It important that new moms learn how to properly feed and burp the baby so that they can settle into a comfortable and healthy feeding routine. Feeding time is the most important part of the baby's day.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months. Breastfeeding should ideally continue throughout the first year of the child's life even, though solid foods may have been introduced into their diet.
Breastfeeding isn't always possible for all new moms. Deciding to breastfeed or bottle feed a baby is usually based on the mother's comfort level with breastfeeding and her lifestyle. Breastfeeding may not be recommended in some cases, such as the mother having HIV or is undergoing chemotherapy. Remember, your baby's nutritional and emotional needs will be met whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed.
Breastfeeding your newborn has many advantages. The most important one is that breastmilk is the perfect food for a baby's digestive system. It has all the nutrients that a newborn needs All of its components — lactose, protein (whey and casein), and fat — are easily digested. Commercial formulas try to imitate breastmilk, and come close, but cannot match its exact composition. Breastfeeding meets a variety of emotional needs for both moms and babies. The skin-to-skin contact can enhance their emotional connection. Being able to provide complete nourishment for the baby can help a new mother feel confident in her ability to care for her newborn.
Whether it is breastfeeding or bottle feeding, this is a time to enjoy your baby. Hold your infant and enjoy such great opportunities to bond with your baby. Here are a few tips on how to feed and burp your baby properly.
20 Use a Slow Flow Bottle Teat
According to pediatricfeedingnews.com when an infant is fed, the process of ‘sucking, swallowing and breathing must act together, working smoothly and efficiently, with highly accurate timing and coordination, to result in safe and efficient feeding. When a larger volume of fluid is swallowed from a faster flowing teat, the ventilation is adversely affected. A slower flow rate may assist in maintaining baseline respiratory reserves and timing of the airway opening and closing that surround the actual swallow.
The extra slow flow bottle allows the milk to flow at a slower rate than a standard nipple. The slow flow bottle is ideal for babies who are in the process of transitioning to bottle feeding. A slow flow rate allowed the baby to maintain a lower heart rate and physiologically less stressful. Besides these positive findings on using a slow flow bottle teat, there are other advantages like causing less air and less colic.
19 Warm the Bottle Up
Bottle feeding is a great and convenient way to feed either breastmilk or formula. However, it has to be ensured that if it is not warmed up, the baby will probably not like it. This is because the baby is used to breastfeeding and here the temperature would be around 37 degrees Celsius which is the normal body temperature.
Keeping this in mind, one has to make sure that the bottle is not too cold or too hot. As such, it is a fact that babies are fussy little people. Any deviation from their normal routine or any change from their regular stuff is sure to make them upset. Momtricks.com shows us the simplest way to warm a bottle is with warm water. All you need is a bowl deep enough to fully submerge the bottle. Breastfeeding moms can wipe their own nips with warm water before feeding if needed.
18 Be Aware Of The Milk's Temperature
Breastmilk is lovingly referred to as ‘Liquid Gold’ for a good reason. When compared to formula, it is far superior nutritionally and immunologically. In addition to its numerous health benefits, breastmilk promotes a healthy infancy and lifespan for both mother and the baby. Breastfeeding for prolonged periods can be impractical and impossible for a lot of mothers due to reasons like insufficient milk production and return back to work. Expressing breastmilk is one way to tackle this and maintain a breastfeeding relationship.
While handling expressed breastmilk, it is important for mothers to know some basic requisites like storing the milk, warming the milk, whether to reuse the milk and what happens when the milk is warmed too high? It is recommended to thaw the frozen breastmilk overnight by holding the bottle under warm running water. To obtain its full nutritional value, avoid overheating and bring the temperature to 37 degrees Celsius or slightly below that for best results.
17 Head Position of the Baby Should be Upright
The breastfeeding act helps create and strengthen your bond with the baby which eventually helps in your baby’s development in many ways. During the breastfeeding, there is so much skin and eye contact characterized by strong positive emotions, connection, and love. It is highly recommended to parents who are bottle or formula feeding to try and imitate this breastfeeding experience as closely as possible.
This position will ensure that your baby’s head position is at a higher level as compared to the rest of the body thereby ensuring that milk does not go into the eustachian tube. A skin to skin contact could also be established in this position. The baby can also have direct eye contact with you, which has proved to enhance positive emotional development.
16 Cradle The Baby
Breastfeeding is one of the most natural acts in the world and for one to master it, it takes practice, calls for coordination and plenty of patience. Babycentre.com shows us that the Cradle hold is a classic breastfeeding position that involves cradling your baby’s head with the crook of your arm.
This hold is best for full-term babies delivered vaginally. For some mothers, this position is not a comfortable one and may prefer to use this position once the baby develops stronger neck muscles. This may not be a comfortable position for mothers who have had C-section as it puts too much pressure on their abdomen.
