Are you holding your baby correctly when bottle feeding?

For many of us, how we hold our baby and position their bottle isn’t something we give much thought to, (especially during those exhausting night feeds) but did you know that it’s critically important we get it right? Whilst many parents have little trouble bottle feeding, there are a few small things that will make the experience better for you and your baby. Minbie is dedicated to helping your baby feed as safely and productively as possible using their instinctive technique, so when you offer your little one a bottle using these tips, you can be sure you’re both benefitting from a first class feeding experience that will protect your precious breastfeeding bond. 

 

Engaging with your baby whilst they’re feeding, holding them close and helping them feel secure, just as when you’re nursing, all go toward creating a wonderful feeding experience that ensures your little one is calm. So, here are some tips on mastering the very best hold when feeding your baby. 

How to hold your newborn baby for bottle feeding

🍼Find yourself somewhere you can sit comfortably and keep your baby well supported whilst feeding. 
🍼Sit your baby on your lap and hold bub in the crook of your arm. With a very tiny baby, put the palm of one hand against your baby’s back, with your fingers underneath your baby’s arms and supporting the head. Bub needs to feel secure and comfortable. 
🍼A good, comfortable hold and eye contact is great for bonding and safe feeding.
🍼Hold the bottle with your free hand, horizontally at first, altering the angle as the bottle is emptying.
🍼When bottle feeding your little one, it’s safer if bub is held upright at the start of the feed so the milk does not easily flow. 

It’s important to remember that new babies are just beginning to learn how to feed. Yes instinct gives them a good understanding of the process however it’s still essential that you take charge and gently guide them making sure you can see your baby’s mouth and the bottle at all times. Eye contact and being able to clearly see the nipple in bub's mouth makes it easier for you to be sure that they’re latched properly and that there’s always milk in the nipple. Keeping a close eye on your baby whilst they are feeding also allows you to immediately pick up on any signs of distress. 


In addition to holding your baby well, it’s important you have the bottle at the right angle to ensure they latch correctly.  Did you know, when a full bottle is tipped to the point that the milk is dripping from the tip, a baby is far less likely to latch to the nipple, because they’re afraid of choking? For this reason it’s always best to simply offer the nipple and let your baby decide to latch and draw the milk out. Bub’s feeding coordination involves latching, sucking, swallowing and breathing.  Yes, it’s really complex, so sit back, relax and watch this miracle unfold. 


Feeding your newborn with a Minbie bottle


🍼 Make sure your baby is hungry and ready to feed. 
🍼Think of the bottle like a glass of water, you don’t tip it up otherwise the water flows out. Similarly with the bottle, all you need to do when offering to bub, is tip the bottle enough so there’s milk in the tip of the nipple, but not so much that it’s dripping or flowing out of the tip.  When the nipple is not dripping, your baby will be confident to latch.
🍼Always keep a close eye on your baby when feeding from the bottle. This is important to be able to immediately recognise if bub has had enough, if milk is flowing out of baby’s mouth or if they need to burp or cough. If this happens, gently tilt your baby forward and lightly pat the back. 
🍼Remember, babies can’t burp themselves so it’s important to stop the feed regularly to burp your baby. This helps bub’s digestion by getting rid of gas. Keep your baby upright against your chest or shoulder as you do so and then continue gently for at least 15 minutes after the feed. 

The shape of the Minbie

The first thing you’ll notice when you open the Minbie nipple is the shape. It’s completely different to any other nipple you’ll have seen. This is because the Minbie nipple has been meticulously designed to replicate the way babies want and need to feed for their stage. Minbie is a new technology! When your baby feeds from the Minbie they’ll be practicing their instinctive breastfeeding muscle-memory. The nipple allows them to practice to latch properly onto the breast and to work for the feed with their complex and instinctive breastfeeding technique. This exact technique is what evolution provided for our little ones, for their survival, and is the best for protecting the longevity of the mother-baby breastfeeding relationship!


As the shape of the Minbie is so unique, it’s important you use it as instructed to get the very best feeding outcome. Bub should be nursing the nipple in the palate area (as on the breast) and with a wider latch around the lips. If your little one has latched incorrectly, stop the feed and offer the bottle again. With a little practice you’ll both find the way!


Here are our tips for feeding your little one with the Minbie.

Which way does the Minbie nipple go?

🍼 At the start of the feed, when offering your baby a bottle, the air-valve should face up, with the nipple facing slightly upwards and the bottle horizontal. Once your baby is latched and feeding, you can gradually tip the bottle up as it empties. Make sure there is always milk in the nipple so your baby isn’t sucking on air.

How to initiate the feed 

🍼First touch your baby’s cheek, near the side of the lip, then the top lip and upper gums to encourage baby’s mouth to open wide to accept the nipple.
🍼When bub accepts the nipple, the upper surface of the nipple should be against bub’s upper gums and roof of the mouth/palate. 
🍼Don’t place the nipple on bub's tongue. If the nipple is placed toward the back of the mouth, it may cause gagging. 
🍼Hold the bottle steady so your baby can maintain a latch as they do on your breast.
🍼Make sure there’s always milk in the top of the nipple so bub doesn’t swallow air. 
🍼Be mindful of your baby’s feeding cues. They will let you know if the nipple is too slow by becoming frustrated and you will see if it is too fast as it may flood the mouth, or bub may finish the bottle too quickly and have too much gas. (Be careful as flooding is a choking hazard.) Bear in mind that a flow that’s too fast can set-up resistance against the bottle.  

As with many things in life, feeding your baby is a learning process. You may find that bub instantly takes to the Minbie, however it may also take a few attempts. Either way it’s fine. Take your time, enjoy the precious moments you get to share together and know that with Minbie you are offering your little one the very best feeding experience and the closest thing to your own breast. This not only protects their technique but also gifts you the freedom of being able to safely hand over to dad without any risk to breastfeeding. 


If you have any feeding questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our customer service team who are here for you and your family 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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