Bottle feeding positions

As with breastfeeding, there are certain positions that will suit your baby better when they move on to bottle feeding.

The right nipple

It’s important to get a nipple with the right sized hole for your baby. You can choose slow, medium or fast flow nipples. A newborn baby will normally need a soft, slow-flow nipple.

If your baby seems to take a long time to finish a bottle or gives up in the middle, the hole may be too small and you may want to change to a medium-flow nipple. If your baby is choking as they feed, the hole in the nipple may be too big. You may also like to try variable-flow nipple that can give slow, medium or fast flow using just the one nipple.

Holding the baby and the bottle

  • Hold your baby close to you on your lap in a semi-upright position where they can make eye contact with you. If necessary, put a pillow on your lap to raise them up.
  • Your baby will enjoy feeding more if you smile and chat to them as they take the bottle.
  • Place the nipple carefully in your baby’s mouth making sure you tilt the bottle so that the neck and nipple are full of milk and your baby doesn’t swallow any air bubbles, which could cause gas.
  • If your baby seems unsettled during the feed, they may have gas and you could sit them up and try to get them to burp by rubbing their back.

Alternate sides

As with breastfeeding, alternate your hold positions from side to side. This will help your baby's eyes and neck to develop more equally. Try alternating halfway through the bottle after burping your baby. By doing this from the very start, your baby has a better chance of not choosing a preferred side.

Underarm/rugby ball hold

The underarm hold is a good choice if you’ve had a caesarean delivery or if you have twins.

You can put a pillow across your lap to help support your baby.

Burp your baby

Try to get into the habit of burping about halfway through the feed and after feeding. This may help prevent spitting up.

Please be aware that the information given in these articles is only intended as general advice and should in no way be taken as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you or your family or your child is suffering from symptoms or conditions which are severe or persistent or you need specific medical advice, please seek professional medical assistance. Philips AVENT cannot be held responsible for any damages that result from the use of the information provided on this website.

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