When bottle feeding, create a warm and loving bond by: Having lots of skin-to-skin contact
Our video is presented by Melissa Little, Paediatric Dietitian
People usually think of breastfeeding as a time when you and your baby can really bond, but you can help build the bonding experience by bottle feeding in a responsive way.
When formula feeding doesn’t work as a bonding experience is when parents ‘prop up’ the bottle in some way into their baby’s mouth so they are almost force-fed as they are lying quietly in their pram. There are lots of things wrong with this, the first and most dangerous being that your baby could quietly choke and you wouldn’t notice. Second, you are not responding to your baby’s feeding cues. You won’t know when they’ve had enough and be able to take the bottle out of their mouths. Third, you will be missing the lovely, and very important, bonding time you can have with your baby during a bottle feed. Finally, your baby will feel lonely and anxious if left alone during feeding time as they crave your love. and attention. baby will feel lonely and anxious of left alone during feeding time as they crave your love and attention.
When you breastfeed, there is automatically skin-to-skin contact between the mother and baby. This is really important as it stimulates the production of a hormone called oxytocin which helps the bond develop between mum and baby.
With bottle feeding, you can have the same skin-to-skin contact between you and your baby. If you’re at home, you can simply take off your top while you feed and have a cuddle. You can look into each other’s eyes, just like during a breastfeed. However, make sure you are both covered with a blanket so your baby stays nice and warm.
When you’re out and about, you might not be able to do so much skin-to-skin but you can still take your time, cuddle and look into your baby’s eyes.
Never leave your baby alone with a bottle as there is a risk they might choke.