Breastfeeding is a fulfilling yet oftentimes tiring journey. Help and support from your spouse and family members go a long way in cheering mummy on. Mummy can consider pumping out your breast milk so other caregivers can help with bottle feeding baby while mummy gets some much needed rest. One of the main concerns with introducing a bottle is nipple confusion where baby might prefer the faster flow of the bottle teat and reject drinking from mummy’s breast. To minimise this, paced bottle feeding is a method mums who want to combine bottle feeding expressed breast milk and direct latching can consider.
What is paced bottle feeding?
Paced bottle feeding is a feeding technique where the milk flow from the bottle is controlled by the baby such that the pace resembles that of drinking directly from the breast. It allows the baby to drink at a slow and consistent pace which prevents overdrinking, tummy upset, and spit-ups.
Control is essential for paced bottle feeding as you control the amount of milk at the bottle's teat. Parents who like to combine bottle-feeding expressed breast milk and latching would prefer using this bottle-feeding method as their baby would be less likely to develop a flow preference. Flow preference is when your baby likes to drink quickly from the bottle, tending to reject slower flow at mummy’s breasts.
How to properly pace bottle feed your baby
It is good to keep in mind that you should use a feeding bottle with an extra slow or slow flow teat to best mimic breastfeeding. When your baby shows signs of hunger, ensure that you hold him in an upright position with his head supported instead of lying flat.
- Start by lightly placing the empty teat against your baby’s lips until he opens his mouth and is ready to feed.
- Check that his mouth is latched deeply on the teat.
- Next, you can tip the bottle slightly to fill the bottle’s nipple for him to drink and swallow.
- Once you have allowed your child to feed continuously for about 20 to 30 seconds, tip the bottle back to pause the milk flow and allow your baby to breathe.
- When you feel your baby start to suck on the bottle again, tip the bottle to fill the teat in the same way as before.
- Repeat these steps until your baby shows signs of being full, like closing his mouth, turning away from the bottle teat, or no longer sucking on it after you pause.
- Remember that baby do not always have to finish the bottle at every feeding and you should follow your baby’s cues.
Mistakes to avoid
- Not switching sides occasionally – not doing this during feedings may cause your baby to develop a preference for one side while you nurse him, making it hard for you when you want to breastfeed on a different side. With each feed, try to alternate sides so it does not occur.
- Forgetting to take breaks between sucks – forgetting to pause at intervals would not give your baby a chance to breathe, making it more likely for spit-ups. Even if you feel him tugging at the bottle as you try to pull away, gently remove the teat from your child’s mouth for a breather.
Paced bottle feeding is a great way to feed your baby healthily without him overeating. You will be able to have more peaceful feeding times with less crying and stomachaches as you take it slow and steady. You will be able to combine bottle feeding expressed breast milk with direct latching seamlessly.
If you’re looking for a milk feeding bottle in Singapore, our Hegen PCTOTM 60ml/ oz feeding bottle comes with an extra slow flow teat to mimic a breastfeeding pace closely, allowing your baby to learn the skills of suckling. Our patented no screw thread closure, Press-To-Close Twist-To-OpenTM (PCTOTM) innovation, allows the feeding teat to be pressed on and twisted off conveniently with zero spillage. Switch it out to a storage container or pump into it directly by changing it into a storage lid or flange so you can Express, Store and Feed all in a single bottle.
Find out more about our line of baby products and purchase your own Hegen feeding bottle from Singapore on our website today.