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:
 
Getting Ready
 
  • 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.
     
Feeding Time
 
  • 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
 
  • 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.
 
(Click Newborn Feeding or Newborn Feeding Schedule for more information.)
 
Baby Milestones You've Never Heard Of

Guide To Feeding Infants

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