How to Bottle Feed a Baby

Many bottle feeding problems are directly related to the lack of technique employed by a mother. What can seem insignificant details can actually impact on how your baby feeds. A lack of expertise can lead to stress on your baby and therefore she may not be getting all the nutrition she needs.
Testing the temperature of the milk is vital. Shake the bottle well and put a little of the milk on the inner side of your wrist. It should feel slightly warm but never hot. We’ve all seen this iconic image many times, amongst family, friends or on television but it really is still the best way of testing for the optimal temperature of bottle milk. If the milk is less than body temperature your baby may feel disinclined to drink it. If the milk is to hot there is a risk of injuring your baby’s mouth and gullet.
Are you sitting comfortably? If yes; then good. If not; then why not? Feeding your child can take a long time so you should find a position that is comfortable for both you and your child. Your baby will feel best when you hold her close to you in a semi reclining position. The baby’s head should not be titled too far forward or too far back: too far forward and your baby will have difficulty swallowing; to far back and excess milk may run down your baby’s face down into its ears or back up its nose.
Don’t force the nipple into your baby’s mouth. Try to encourage your baby to open her mouth by touching her lips with the nipple (something that breastfeeding mother’s need to do also). The baby’s tongue should be under the nipple. If not, gently take out the nipple and try again. During the feed, monitor your baby’s sucking action and ensure that the tongue is always on top of the nipple: young babies have a tendency to move the tongue on top when they cry.
Breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to get a proper latch; that is the nipple should be well inside the mouth with the nipple at the top and back of the throat (it is the areola the baby actually sucks, not the nipple). It is similar with bottle feeding. Make sure the nipple is well inside. Don’t pull back as your baby will not get a good suction.
During the feed, make sure that air bubbles are flowing into the bottle, replacing the milk that is drunk. If you can’t see any air bubbles, while she’s feeding, slowly loosen the nipple ring (the part that attaches the nipple to the bottle) until you can see bubbles. Take care not to loosen it too much, as this will cause the milk to leak all over him.
You should allow for ‘pit stops’ during the feed. Your baby will probably stop sucking several times during the feed. During these times you should try to gently burb your child. If she complains then refrain from burbing her until after the feed.
Finally, take your time. Don’t try to rush your baby or she will get stressed. Remember, some babies stop and start during the feed. By paying close attention you’ll be able to recognise the sign that your baby has finished its feed.