WHAT IS PACED BOTTLE FEEDING?
This is a method of slowing down the flow and time a baby eats with a bottle. At the bottle all a baby needs to do is basically squeeze or compress on the nipple and milk comes quickly flowing out. With breastfeeding, a baby needs to work to get the let down, use many different oral muscles to create a seal around the nipple, and suck the milk out of the breast (which is biologically normal and important for proper mouth and jaw development). The slower pace allows baby’s brain and stomach to connect, letting them know when they’re full. When a baby is allowed to drink quickly at the bottle they tend to over feed.
If you are breastfeeding; this quick over feeding can make it difficult to go back and forth to the breast. Your baby may get used to the easy fast flow. It can also dwindle your milk supply since baby would be taking in much more then what he/she actually needs and more than your producing.
Paced bottle feeding can be done in a way to imitate breastfeeding which in turn makes it easier for baby to go back and forth from breast to bottle and bottle to breast. This video shows a great example of paced bottle feeding. Take a look…
SOME TIPS TO PACED FEEDING:
- Use a slow flow nipple.
- Have baby in an upright angled position.
- Use the bottle to imitate breastfeeding as much as possible. Tickle your baby’s upper lip, wait for a nice wide open mouth, and put the nipple far back into baby’s mouth. Watch that both upper lip and bottom lip are flanged wide open.
- Listen for the suck, suck, swallow patterns, let your baby suck. suck, swallow a few times, then take the bottle out or tip it down slightly to slow things down.
- Some babies do better with taking the bottle out of the mouth completely (as we see in the video) during the resting time from sucking, other babies do well with just slightly tilting the bottle down so there is very little or no milk in the tip. See what works best for your baby.
- Try to stretch the feeding out for as long as your baby usually nurses at the breast. A good 15-20 mins with paced bottle feeding is the idea.
- When your baby slows down and turns away from the bottle nipple this means they are full. It’s not necessary to finish the bottle, your baby is telling you they’ve had enough, and you can go ahead and burp her and if she’s still acting hungry after then you can switch her to the other side as you would breastfeeding and have her latch onto the bottle again imitating latching onto the breast.
- Store expressed breastmilk 2 ounces in a bag at a time. Breastfed babies take in about 2-3 ounces while nursing. Storing your milk in 2 ounce quantities makes it less likely to give your baby more than she needs. If baby truly needs more that’s fine just remember keep it slow.
- In a short period of time your baby will get used to pausing, breathing, and taking a break from sucking, just be patient and keep trying especially when baby is in a good mood (always seems to work better that way)
Post your questions, concerns, and your own experiences with paced bottle feeding in the comment section!