15 Utilize Semi-Upright Positions
While breastfeeding is natural, it may not come naturally to a new mother. For an experienced mother or for someone who is experienced in handling babies, the uncomfortable feeling for the first few times they try to breastfeed is not a surprise. Getting there or finding the perfect feeding position for both the mother and the baby is crucial.
The only things you need to make sure of is that both you and the baby is completely comfortable and supported; that your head, neck, body, and shoulders are not strained. Sources in thebump.com inform us that the only right type of breastfeeding position is a comfortable one that works best for mom and baby. For babies with acid reflux or painful gas, upright or semi-upright positions are the best. Standing up or gentle walking movements can help calm the baby.
14 Learn To Overcome Acid Reflux
Babies have an underdeveloped digestive system and that is the reason why they are prone to experience acid reflux symptoms. To overcome this situation, an upright feeding position has to be incorporated. As per Healthline, a provider of Medical information, ‘a horizontal position makes it easier for the stomach contents to reflux into the esophagus’. Moreover, a clinical study concluded that when babies are feeding in an upright position, there is a 52% reduction of gas, colic and acid reflux symptoms.
Here the baby is placed on top of your lap with his head resting on your knees and his feet on your stomach. The knees up position is one of the best bonding positions between a mother and a baby as you can face and make eye level contact with your little one at all times while feeding.
13 Tilt The Feeding Bottle
You can make your feeding time to be the most precious time of the day wherein you get to spend some magical moments with your baby. However stressed out you are, it is these precious little moments that could rejuvenate and pump you up. There are so many factors that come into play while feeding your baby. The temperature of the feed is of prime concern. So is the angle at which you hold your baby.
While there are many theories that support a 45-degree angle, the reality is that the position that is comfortable for both the mother and the baby is in the right position and this differs with each individual. Based on details given in tommeetippee.us ‘air’ in milk is your worst enemy, which in turn leads to colic. To overcome this, make sure the bottle isn’t held too flat. Always tilt the bottle so that it is full of milk.
12 Use A Boppy
A boppy pillow is a ‘C’ shaped nursing pillow which is designed to fit around a mother’s belly and to provide support to her while nursing. This pillow is intended to use it as a positioner while nursing. It is a fact that nursing can be tough on the back, neck, and shoulders.
As per momlovesbest.com, the Boppy pillow has to be placed on the mother’s lap to raise your baby up higher to her breast which can have a great effect on both the mother’s and the baby’s nursing comfort. This product also has a multifunctional purpose and can also be used for the baby’s tummy time, helps in the sitting position and helps the mother in her sleep support during and after her delivery.
11 Bottle Feed Using Breastmilk
There are many reasons why women choose to pump breastmilk. Some of the reasons could be having a premature baby in the NICU who cannot breastfeed, the baby has a difficulty latching on, the mother has to return to work straight away, worried about one's milk supply or you simply do not want to breastfeed. Any amount of breastmilk that you can give your baby is beneficial.
While pumping your breastmilk for your child can be rewarding, it can also be time-consuming and demanding as explained in verywellfamily.com. Exclusive pumping is also called as EPing and breastmilk feeding. This is when you pump regularly throughout the day. The frequency of pumping depends on your child’s age. During the first few weeks, it is important to pump regularly to stimulate your body to produce a healthy milk supply.
10 Stroke Baby’s Lips
To get a reluctant or sleepy baby to suck on a feeding bottle, try stroking the baby's lips with the nipple of the bottle. Wetting the lips with a few tiny drops of milk can also encourage the baby to start sucking. The same trick can be used while breastfeeding to get the baby to start sucking.
According to parenting.com, it is important to be relaxed before feeding as milk and colostrum flow better in a relaxed state. Once the baby is introduced to the mother’s breast, using the milk moistened nipple as a teaser, gently stroke your baby’s lower lip to encourage him to open his mouth wide. At this moment, direct it slightly upward and towards the center of his mouth, move his head in very close so that the baby’s mouth will close down over the areola. The baby has to be pulled towards the mother and this technique is called the RAM technique, or the rapid arm movement.
9 Pace Bottle Feedings
This method of feeding is not based on the popular 2-3 hourly set feeding schedules; instead, it is based on the baby’s feeding cues. It's a technique designed to mimic the pace of breastfeeding. This will prevent your baby from being overfed with a baby bottle.
Hold the baby upright in a sitting position. Now hold the bottle in a horizontal position and tilt it just enough to keep the milk in the bottle and allow the baby to set the pace of the feeding. Encourage her to stop frequently, or burp her in regular intervals. This method works brilliantly for mothers who want to either get back to work from maternity leave or want to shift from breastmilk to formula.
8 Don’t Force Baby To Finish
Whenever your non-fussy, no tantrums baby stops feeding, it really means that he is full and does not require to be fed. Babies are the best judges of their appetite and have an amazing ability to regulate their intake. If they are not “tummy happy”, they will ensure that you know about it and will continue to remind you till you respond positively! And therefore, when the baby is full, he will communicate that as well to you by either pushing away the bottle or, turning his head away, even if the bottle is not empty.
