While most experts recommend breastfeeding your newborn, sometimes parents will opt to either wholly feed the child using formula or mixing it up with some breastfeeding. This can either be due to convenience, or due to medical reasons that prevent the mother from breastfeeding her child exclusively. But bottle-feeding can become an impersonal act at times, which deprives both you and your child from the emotional bonding that newborns and new moms alike need to develop a loving and healthy relationship. Here are a few tips on how to make bottle-feeding a more personal and loving practice:
Don't Prop the Bottle
It's best to avoid leaving the bottle propped up while your baby is feeding, as not only does it deprive your infant of the emotional and physical closeness that feeding time is supposed to offer, it could also pose as a potential choking hazard. Teething babies that fall asleep with the bottle in their mouth might also develop cavities.
Switching arms mimics the action of switching between breast feedings, which not only helps relieve aches that can develop in your arms from holding one position for too long, but also allows your child to see the world from a different angle.
Let the Baby Decide When to Stop
Your baby will decide when it is full, and you should trust its instincts. Don't force your infant to finish a bottle just because you think that is how much it should have. When it comes to feedings, your baby is the boss.
Take Your Time
Most babies get some comfort from continuing to suckle at their mother's breast long after the milk is out. Consider getting a bottle nipple with a smaller hole to extend the duration of the feeding and offer your child the same comfort that a breastfed child would get. If your infant doesn't seem to be satisfied with the amount of formula it received, consider increasing the amount.
Feel Good About Bottle Feeding
Don't feel bad or guilty about bottle-feeding your child if you had your heart set on breastfeeding but couldn't go ahead with it. Negative emotions can transmit to your little one and affect its mood as well, leaving what should be a treasured ritual empty and unsatisfying. So enjoy these precious moments with your child and make the most of them. Choosing the right kind of formula and offering it in the right amounts and in the right way can cover your child's nutritional needs quite adequately.