4 Bottle Feeding Tips For Dads
Dads can and should play a role in feeding babies too! Breastfeeding mothers often need a physical, emotional and mental break from long hours of feeding. Dads can help out by bottle feeding with pumped breast milk or formula milk.
Here are some practical tips to facilitate the breastfeeding process for the dedicated dads out there.
1.Take it Slow
When you first start bottle feeding, you need to remember that breast milk flows much slower than bottle milk. Take this into consideration when bottle feeding your baby and take it slow.
Adopt a feeding technique called paced feeding where you slowly tilt the bottle up when the baby is sucking the bottle nipple and slowly lower the bottle when the baby stops sucking.
The bottle should be slightly raised to allow steady flow, you don’t want the baby to gulp the milk but rather slowly sip the milk at a steady pace.
Dad! If you are new to bottle feeding, try your best to learn without constantly disturbing your partner when she is trying to rest. Here are some tips for preparing bottles for breast milk and preparing bottles for formula.
You can defrost frozen breast milk overnight in the refrigerator or you can immerse the bottle or container in warm water, not hot water. You want to avoid using hot water because you don’t want to kill the beneficial nutrients that are essential for your baby’s health.
Always wash your hands with warm water and antibacterial soap for 30 seconds before touching baby bottles or equipment. Make sure all bottles are cleaned by sterilising them in boiling hot water or sterilising solution. You can also buy bottle sterilisers that are designed specifically for sterilising baby bottles and cutlery.
Follow these steps for formula preparation:
Clean all bottle parts and your hands with warm water and antibacterial soap. Bottles should also be sterilised with boiling hot water or sterilising solution before use.
Follow the instructions for mixing the formula by reading the packaging. If you are using S-26 Alula Newborn Formula, for example, you would follow the guidelines on the packaging.
Thoroughly mix the formula with warm water making sure there are no clumps of unmixed formula in the bottle.
Check the temperature by dropping the milk on the back of your hand. The milk should be warm but not boiling hot.
The mixed formula remains drinkable for two hours at room temperature and for 24 hours if kept in the fridge.
3. Bottle Warming
If you keep your bottles in the fridge, you will need to warm the milk up before giving it to your baby. You can do this by boiling water on the stove and placing the bottle inside the pan until the bottle feels warm to the touch. You can also hold the bottle under running warm water or use a bottle warmer instead.
Gently shake the bottle before feeding your baby, this prevents hot spots and ensures that the milk is thoroughly mixed.
This is the fun part! When your baby has had enough, you need to burp your baby, especially in the first few weeks. You might need to burp your baby after 2-3 ounces of milk intake. There are different techniques, first, place your baby over your shoulder and gently pat and rub the back until they burp.
Their stomach should rest gently on your shoulder and he/she should release after a minute or two. If this doesn’t work, sit him/her up and gently hold their shoulders from the front for support. Gently pat and rub the back again, they should eventually release.
It might take a bit of practice but after a while, you should get it right.
Bottle feeding does take some getting used to, especially if you are a total newbie. Remember that slow and steady wins the race when it comes to bottle-feeding or taking care of babies in general. Take your time, relax and enjoy feeding your baby. Bottle feeding is the perfect time for fathers to bond with their little ones so use this time to develop that priceless connection with your baby.