5 Best Positions For Bottle Feeding A Baby And How To Introduce It

5 Best Positions For Bottle Feeding A Baby And How To Introduce It

12 Feb 2018 | 5 min Read

Nancy Singh

Author | 13 Articles

If you’re wondering how to introduce a bottle to your breastfed baby, it is better to wait for about three to four weeks postpartum to ensure your milk supply is well established. Get someone else to make the first few attempts if possible. If you notice that your baby isn’t taking the bottle, try varying the bottle and nipple temperature and move around.  You can even try some of the best positions to bottle feed your baby.

Read on to find the best bottle-feeding positions for breastfed babies to successfully bottlefeed your baby. Feeding a baby can get messy, so keeping a pack of baby wipes can come in handy.

When To Introduce Bottle To Your Breastfed Baby

If you’re breastfeeding, it is recommended that you wait until your baby is three to four weeks old. Plus your breastfeeding should also be well established before introducing a bottle. Waiting a few weeks to introduce the bottle to your baby, helps reduce the risk of nipple confusion or a preference for bottles over the breast.

When to first introduce the bottle varies depending on whether you’re bottle feeding because you’ll be away from your baby, or because you’ve been asked to add formula to your routine.

If you’re returning to work after maternity leave, start bottle-feeding several weeks before you go back so that you’ll have plenty of time to help your baby to adjust to the bottle.

How To Bottle Feed A Baby

Unlike breastfeeding, sucking milk from a bottle requires your baby to use different mouth and tongue movements. Hence it may take your baby some time to get used to this change. It is also important that you pick the correct bottle feed position for your baby. Try these tips for an easier transition to the bottle-

1. Let Someone Else Feed Your Baby

If you try to give your baby the first bottle feed, he/she may wonder why they’re not getting your breasts. Hence, your baby may be less confused if someone else makes the first feed. You can ask your partner, a childcare provider or a friend to help. Choose a different spot from the one where you regularly breastfeed.

2. Offer A Bottle In Place Of A Regular Feeding

Pick a time in which your baby tends to be less fussy at mealtime. This can be during the mornings. The amount of formula or breast milk you’ll need to give your baby per feeding varies on your baby’s age and weight. Plus, it is also important to follow one of the best positions for bottle feeding that works for your baby.

3. Feed From The Bottle After Regular Feeding

If you’re especially anxious about offering the bottle, or if your baby baulked at the bottle in place of the breast on your first attempt, you may want to get them used to the bottle by offering it an hour or two after they’re already fed. That way your baby won’t be frenzied for food and may be more open to experimenting with a new food source. Start with a small amount of breast milk – about 1/2 ounce.

upright bottle feeding and  proper bottle feeding technique
For a proper bottle feeding technique, you can let someone else feed your baby the first bottle / Image credit – Alibaba

4. Check The Milk Temperature

Breastfed babies can be particular about the temperature of their milk. Many babies prefer milk that’s the temperature of your body or a bath (about 98 degrees Fahrenheit). You can soak the bottle in a bowl of hot water or use a bottle warmer to bring it up to temperature.

5. Stay Away

A baby can smell their mother, even from a distance, so they may know that you (and your breasts) are nearby. If your baby refuses a bottle with you nearby, try going to a different room during feedings.

best positions for bottle feeding and bottle feeding positions for breastfed babies
Try the upright bottle feeding if your baby has reflux by sitting down and placing your baby on your lap / Image credit – Pexels

Bottle Feeding Positions For Breastfed Babies

1. Cradle Your Baby

Cradling your baby is one of the best positions for bottle feeding. Rest your baby’s head in your elbow bend and tilt them up slightly so they’re at a comfortable angle. This position also provides some skin-to-skin contact.

2. Use A Feeding Pillow

You can use nursing pillows for breastfeeding. Some babies enjoy being positioned on a pillow for mealtime. You can pick a traditional C-shaped nursing pillow that works as it provides one of the best positions for bottle feeding. It allows the baby to relax and feel comfortable during a feed.

While this option frees up your arms, remember that you’ll still need to hold the bottle for your baby.

3. Sitting Position

Opt for the upright bottle feeding position as the baby sits down upright in your lap with their back against her stomach and chest. This position is best suited for infants with reflux. Ensure that you tip the bottle to fill the nipple with milk.

4. Rest Your Baby On Your Legs

For this position, you can either sit or lay down. Then prop your baby on your legs with the baby’s back against your thighs. The baby’s head needs to be near your bent knees. This is one of the best positions for bottle feeding as it allows for eye contact and interaction.

The idea of bottle feeding can be new and you may face hurdles but with these proper bottle feeding techniques, your baby will soon adapt to it.

Cover image credit- Canva