Bottle Feeding and Paced Feeding

Feeding your newborn is at the top of the list in skills to learn as a new mom. These are just some of the questions you may be asking yourself as your due date creeps closer. 

How much are you supposed to feed a newborn? 

When are you supposed to feed a newborn? 

How long should you feed a newborn for? 

Feeding preferences are usually just that, a matter of preference. However bottle feeding is often a go-to for moms on the go, or moms that have issues breastfeeding regularly.

Paced feeding is a great option for parents who want to bottle feed safely. 

What is paced feeding?

Don't worry, we'll break it down for you. 

Breastfeeding has a natural rhythmic pace to it and it puts your baby in control of feeding. They may start to feed and periodically stop, or stop when they are full and they can let go. Breastfeeding is actually a series of constant breaks from milk going to the baby. 

Bottle feeding works a little differently as the baby becomes a "passive recipient" during the feeding process. Holding the bottle back into the baby's mouth is giving a constant flow of milk that they must keep swallowing because there are no stops or breaks, even if they are already full. This unconscious habit adults have as they bottle feed a baby is dangerous but entirely avoidable. 

When bottle feeding, allow the baby to regain control of feeding by keeping the bottle horizontal which encourages them to suck at their own pace and pause if they need to. The goal is to replicate breastfeeding as much as possible, remember the baby has no idea what a bottle is and will feed as they would naturally. 

Paced feeding and taking your time is absolutely essential for babies' sensitive stomachs. It's encouraged to take multiple breaks, allowing for burps and cuddles in between so their bellies can recognize that they are full and have had enough. Taking regular breaks avoids upset tummies and over feeding. 

Pay attention to signs of distress, suggesting they might be receiving too much milk at once. The bottle's nipple does not need to be completely full to be feeding your baby properly.

Bottle feed safely and attentively. 

It is important for feeding time to get your whole attention. Distracted feeding can be dangerous for your baby and it is important that you are able to see your child's expressions and cues when they are having trouble or have had enough. 

Learn more about how your doula can guide your feeding routine and teach you to properly bottle feed to avoid any grumbly or sad tummies.