Has your baby been ‘demanding feeding,’ snacking at the breast or ‘snack feeding’?
If your baby wants to feed often and still doesn’t seem satisfied, you may need to make a change for the health and happiness of both you and your baby.
Keep reading for 5 bottle feeding tips to help you and your baby make the move in the right direction.
What is Snack Feeding & Why Should I Try Out Bottle Feeding Tips?
What is Snack Feeding?
Snack feeding, also known as grazing, refers to small, frequent feeds by your baby.
Some babies develop a feeding pattern where they feel the urge to feed every hour or two during the day. This happens because they don’t take enough milk to enable them to wait longer without feeding.
Don’t worry, this does not mean something is wrong with your baby and that they are incapable of taking more. Instead, it means that they don’t need to take more milk because they feed often.
Snack feeding is not underfeeding. Snack feeding differs in the way that the baby consumes enough formula over a 24-hour period to maintain healthy growth.
Why Try Bottle Feeding Tips?
Snack feeding is technically not a problem since this pattern is not harmful to babies.
However, parents tend to find this pattern of feeding time consuming, frustrating, and costly if a lot of formula is wasted.
The good news is, snacking is a feeding patternthat can usually be changed!
Try the bottle feeding tips below to help your baby change his or her feeding pattern to one that keeps everyone happy and healthy.
5 Bottle Feeding Tips Sure To Help You Move Away From Snack Feeding
#1: Discourage a Feeding-Sleep Association.
This first step is also the most effective measure in the right direction.
So how is it done? You can discourage a feeding-sleep association by not allowing your baby to fall asleep during feedings.
If necessary, wake him or her up to prevent him or her from thinking he or she needs to be sucking on a bottle in order to drop off to sleep.
#2: Promote Healthy Sleep Habits.
By promoting healthier sleep habits, you will enable your baby to get the amount of sleep that is needed.
Check out these 4 ways to establish healthier sleep habits for your baby:
1. Find What Soothes Your Baby
Babies are soothed by different means. Find out how to soothe your baby best, and run with it.
Some newborns are soothed by swaddling while others enjoy white noise or motion, such as rocking.
As you likely know, many babies need help falling asleep. This usually continues until your baby is three months old, so don’t worry about “bad habits” at this young age.
Instead, feel free to rock or hold your baby to sleep if he or she needs your help.
2. Get Your Baby in a Sleep Routine
A sleep routine can start to help signal to your baby that sleepy time is coming. This usually occurs by two months of age.
A bedtime and naptime routine should be more than calming, it should also be predictable. Additionally, for the most part, this routine should also take place in the room where your baby sleeps.
Keep in mind that after three months of age, feeding should be the last thing you do before your baby goes to bed.
3. Practice Safe Sleep Habits
Until your baby is a year old, it is recommended that an infant is placed on their back to sleep when in their bassinet or crib.
Once a child is able to roll in their crib independently, however, it’s not necessary to roll your baby back (unless the baby’s physician has given you a medical reason to do so).
Infants should sleep on a firm, flat surface. Keep this consistent for all sleep periods.
Also, make sure the crib your baby sleeps in meets all safety standards.
4. Encourage Napping
Naps are beneficial for your baby, as they help to develop his or her health.
Avoid over-stimulating your baby, as this can interfere with falling asleep.
Look for your baby’s signs that he or she is getting tired. Signs may include things such as yawning, getting fussy, or rubbing his or her eyes.
#3: Encourage Your Baby to Drink Up
In order to discourage snack feeding, encourage your baby to take as much milk as possible within a 45-minute time frame.
You’ll want to stop sooner if he or she is not interested in feeding.
Don’t try to make your baby take more than he or she wants.
#4: Extend Time Between Feeds
Until your baby is able to feed at three or four hour intervals during the day, aim to extend the time between feeds. These feedings should be timed from the start of the previous feed.
Gradually implement this over a number of days.
To help, try using a distraction to get your baby to go a little longer between feeds. However, don’t push your baby to the point where he or she becomes upset.
As he or she gets used to going a little longer between feeds, your baby will gradually take more milk. This will not happen instantly, however.
When it does occur, you can continue to extend the time until acheiving a three to four hourly feeding pattern.
#5: Make Bottle Feeding Easier for Your Baby
Implement ways to make it as easy as possible for your baby to feed.
Continue reading for bottle feeding tips to have a problem-free feed.
1. Support Your Baby
In order to feed effectively babies–newborns in particular–require appropriate support to position their body and head during feeding.
Make sure you’re holding your baby in a way that is both safe and comfortable.
2. Make Sure the Bottle Ring is Not On Too Tight
It’s necessary for air to fill the space in a bottle as milk exits it. Why? Because this will maintain an even pressure within the bottle.
Maintain even pressure by making sure the bottle ring is not screwed on too strongly.
Air is prevented from entering the bottle when the bottle ring is down too tight and while the baby maintains suction with her tongue over the holes.
3. Pick the Right Enviornment
Too much sensory stimulation can be overwhelming for babies–espeically newborns.
A busy and noisy enviornment can also be distracting for babies over the age of four months.
Keep this in mind when choosing a suitable enviornment for bottle feeding.