don’t leave your baby with the bottle propped, feeding on her own, as the milk may flow too quickly and cause her to splutter or choke.
  • Don’t put your baby to sleep while drinking from a bottle. This is a choking risk and also increases the risk of ear infection and dental issues.
  • Plenty of wet nappies (six or more per day), consistent (but not excessive) weight gain and a thriving, active baby are good signs she’s getting enough milk.
Baby Milk Formula and Feeding Bottle

When to stop bottle feeding

Once you’ve got into a good rhythm of feeding then it can be an enjoyable and nurturing experience with your baby.

It’s recommended you use formula until your baby is 12 months of age. But at around six months you can begin to introduce new foods, textures and ways of feeding.

And by six months your baby needs more nutrients than can be provided by breast milk or formula.

For help with choosing the right bottle for you and your baby, contact the experts at BabyNest.