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Feeding your baby a bottle can be a wonderful bonding experience for mom, caregiver, and baby.

It’s really important, when feeding with a bottle, that the bottle beforehand is sterilized, and that at the very last minute you take the top off. That’s because there are a lot of germs around us, and if by chance you make a bottle, and then it hits a dirty counter top, if you put it on baby’s mouth, it’s dirty again. So try to keep a protective top on the bottle to minute you are about to feed the baby.

When you’re feeding a baby, you want to have the head much higher than the legs so that the milk can go down comfortably. You want to elongate the baby so that the stomach and the chest area aren’t scrunched up together. So holding the baby like this, with the head much higher than the feet and the stomach elongated, you just want to hold the bottle and gently push it into the baby’s mouth.

Sometimes the babies, when they’re very young, will reject the bottle and do a thrusting-out motion. The way to help that through is to shake the bottle, the nipple a little bit in the baby’s mouth, press the nipple to the top of the baby’s mouth, and eventually they will latch on.

You always want to make sure, most importantly, that the nipple is full of milk, because sometimes, justifiably, caregivers/parents can get distracted while feeding, and they may not realize that the fluid level has gone down. However, the more air that the baby gulps, the more gas and crying they will have, so make sure to position the bottle with full milk in the nipple; and as it gets lower, adjust the bottle by going higher, so that the nipple is full.

There are many different positions you can feed your baby. You can feed them holding this way. You could put them in your lap and feed them this way. If you need a little bit of help, you can put them in a highchair, you can put them in a bouncy seat and feed them this way. As long as you get to look at your baby, talk to your baby, and bond with your baby, feeding should really be a beautiful experience for you and your baby.

If your baby is crying during feeds, that’s something that should be brought to the attention of your doctor. Usually babies cry very often, but during a feed they should take their bottle, usually very quickly, in ten, fifteen minutes.

If you find that the baby is pulling off the bottle and crying often, there could be a problem. It could be reflux, it could be something with the milk, or it could be that the nipple is simply too big or too small. So if they’re crying during a feed, make sure to check that out with your doctor.

Remember to enjoy every moment during the feeds, and try to make as much eye contact as possible. It’s really a wonderful time for you and the baby to bond.