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Getting Support for Bottle Feeding

Owen's feeding

Many parents use a bottle to feed their baby. Feeding is an important topic for PEPS Groups that is relevant again and again at all stages of a child’s growth and development. There are many resources that PEPS Parents share about the challenges and successes they have with bottle feeding. Here are some resources to help support you as you learn about feeding your baby.

Making feeding a great time with your baby

No matter who is feeding the baby, this is a good way to be close and spend important time together.

  • Get comfortable with a favorite chair or sofa with support for your back, feet and arms
  • Consider skin to skin when a parent is feeding baby
  • Gaze at baby – this is a great time for quiet conversation with your baby and to look at each other
  • Learning time can happen too. Sometimes your baby can be eating and want to interact with you. You can touch and name the parts of the body, say rhymes with animal sounds or other activities
  • If baby likes to close their eyes, it can be a good time to sing a soft song or read quietly aloud
  • Bottle feeding can be on the go, so not every time is perfect for being cozy and close

Techniques for Using a Bottle

Because a bottle may flow more quickly, these ideas can help the baby can have more control over how fast they eat:

  • Hold the baby in a more upright position, not laying flat
  • Hold the bottle in a more horizontal position, not vertical
  • Slow down the feeding, re-adjust to the baby’s pace, take a break or call it done by reading the baby’s cues
  • External resources

What’s in the Bottle? Nutrition and Safety

Preparing bottles and formula can be tricky, and information about food safety has changed over the years.

Donor milk
You may want to check with your doctor, midwife or hospital for resources and referrals for safely using donor milk.

Breast milk

Amount of feeding questions

Babies can take in a lot when feeding from a bottle and may overfeed, which can be one of the many reasons they spit up often or have increased gas.

  • Knowing that baby is getting enough is based on wet diapers and weight gain. You can chart the ounces the baby eats, the number of wet diapers and check with your pediatrician to be sure that your baby is eating enough
  • How Often and How Much Should Your Baby Eat from Healthy (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Bottle Gear

PEPS Parents share ideas on new baby gear with their groups, and it’s a great way to hear about new products that you might want to try.

  • Ask Dr. Sears article on Alternatives to Bottles, including cup, dropper, spoon, and finger
  • Many PEPS Groups choose a weekly meeting to bring bottles, nipples, formula or other gear that has worked or not worked for them to share or swap with others

There is so much information available on bottle feeding that you may find conflicting information about formulas and allergy, formula helping or hurting breast milk supply, issues around nipple confusion, ways to encourage taking the bottle and more. This quote from the Australian Breastfeeding Association captures a positive point of view:

Regardless of whether a mother exclusively breastfeeds, exclusively uses formula or does a combination (mixed feeding), she has done her very best and has made decisions that were right at the time, based on the support and information she had available to her. ABA

This statement of support goes for all parents who are feeding their babies and helping them grow!

External Resources

General resources on all topics related to bottle feeding:

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