The Ins and Outs of Paced Bottle Feeding

An Approach that Can Help Both You and Your Baby Establish a Healthy Feeding Routine

As a new mother, feeding your newborn baby can be one of the most rewarding experiences. However, it can also be one of the most challenging, especially if you are a first-time mom. Babies who have poor oral control will often have difficulties with feeding which can lead to various issues such as gas, fussiness and discomfort, or overfeeding. Oral control refers to the ability of the muscles and nerves in the mouth and throat to work together to allow for proper feeding and swallowing. This is where paced bottle feeding comes in, an approach that can help both you and your baby establish a healthy feeding routine that makes bottle feeding as close to breastfeeding as possible. In this blog, we will discuss what paced bottle feeding is, how to do it, and its benefits.

What is paced bottle feeding?

Paced bottle feeding is a feeding method that mimics breastfeeding by controlling the flow of milk that your baby takes in. This method is particularly helpful if you are supplementing breastfeeding with bottle feeding, or if you are exclusively bottle-feeding your baby. By using a slow and gentle feeding technique, parents can help their babies learn to coordinate their sucking, swallowing, and breathing, and develop the oral control skills needed for safe and effective feeding. Breastfeeding is not only essential for getting nutrients into your baby, but also plays a role in jaw, face and cranial development. A baby who bottle feeds should be an active participant in transferring milk from the bottle, not just a passive participant, guzzling milk in.

How to do paced bottle feeding?

  1. Choose a bottle with a slow-flow nipple.
  2. Hold your baby in an upright position
  3. Place the bottle nipple against your baby’s top lip and wait for them open wide and then pop the nipple into their mouth for a deep latch.
  4. Tilt the bottle to a horizontal position and allow milk to flow into and fill the nipple.
  5. Pause the feeding every few minutes, to give your baby a chance to rest.
  6. Burp your baby a few times throughout the feed.
  7. Repeat these steps until your baby has finished feeding.

What are the benefits of paced bottle feeding?

Paced bottle feeding has several benefits for both you and your baby:

Develops good oral control (Babies learn how to suck, swallow and breathe effectively). This, in turn will:

  • Reduce overfeeding: Paced feeding allows your baby to control the flow of milk, which can prevent them from overfeeding and reflux episodes after feeds.
  • Reduce gas and discomfort: Paced feeding can help reduce the amount of air your baby swallows while feeding, which can reduce the symptoms of gas and fussiness.
  • Promote a healthy feeding routine: Paced feeding helps your baby establish a healthy feeding routine that mimics breastfeeding. This can help promote a healthy appetite and prevent feeding problems later on.
  • Help with breastfeeding: Paced feeding can be helpful if you are supplementing breastfeeding with bottle feeding. It can help your baby transition between breast and bottle and prevent them from developing a preference for the bottle (nipple/ flow confusion).

Paced bottle feeding is a feeding method that can help both you and your baby establish a healthy feeding routine. By controlling the flow of milk, you can help your baby develop good oral control which will help to prevent overfeeding, reduce gas and discomfort, and promote a healthy appetite. So, if you are struggling with bottle feeding, give paced feeding a try, and see how it can make a difference for you and your baby.

Also check our baby reflux cheat sheet.

Get in touch with Dr Keevara at Rise Chiropractic, Table View