The American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as many other national and international health organizations, recommend that babies be breastfed exclusively until 6 months of age to ensure adequate nutrition for your baby’s growth and development. However, it is not always possible for a mother to breastfeed, making bottle feeding necessary. If this is the case, and you’re having trouble getting your baby to bottle feed, read on for some helpful tips to get your baby to take a bottle.
6 tips to get your baby to accept a bottle:
- Bottle feed your baby when she shows signs of hunger, rather than on a schedule. Your baby may be hungry if she does any of the following:
- Attempts to lie back/get into position for nursing
- Licks her lips
- Opens and closes her mouth
- Moves her head quickly from side to side
- Stroke baby’s lips from top to bottom with nipple to stimulate rooting response of open mouth. Allow your baby to seek nipple rather than trying to push the nipple in her mouth.
- Try using different nipple shapes to see if your baby prefers one over the others.
- Make sure the nipple hole is the right size for your baby. Fast flows can cause babies to gag. Slower flows may cause her to suck with too much effort or gulp air.
- Burp your baby every 3 to 5 minutes during bottle feedings and hold your baby upright after feedings.
- Do not force your baby to finish the bottle. If your baby is falling asleep, remove the nipple before the bottle is empty, as this means she is done.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your baby’s feeding or nutritional needs, contact your pediatrician or schedule a consultation with a speech language pathologist who specializes in feeding issues.
NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Deerfield, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff, Des Plaines, Hinsdale and Mequon! If you have any questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140!