The Importance of Paced Bottle-Feeding
Read below to find out more about why this technique is so important for both breastmilk and formula fed babes, as well as how to do it.
This is general information only; not meant to replace professional care. Each breastfeeding situation is unique and a thorough assessment from an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant is recommended. This post only applies to healthy, full term babies, who are not having any problems.
The importance of this technique cannot be overstated! Primarily breastfed babes who are now switching between breast & bottle benefit from this technique as it helps lessen bottle flow preference & mimics a breastfeeding session. Using techniques to mimic breastfeeding = protecting and prolonging the breastfeeding relationship. This is especially important for mothers who work outside the home but want to maintain direct breastfeeding when she is with her child.
But, it's not just for breastfeeding babies!
Both formula & breastmilk fed babes benefit from this technique because:
• Paced feedings allow baby to self-regulate, which helps avoid over-feeding
• Pacing can allow more time for digestion, which may help lessen reflux
Paced Bottle-Feeding is quite different from most “conventional” bottle-feeding practices shown in the media or practiced in the home & daycare centers. Read on for my key "Technique Tips" and example photos.
Technique Tip #1
Babe sits semi or fully upright - NO LAYING ON BACK
Technique Tip #2
Bottle is held horizontal & parallel to the floor - NOT AT AN EXTREME ANGLE
Technique Tip #3
Milk fills only about 50% of the nipple - NOT 100% FILLED WITH MILK
Technique Tip #4
Take frequent breaks to allow babe to pace themselves & allow for more burping opportunities; goal is for bottle feeding to take about as long as an average breastfeeding session - NOT AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE
Common Myths & Concerns
Paced bottle-feeding takes too long. EATING TOO FAST CAN LEAD TO OVEREATING & DIGESTION PROBLEMS IN BOTH ADULTS & BABIES.
Babe needs to lay back & have the nipple completely filled with milk so they don’t swallow air. BOTTLEFED BABES TAKE IN AIR REGARDLESS & PART OF THIS TECHNIQUE INCLUDES BREAKS FOR MORE FREQUENT BURPING.
This technique isn’t important for formula fed babes. ALL BABES BENEFIT FROM PACING FEEDS = LESS OVEREATING, LESS DIGESTION PROBLEMS, LESS WASTING OF FORMULA, BABE LEARNS SELF REGULATION WHEN THEY BEGIN TO FEEL FULL
It Takes a Village!
DADS, GRANDPARENTS, AUNTS/UNCLES, BABYSITTERS, NANNIES, DAYCARE WORKERS, ETC… PLAY AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT ROLE IN THIS!
EDUCATION ON THIS TECHNIQUE, BUSTING MYTHS, & EXPLAINING ITS IMPORTANCE ARE CRITICAL TO GETTING THEM ON BOARD WITH THIS.