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  Bottle Feeding – Physical contact & Propping
I suppose that one of the advantages of bottle-feeding is that I don’t have to always be present. Is there anything wrong with just propping the bottle and giving the baby some independence?

It’s absolutely vital that although you are bottle-feeding, baby doesn’t miss out on the physical contact that would have accompanied breastfeeding. Holding the baby close while feeding, talking to and gazing at the baby and just being a loving presence is as important to your baby’s well-being as the food you are giving. The skin-on-skin contact that feeding time can offer actually stimulates brain development.

Propping the bottle is unsafe and also unfair on a baby who needs your presence and attention. Your baby is more important than your chores and the risk of choking, infection and tooth decay that accompany propping mean it is not a good idea.

The act of sucking is very soothing and satisfying to a baby, so a teat with a small hole might be a good idea if you get the idea that baby needs to suck for longer during feeds. Use the recommended amounts for the feed as a very rough guideline, and always allow baby to dictate how much to take in each feed. It may vary quite widely but that should not be a cause for concern as long the baby has approximately eight very wet nappies every day. The appetite of a baby can vary quite widely and if you were breastfeeding it might not be that obvious. However mothers who feed using a bottle do tend to worry. Baby may be hungry because of a growth spurt, or have less appetite because of sore gums. Judge the general condition of your baby as a measure of whether baby is getting enough to eat than the actual amount of formula.

See also:

Bottle feeding - Advantages

Bottle feeding - Choice of teat

Bottle feeding - Choosing the best formula

Bottle feeding - Combining with breastfeeding

Bottle feeding - Drawbacks

Bottle feeding - Intolerance/Allergy to Cow's Milk

Bottle feeding - Practical guidelines

Bottle feeding - Pros and cons

Bottle feeding - Quantity

Bottle feeding - Reducing mother's milk supply

Bottle feeding - Switching from breastfeeding

Bottle feeding - Travelling


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