7 tips to help your baby to hold the bottle

New mothers need to understand when a baby can self-feed with the help of a bottle. This is a wholly unique experience for babies, and hence they must not be forced or rushed into it. After the initial 6-month period, mothers can experiment with their baby’s diet and gradually step down from breastfeeding the child. The mothers must understand the needs of their babies. Sometimes, babies tend to reach this stage much earlier; it is for the mothers to understand that each baby has its own pace and figure out what is best for them. 

As mothers, our baby relies on us to support them during their developing process. Here are some pointers that can help you understand the baby feeding bottle process:

Tip 1: Understand the needs of your child.

Understanding your baby is an essential part of motherhood. For this, mothers will need to spend time with their little ones and have a lot of patience. The process of introducing a bottle to your baby needs to be gradual and in small steps. 

  • Try bringing in some soft toys near the baby’s mouth. This helps the baby utilize the muscles needed to grasp objects.
  • Initially, try to make your baby hold an empty bottle by keeping its hands on it.
  • It is okay to watch your baby struggling to keep the bottle in place. While that happens, gently slide the bottle into its mouth by holding the baby’s hands at the bottle’s sides.
  • If your baby does not want to hold the bottle at this time, do not rush in. This simply implies that your baby needs more time to learn. And this is entirely normal. 

Tip 2: Choose the correct feeding devices that will help your baby’s self-feeding process.

While babies feed out of bottles, they require movement of muscles. Picking the right set of tools is particularly important for your child. 

  • The baby feeding bottle at Ninio is available in different sizes and made of quality materials that will prevent leakage that will make your baby feel uncomfortable. Choose the one appropriate for your little one.
  • Remember always to sterilize and deeply clean the baby’s bottles before and after usage. 
  • Choose the type of nipple that suits your baby, that is, if your baby cannot take in a lot of milk at once, choose the nipple that has a slower-flow and vice versa. 

Tip 3: Supervise your baby.

This step is most important. Ensure that you are around while your baby is feeding. If you are not available, make sure a family member or a nanny always attends the baby during its feeding sessions. In some cases, the baby begins to choke. To avoid this, you need to be around. 

  • Make sure your baby holds the bottle at a 45-degree angle. This helps fill the nipple with milk. 
  • Take smaller quantities of milk while feeding your baby. Avoid filling the entire bottle. 
  • Do not let your baby fall asleep with the bottle. This is very dangerous. They may tend to overfeed themselves, which also leads to a choking hazard. 
  • Make sure to remove the nipple from the baby’s mouth after he/she is done feeding. Leaving the nipple after the baby is done feeding in the mouth can cause cavities. If the baby is showing resistance, gently remove it, place it back, and remove it after the baby is done feeding. 
  • Note the progress of your baby.  

Tip 4: Cuddle your baby.

While you are breastfeeding your baby, the baby experiences the warmth of the mother’s body. Try giving the baby a similar experience so that it is easier for him/her to get used to it. 

  • Hold your baby in your arms close to your chest, while bottle feeding. 
  • During this process, remember to give breaks in between and give him/her a burp midway. 

Tip 5: Do not distract your baby during the feeding session.

Try to maintain silence while the baby is feeding. If there is a lot of noise or distractions, the baby may not take the right amount that he/she requires or may gulp in the air rather than milk. You must not force your baby to hold the bottle. And always make sure the temperature of the milk is accurate; this allows the baby to feed in the correct amount of milk. Do not expect them to finish the bottle at one go, give regular breaks, and time to your baby. 

Tip 6: Help your baby while he/she is feeding.

This is a new phase that you must introduce to your loved one. Help your baby understand the utility of the bottle and support them in their feeding sessions

  • Support the bottle at the end while the baby is feeding off it. Fill the bottle partially, and encourage your baby to take in how much it can at a time. 
  • Be careful while leaving the bottle in the hands of your baby as sometimes the milk can start dripping from the mouth towards the ears.
  • Position the bottle first, and then start feeding your baby gradually. Tilt the bottle and ensure the nipple is full of milk. 
  • Try giving some external support such as placing a pillow under the baby’s arms, or you can try purchasing a bottle holder for your baby. These precautions must be taken as your little one’s arms could tend to ache by holding the bottle for longer times. 

Tip 7: Ask for help.

Teaching your child how to self-feed can be quite a task. New mothers must try to reach out if they face any difficulties in doing so by asking a grandparent or someone who is experienced. Sometimes, babies are not just ready to adapt to the new phase. Mothers must be patient enough with their children to understand their needs and their pace. For this, you can consult your doctor for some new techniques that may help your baby to accept a bottle. Always remember, timing is everything. Have patience and let your baby do the job.

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