A very common mistake that most parents make is to try and get the baby to finish the bottle. Avoid the urge for 2 reasons. One is that the baby will spit up all that extra milk that you are pushing down his mouth. Two, you are teaching the kid to ignore the natural signals from his body and continue feeding. This inability self-regulate intake may cause the child to be overweight or obese.
7 Finish At The Source (If Possible)
This method of supplementation works amazingly well for those mothers whose breastmilk supply is either reducing or was less from the very beginning. The best way to do this is to allow your baby to feed on both breasts first. If she is not full yet, you could try supplementing with 15 ml or less than normal formula milk.
Once the baby is done with the bottle feed, you could bring her back to the breast and finish it off. This technique is very effective as you will get some extra stimulation to help encourage your milk supply and your baby will associate a full tummy with mummy and the breast, so he is less likely to refuse it in favor of a faster flowing bottle.
6 Change Sides For Feeding
Switch nursing is a breastfeeding technique involving alternating breasts multiple times. According to verywellfamily.com, this technique is very helpful during the first few days of breastfeeding, when the milk supply is just building up and the baby is still trying to figure out the best, cozy and comfortable positions for him. Each time the baby slows down, stops sucking or falls asleep, the movement of changing sides and the change in the breastmilk flow will help to wake him up and encourage him to start feeding again.
The extra stimulation on both breasts by switching sides also helps to build the breastmilk supply. You are stimulating both of your baby’s eyes and both sides of his body and his brain and reducing the chances of your baby developing a favored side, which can make breastfeeding quite challenging. Once the breastmilk supply goes up, you can stop changing sides frequently and allow the baby to finish on one side before moving to the other.
5 Burp Baby On Your Shoulder
It is advisable to use a burp cloth or a dry washcloth whenever you want to burp your baby. It will help to protect your clothes in case the baby spits up while burping. Sit upright and put the baby on your chest with his chin resting on your shoulders while you support him with one hand; with the other hand gently rub or pat his back.
You could do this while walking around or swaying or rocking on a chair. The movement helps to release the gas faster. All babies, especially newborns, need to be burped at the end of a feed. Some babies may need to be burped in the middle of the feeding session so that they may feel comfortable and feed till they are full.
4 Burp Baby Face Down on Your Lap
Another great way to burp newborn babies is to face them down on your lap towards your knees. Lay her tummy down on the burp cloth on your lap. Support her chest and chin with one hand and gently pat her back with your free hand. Make sure that your baby’s head is higher than her chest so that blood does not rush into her head.
Patting her back harder will not help her to burp fast. Do it gently and patiently at the end of every feed. If your baby seems fussy during a feeding session, stop the session and burp her first. Releasing the gas will help her feel better.
3 Master The Over-the-Arm Burp
This method is similar to the face down on the lap method. Here, you could cradle the baby belly down in your arms. Take care to support her head and that it is higher than her chest. Pat her back gently but firmly. You could walk around the room or rock her as you try to burp her.
You could try this method every time you switch breasts if you are breastfeeding, or after every 60-90 ml if you are bottle feeding your baby. If your baby is fussy or gassy, you could burp her more often. Not burping the baby especially if she has swallowed too much air, can lead to crankiness and gassiness.
2 Move Baby's Torso In A Circular Motion
This method is quite unique. Sit the baby on your lap facing away from you. Keep a straight back. Support her chest and head with your hand. Use one hand to support her body, the palm of your hand supporting her chest while your fingers gently support her chin and jaw.
Make sure you're not putting your fingers around her throat, or else she could choke. Lean your baby slightly forward. Slowly and gently, move your baby in a circular motion – clockwise and anticlockwise. The aim is to allow the wind to rise to the surface by moving the milk around in their stomach.
1 The Secret Insider Tip to Burping a Baby
You could try another method of burping the baby on your shoulder as suggested in babycenter.com. Raise your baby a little higher up on your shoulder, so that your shoulder gently presses against his tummy. A quick look in the mirror will tell you if you are holding your baby correctly and supporting him right. Then rub or pat his back to release the gas.
The insider tip to burping a baby from Bump.com: Relaxation and gentle pressure are the keys. First, hold him high enough so the upper belly is right against your shoulder, creating gentle pressure. Second, get him to relax by rubbing his back in a slow, circular motion, gently at first, and if need be, slightly increase the pressure until he burps. Many moms swear by this method.
If you’ve decided to breastfeed your baby, you are tapping into one of the greatest natural resources there is. The health benefits of breastmilk are endless; your child’s immune system is strengthened, there is growing evidence that it increases the IQ, it reduces the risk of SIDS, obesity, and diabetes and enhances the body’s overall ability to function. Not to mention its economic viability as well. One has to know that this act doesn’t happen naturally and that both the mother and the child will have to learn to have this special bond. So make sure to read and understand the above tips so you can feed your baby well.