Baby

Bottle Feeding – Physical contact & Propping

I suppose that one of the advantages of bottle-feeding is that I don’t have to always be present. Is there anything wrong with just propping the bottle and giving the baby some independence?

It’s absolutely vital that although you are bottle-feeding, baby doesn’t miss out on the physical contact that would have accompanied breastfeeding. Holding the baby close while feeding, talking to and gazing at the baby and just being a loving presence is as important to your baby’s well-being as the food you are giving. The skin-on-skin contact that feeding time can offer actually stimulates brain development.

Propping the bottle is unsafe and also unfair on a baby who needs your presence and attention. Your baby is more important than your chores and the risk of choking, infection and tooth decay that accompany propping mean it is not a good idea.

The act of sucking is very soothing and satisfying to a baby, so a teat with a small hole might be a good idea if you get the idea that baby needs to suck for longer during feeds. Use the recommended amounts for the feed as a very rough guideline, and always allow baby to dictate how much to take in each feed. It may vary quite widely but that should not be a cause for concern as long the baby has approximately eight very wet nappies every day. The appetite of a baby can vary quite widely and if you were breastfeeding it might not be that obvious. However mothers who feed using a bottle do tend to worry. Baby may be hungry because of a growth spurt, or have less appetite because of sore gums. Judge the general condition of your baby as a measure of whether baby is getting enough to eat than the actual amount of formula.

See also:
Bottle feeding – Advantages
Bottle feeding – Choice of Teat
Bottle feeding – Choosing the best formula
Bottle feeding – Combining with breastfeeding
Bottle feeding – Drawbacks
Bottle feeding – Intolerance/Allergy to Cow’s Milk
Bottle feeding – Practical guidelines
Bottle feeding – Pros and cons
Bottle feeding – Quantity
Bottle feeding – Reducing mother’s milk supply
Bottle feeding – Switching from breastfeeding
Bottle feeding – Travelling

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*Important : The information provided is for information purposes only. No medical diagnosis or prescription can be inferred or is implied. Please consult your doctor for medical advice.

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