How to Give a Baby a Bottle
It is not uncommon for new parents to not know how to give a baby a bottle. Formula feeding is usually a process that includes three parts: preparing the bottle, the actual feeding time, and burping. This process for giving a bottle is generally repeated 6 to 10 times per day with a newborn.
How Should You Bottle Feed a Baby?
Giving a baby a bottle can be very enjoyable and even relaxing. It is generally a three-part process that includes getting ready, the actual feeding time, and ending with a burping session. Once you have prepared the bottle, you are ready to go.
Baby Bottle Feeding: The Beginning, Middle, and End
The following is a list of steps that you might take to complete a typical baby formula feeding session:
- Get the bottle ready (see How to Prepare Infant Formula).
- Get comfortable. A comfy chair with good lower-back support is ideal.
- Cradle your baby in the crook of your elbow so that his or her head is supported and slightly elevated.
- Sometimes using a firm pillow across your lap or under your arm can help.
- Introduce the nipple of the bottle to your baby while holding the bottle at a 45-degree angle.
- The amount of time that it will take a baby to complete a feeding varies from baby to baby and even from feeding to feeding (see Newborn Feeding Schedule). When your baby stops sucking or turns away from the nipple, it may be a sign that he is full. It can also be a sign that he just needs to rest for a moment or two.
- After a few minutes, try offering the bottle again. If the baby refuses it again, this may be a sign that he or she is done. If not, keep going until the baby is finished. You will begin to notice your baby's habits and fullness cues after a few more sessions.
- Burping your baby can be done during and at the end of each feeding session. It can be done as often as you feel your baby needs.
- To burp your baby, hold him or her upright against your chest. Firmly pat their back with your closed hand until you get a good solid burp up. Beware -- sometimes the burp is accompanied by spit-up. Have a burp cloth on hand for each session.
Be prepared to go through this process at least 6 to 10 times per day with your newborn baby. Follow your baby's feeding cues closely to let you know when it's time to start the process again.