Some moms prefer to bottle feed their baby instead of breastfeeding for different reasons. And that’s totally okay! We all want our babies to thrive and grow into healthy and beautiful human beings and choosing to feed your baby with formula is not a bad choice.
Bottle feeding can be a lot more convenient and less stressful for a mom, and it also saves you from the pain and discomfort caused by breastfeeding. If you’re still unsure of how to properly bottle feed your new addition to the family, worry no more as you now have the ultimate guide to some of the best positions to bottle feed a newborn baby.
Top 4 Positions to Bottle Feed Newborn
Cradle Hold Feeding
The Cradle Hold Feeding technique is one of the most common positions on bottle feeding and even breastfeeding. All you need to do is to place your baby’s head in the crook of your arm as you wrap your entire hand around your tiny baby’s body.
Then, you must lift your elbow upwards a little to give it a slight angle just enough for the baby’s head o be higher than his body. This feeding position prevents ear infections and regurgitations. To make sure you and your baby are comfortable, make sure that you are holding close to your chest.
If your baby has acid reflux, the Upright Feeding technique can be one of the top choices you have while bottle feeding. You have to hold your baby just like the cradle hold feeding, but his body has to be almost in a seated position. This is usually done for older babies who can now take more control of their bodies.
You can try to sit them on your lap and let their cute bodies rest against your chest or inside your arms. You just have to make sure that you cue-read your baby every now and then because you can’t entirely see his face when feeding him in an upright position.
Check out this bottle perfect for preventing reflux and colic:
One of the advantages of lap feeding is that you can either lie down with your legs propped up or sit up with your legs propped up. Let’s talk about the lying down position first. When you’re lying down, you can put your baby sitting on your stomach with his back against your thighs.
He should be facing you, so there will be plenty of bonding opportunities as you feed him. Just make sure that he is comfortably seated and he won’t fall down easily.
For the seated position, all you need to do is to sit up with your back against the wall or the headboard of your bed and follow the same instructions for the lying down position.
The only con for the Lap Feeding technique is that this is only best to be done at home because you won’t have great opportunities to use this technique in public.
Angled feeding is almost the same as cradle feeding but the only difference is that you would be needing a nursing pillow. This feeding technique is best when your baby is going through cluster feeding, in which he feeds more than he usually does. Cluster feeding happens on both bottle-fed and breast-fed babies and using the angled feeding technique helps you be more comfortable as you hold your tiny diner.
There are tons of nursing pillows on baby stores and even online, just like this one that I have bought from Amazon. It comes with a free head positioner so your little one can lie his head comfortably as he fills his tummy with yummy milk.
Using a nursing pillow to feed your baby can give your arms some rest from cradle hold technique too. The nursing pillow keeps your baby’s head elevated, so you can just place the pillow on your lap, and keep your arms free. You can grab a drink, snack, or scroll through your phone as you feed your little one.
Step by step guide to bottle-feeding a baby
Before initiating a feeding, make sure that you have already prepared your baby’s bottle at the ideal temperature. Now, let’s start feeding your baby.
- Choose a position that is comfortable for you and your baby. You can check out the positions stated above to have a reference.
- Start feeding your baby by placing the bottle on his lip at a horizontal angle so he can gently suck on the milk.
- Once your baby has started sucking, tilt the bottle and ensure that the entire nipple is filled with milk. This prevents your baby from gulping in so much air that can result in excess gas and fussiness.
- After every few minutes, it is recommended to burp the baby gently to let out excess gas. Gently pat the baby’s back or rub it to let the air out.
- When the baby has finished his milk, you can now have the opportunity to bond with him. Hold him, sing songs, talk to him so he knows that every feeding time is a fun time.
Make sure to pace your feeding according to your baby. You cannot expect a newborn baby to empty a bottle in just 5 minutes. You would want him to regulate his own hunger so make sure to slow down and allow him to feed at his own speed.
If he seems not interested or bothered, take a moment to reposition him or burp him. Then try feeding again after a few minutes.
How often should you bottle-feed a baby?
Now that you have given birth to your baby, the harder part comes in. It may seem like you are preparing milk bottles 24/7, and that’s totally okay! This feeding frenzy will soon pass as your baby grows.
During the first few weeks of your little one, you would be feeding your baby every 2 to 4 hours. In every feed, he would be chugging down around 2 ounces of milk.
After a few months, you would notice that the feedings will come less frequent but the quantity is increased. By 2 months, your baby might be drinking 4 to 6 ounces of milk.
On the 6-month mark, they would probably be drinking about 8 ounces of milk on every milky session.
You don’t have to feel like you should strictly follow a feeding schedule to your baby. There would be days where he would drink less, or drink more than usual especially when a growth spurt comes.
Just make sure to check hungry cues like chewing on their hands, sucking their tongue, or rooting into something like your finger. Try rubbing a finger or a bottle nipple at the side of their cheek and if they go toward it, then it’s time to make a bottle!
How long is a bottle good for?
It is very hard to throw away your liquid gold or a super expensive milk formula. But, you should watch the time when you have prepared the bottle before you pour the leftover milk down the drain.
If you are using exclusively pumping your breastmilk to feed your baby, here is a timetable for your liquid gold:
- Freshly pumped breastmilk: up to 2 hours
- Refrigerated breastmilk: up to 24 hours
- Frozen breastmilk: up to 6 months
- Thawed breastmilk: up to 24 hours
The timetable for formula milk is different. All you need to remember is that once your baby has chugged down a bottle and left some milk, make sure to throw the leftover away after one hour. This is because bacteria can quickly multiply on milk-based products, and we don’t want your baby to be ingesting harmful bacteria.
On the other hand, if you put a bottle of the formula inside the refrigerator, you can feed it to your little one for 24 hours.
How should I burp my baby after bottle feeding?
Babies tend to swallow air while bottle feeding, and it makes them cranky and fussy. Burping is one of the most important things to do when bottle-feeding a newborn baby.
To prevent your baby from getting a tummy full of gas, make sure to burp him after gulping 2 to 3 ounces of milk formula. There are times when he doesn’t burp easily, but don’t worry mommy! You can try these burping positions to help your baby let that gas out:
- Over the shoulder: this is the traditional way of burping your baby. Drape your baby over your shoulder, then gently pat him on the back to get the air out.
- On the lap: Start by sitting your baby upright, then lean him forward against the heel of your hand. Then using your other hand, firmly pat or rub his back.
- Lying down: Place your baby stomach down, then rub or pat his back. Make sure his face is not lying down the sheets as it can cause suffocation.