Paced Bottle Feeding

Paced Bottle Feeding

The core reason many babies develop a preference for the bottle isn’t as much about the bottle itself, but about the flow. Bottles typically deliver milk at a faster, more constant rate compared to the natural, varying flow of breastfeeding. Paced bottle feeding attempts to mirror the breastfeeding experience more closely than traditional bottle feeding. This method allows babies to control the flow of milk, take pauses, and feed more actively, turning the feeding process into an interactive session rather than a passive activity. 

How to Implement Paced Bottle Feeding

  1. Choose the Right Equipment: Start with a slow-flow teat to ensure the milk doesn’t come too fast. The base of the teat should be wide to mimic a wide and deep breastfeeding latch.

  2. Correct Positioning: Hold your baby in a semi-upright position. This not only helps with digestion but also imitates the way a baby would breastfeed - active and engaged.

  3. Initiate Feeding Thoughtfully: Instead of pushing the bottle into your baby’s mouth, brush the teat down the middle of the baby's lips encouraging them to open wide and get a deep latch similar to how they would at the breast. 

  4. Mimic the Natural Rhythm: Hold the bottle horizontally to slow the flow. Allow your baby to take a few swallows, when the natural breaks come tip the bottle back slightly to stop the flow, when your baby resumes sucking tip the bottle back up. A paced bottle feed should take 15-30 minutes, follow your baby's lead and allow them to have control and set the pace of the feed.

  5. Watch for Fullness Cues: Just as with breastfeeding, it’s vital to observe when your baby shows signs of fullness—like turning away or no longer sucking.

Paced bottle feeding nurtures a feeding rhythm that can help prevent overfeeding and the discomfort that comes with it. You don't need to worry too much about them taking air, it will come out one way or the other but burping or winding during a feed can help. 

Enjoy the video below that gives a detail visual and verbal instruction on how to do paced bottle feeding. You can also download our Milk Storage Guideline HERE.

 Video Credit: The Milk Mob

Photo credit: Olivia Atkinson