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Best Feeding Positions for Bottle-Fed Breastfed Babies
Feeding a baby is more than just a way to satisfy hunger. It’s a special time to bond and connect with your little one. For moms and dads who opt for bottle-feeding their breastfed babies, whether due to personal choice, work commitments, or other reasons, getting the position just right is key.
Not only does a good position help make sure your baby is comfortable and eating well, but it also can save you from a lot of fussiness and tummy troubles later on.
In this article, we will discuss some of the best positions you can try while bottle-feeding your breastfed baby. From the cozy cradle hold to the upright “koala” cuddle, we’ll explore the ins and outs of each position.
Imagine holding your baby close, their head nestled comfortably in the crook of your arm while the rest of their tiny body is supported along your forearm. It is the cradle hold. It’s a classic position that’s as old as time, favored by parents for its simplicity and the cozy closeness it brings. It’s just like cradling your baby to sleep, but this time, with the addition of a bottle. Don’t forget to find the perfect bottles for breastfed babies.
To get started, sit down in a comfy chair with armrests. A cushioned rocker or a snug armchair would be perfect. Gently scoop up your baby, placing their head in the crook of your arm and stretching their body along your forearm. Use your hand to support their bottom, creating a secure little nest. Your other hand can hold the bottle, gently guiding it to your baby’s eager mouth.
If you’ve got the cradle hold down pat but are looking for a slight variation that offers more control, let’s discuss the cross-cradle hold. It’s like the cradle hold’s close cousin, but with a twist. Instead of resting your baby in the arm on the same side as their head, you will switch it up.
Get cozy in your favorite feeding spot, and this time, cradle your baby along the opposite arm from the breast you’re feeding from. For instance, if you plan to feed from the right side, your baby will lie along your left arm.
The key here is to use your hand (the one on the side you’re feeding from) to support your baby’s head, gently guiding it toward the bottle. Your opposite hand is free to hold the bottle, which gives you a lot of control over the angle and position, making it easier to encourage a proper latch.
Football Hold (Clutch Hold)
Now, let’s dive into a position that might remind you of Sunday football: the football hold, also known as the clutch hold. No, we’re not suggesting you toss your baby like a quarterback. Rather, this position involves tucking your little one under your arm, much like how you’d hold a football. It’s a favorite for many parents, uniquely offering comfort and control.
Find a cozy spot where you can sit with your back supported. Grab a pillow or two. They’re going to be your best buddies for this position. Now, if you’re feeding from the right side, tuck your baby under your right arm, with their legs extending towards the back of your chair.
Use your right hand to support your head, aligning it with the bottle you’re holding in your left hand. Don’t forget to prop up those pillows under your arm for extra support and comfort.
After a long day, sometimes all you and your baby want is to kick back and relax. That’s where the side-lying position comes into play, offering a laid-back approach to bottle feeding.
This position is all about comfort and closeness, allowing both of you to lie down while your baby feeds, making it a wonderful choice for those sleepy nighttime feeds or lazy afternoon cuddles.
Find a comfortable spot to lie down, like your bed or a sofa. Make sure it’s a safe, flat surface. Lie on your side and position your baby parallel to you, facing you. Your baby’s head can rest on your lower arm, or you can use a pillow to give them a little lift. With your free hand, hold the bottle and guide it to your baby’s mouth.
Upright (Koala) Hold
Ever watched a koala clinging to a tree? There’s a certain snugness and security in that embrace. The upright, or koala, hold captures that essence. It’s a position that’s not just about feeding.
It’s about hugging your little one close, upright against your chest, letting them feel your heartbeat and warmth. This hold is perfect for older babies who love to observe the world around them while they snack.
Getting into the koala hold is pretty straightforward. Sit in a comfortable chair with your back supported. Hold your baby upright on your lap, facing you, with their legs straddling your thigh. Your arm wraps around your back for support while your other hand holds the bottle. They’re sitting up and dining, just like a little grown-up!
Feeding your baby is more than just a routine. It’s a dance of love and care. It’s those quiet moments in the dead of night, the shared laughter in the bright morning light, and the tender cuddles that tell your little one, “I’m here.” So, don’t stress about getting it perfect from the get-go. It’s okay to try different positions and see what feels best for both of you.
As you embark on this beautiful journey of bottle-feeding your breastfed baby, know that each feed is a thread in the tapestry of your bond. It’s woven with patience, sprinkled with trial and error, and dyed in the deepest hues of love. So take your time, listen to your baby, and let your heart lead the way. After all, the best feeding position is where you and your baby are happy, comfortable, and connected.