How to Bottle Feed
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Shel Banks
Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant based in the northwest of England, working within the NHS in research, training and project management, in private practice assisting mothers and babies with feeding issues, and the tertiary sector with various national organisations.
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Formula feeding

How to burp my bottle fed baby?

Bottle fed babies may take in more wind than breastfed babies. Here are some top tips on preventing excess trapped wind and burping your baby gently.
Video Tutorial
In Short
Feed baby when they start giving gentle cues they are hungry: don’t wait for tears.

Don't shake the bottle too energetically to mix, without letting it sit afterwards = lots more air.

Pause during feeds to allow baby to catch their breath, removing the bottle from baby’s mouth to check that they are still hungry.

To burp them, sit them up after feeding, either over your shoulder or on your knee.

Massage or pat their back gently.

Our video is presented by Melissa Little, Paediatric Dietitian

Burping Your Bottle Fed Baby

Bottle-fed babies may take in more wind than breastfed babies. It’s worth seeing if a different bottle or a different feeding position suit your baby better if they are suffering from trapped after a feed.

One thing you can do to prevent your baby swallowing excessive air is to make sure you do not shake the bottle too energetically if you are mixing up a formula feed for your baby or let the bottle stand for a little while before feeding to allow the bubbles to disperse.
Another key point is to feed them responsively, that is not allowing them to be so hungry they cry before they are fed because crying babies often swallow down air which can become trapped in the tummy as they feed. Many parents find that recognizing signs earlier that baby is getting hungry, means they are calmer when feeding and don’t gulp or take in the air as they drink their bottle.

To burp your baby keep them upright for a feed; either over your shoulder or on your knee. Massaging their back can sometimes help to bring up a burp but in time, you will soon learn the best way to burp your baby.

Being upright is best for your baby after a feed. Hold baby with their head on your left shoulder and their bottom at the base of your ribs, leaning forwards against you. The pressure and warmth on baby’s abdomen will help air to get up and out.

If they are very sicky (bringing up a lot of milk, or vomits or possets a lot), make sure you take the time to burp them after a feed or a break in a feed and try keeping them upright after a feed either in your arms or in a soft sling.

If you are worried about how much milk your baby is bringing up, especially if they seem uncomfortable while it’s happening, you can talk to your midwife, health visitor or GP.


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This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Essential Parent has used all reasonable care in compiling the information from leading experts and institutions but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details click here.