Pace feeding is something that I practice with all the new-born’s that I work with, it is a great way to mimic breast feeding, and it is also good practice for babies who are bottle fed. Pacing the amount of milk your baby gets through the bottle will help the flow of milk into your baby’s mouth and little stomach, it will mean that there will not be too much which will benefit digestion.
There are several reasons mum’s may want their baby to take a bottle in replacement of one or more breast feeds and it is important for these babies that the experience is similar.
So, how do you go about pace feeding:
- Firstly, you will need to select the right teat for your baby, you want something that will provide a slow flow of milk. You want your baby to have to suck and work hard to get the milk, this will make it very similar to breast feeding.
- You can use whatever bottle you like or know your baby is happy with, there are so many bottles out there so experiment with some and choose one that suits you.
- Make sure you get yourself comfy, ideally you want the feed to last a similar length of time as a feed on the breast would. Roughly around 20 minutes is a good guide.
- You will want your baby to be as upright as possible and I always find that I am able to provide the most support and control if I place my thumb and forefinger very gently around the back of babies neck.
- Begin by bringing the bottle to your baby’s mouth without tipping it up and gently stroke the teat along the upper lip. Much the same as you would when breastfeeding.
- Allow your baby to open their mouth when they are ready and pop the bottle in. Ensure that your baby has a good latch onto the bottle before you start the feed.
- Gradually tilt the bottle up and start a milk flow once the bottle is securely in your baby’s mouth. It is important that you do not tip the bottle all the way up, watch the teat and ensure you do not fill the whole thing. You do however want the drinking hole to be covered with milk.
- So, the bottle should be held at a slant and then your baby can suck to get the milk out. Watch your baby feed and make sure they are taking little pauses. If you think your baby is drinking too quickly you can control the amount of milk available by tilting the bottle down slightly and removing the milk from the teat.
- Don’t worry about an intake of wind if you tilt the bottle down.
- Halfway through the feed, sit your baby up and give them a good burp. Allowing them to bring any wind up.
- This is also a good opportunity to change sides. Much like you would if you were breast feeding and changing baby from one breast to the other, swap your baby round so as they are laying with their head in your other arm.
- Do not force the whole bottle, if your baby stops feeding and has had enough, that is ok.
If you need any help with pace feeding or have any questions or concerns about your baby, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.