During breastfeeds a baby experiences a great deal of skin and body contact, security and attention. To make sure that a bottle-fed baby also experiences this closeness it is a good idea to pay attention to the following points.
- When possible, feed your baby on your naked skin. Wear a sleeveless T-shirt or unbutton your blouse or shirt.
- Take the baby in your arms and turn her towards you so that you have eye contact.
- At the start of the feed touch the baby’s lips with the teat and wait until she sucks the teat into her mouth.
- In the first few weeks a feed should last about 20 minutes. You therefore need to make sure that the hole in the teat is small.
- Change sides during a feed. This will help the baby’s hand-eye coordination.
- If the baby has had enough but is still crying let her suck a dummy or a finger. Hold her in your arms or in a baby carrier or sling while she does so.
- The baby should not be put in the pram with a propped-up bottle for her feeds.