To start with, we are of course big fans of breastfeedingBut not every mother is lucky enough to be able to breastfeed her little one. If breastfeeding is not possible (anymore) for various reasons, then the baby can also be fed with a bottle filled with powdered milk or pumped breast milk. In this blog we will give you different tools to feed your baby with the bottle and we will pay attention to the feeding position of you and your baby. Ready to get started? Feed in the right way!
The right products
To simulate breastfeeding as closely as possible, we recommend that you use the bottle and spiral teat Nurturegoods. Because the comfort cushions and natural shape of the nipple give your little one the same experience as the breast, there is less chance of confusion and other feeding problems. Of course, it is always a matter of finding out which bottle and nipple your little one likes, so take the time to find out (Knov, s.a.)
When you give the bottle
Listen and watch your child. The bottle, like the breast, is best given when your child is hungry. Get to know your child and try to recognise the signs of hunger. Of course, a baby cannot talk yet, so use other means of communication to tell him or her that he or she is hungry. For example, when your baby is sucking on his hands or making smacking noises and eventually a crying fit. If you stay ahead of hunger, you can prevent crying (Voedingscentrum, z.d.). And that, of course, is a wonderful feeling for both parties.
Just like adults, babies enjoy skin-to-skin contact, so don't hold back on the cuddle and kiss attacks. Body contact is also very important during feeding time. Hold your baby in your arms, look at him or her and talk to him or her. Skin-to-skin contact creates a bond between you and your baby. This can develop into a strong bond between parent and child (Knov, s.d.).
A correct feeding position is of great importance
A comfortable feeding position starts with you. Gather everything you think you need before you start feeding. Think of something to eat or drink, your phone, your music or something to read. A visit to the toilet may also be desirable, as feeding takes quite some time (Medela, 2020). Are you comfortable? Well done! Now it is time to take your little one in your arms. It's best to feed your baby in the upright or side-facing position to mimic the breastfeeding position and to prevent choking or overfeeding (Knov, s.d.). Make sure you are sitting stably and supporting your little one as needed. Make sure the head, neck and spine are not twisted. To optimize your feeding position, we recommend that you use a Feeding cushion use to support your arms and back (Medela, 2020).
How do you give the bottle?
Encourage your baby to reach for the bottle and bite by placing the teat on the gutter between the nose and upper lip or by rubbing the teat on the cheek. Your little one will naturally reach for the bottle when he or she is ready to drink. Hold the bottle almost horizontally so that the milk flows to the teat at a steady pace. Make sure that the milk is above the hole in the teat so that your baby does not catch air. To help develop your little one's hand-eye coordination, we recommend that you alternate between your left and right arm for each feed (Voedingscentrum, s.d.). Yes, mums and dads, we're loose and we're proud of you!
How long do you give the bottle?
A feed should last about 20-30 minutes. But again, every baby is different. It is very important to listen carefully to your baby's singnals. Is the bottle still full, but your baby is struggling? Take a break from feeding or stop feeding. Signals to stop feeding include turning their head away, letting the milk run out of their mouth, restless hand movements or not picking up the bottle again. Does the feeding only take 20 minutes or less? Check the feeding position, buy a nipple with a smaller drinking hole or take more frequent breaks (Voedingscentrum, s.d.). The most important thing is to stay alert while feeding and to keep a close eye on your baby's signals (Knov, 2006).
One more burp and you're done.
Your baby may ingest air while drinking. The air then enters the digestive process of the milk in your baby's stomach. If your baby cannot eliminate the burps, the air can push the food up or down. This can cause your baby to vomit or experience bowel cramps later on. It is therefore advisable to burp your baby sometimes during and after feeding. Listen and watch your baby carefully, they have also found a way to communicate that a burp is imminent. They often do this by making the sound 'eh'. Does this happen during feeding? Take a break and let your little one burp. It is always desirable to give your little one the chance to expel the air you have brought with you after feeding (Dunstan Baby Language, s.d.).
Next time you will read more about ...
In the next blog we will give you tips and tricks for changing your baby. Perhaps not the most favorite activity of the moms and dads among us, but an important time to bond with your little one.
Dunstan Baby Language. (s.d.). Frequently asked questions - Dunstan Baby Language or Dunstan Baby Language by Priscilla Dunstan. https://www.babytaal.nl/hoe-werkt-het/veel-gestelde-vragen#question_6
Knov, D. B. V. (s.d.). Bottle feeding...the obstetrician. https://deverloskundige.nl/net-bevallen/subtekstpagina/253/voeden-met-de-fles
Medela. (2020, October 28). 11 breastfeeding positions. https://www.medela.nl/borstvoeding/jouw-borstvoedingsperiode/borstvoedingshoudingen
Nutrition Center. (s.d.). How do I give the bottle? https://www.voedingscentrum.nl/nl/zwanger-en-kind/borstvoeding-en-flesvoeding/flesvoeding-geven/hoe-geef-ik-de-fles.aspx