Parenting is the duty and responsibility of both the father and mother. Gone are those days where fathers make caring for the baby and child-rearing the sole responsibility of the mother with them scarcely around and having just on the surface interaction and relationship with their children.
These days fathers share parenting and other children activities needed with mothers. Most times, breastfeeding mothers need to take breaks, and that’s when bottle feeding comes in. Mothers sometimes switch between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding their babies due to some specific reasons.
Getting your baby to start bottle feeding can be so stressful because he is so used to being breastfed. For mothers who would be heading back to work, you really need to establish a father-child relationship through bottle feeding just in case you turn out not being home, and your baby needs to be fed will know what to do.
As a dad, you might want to relieve your partner of the stress of breastfeeding at the same time, create a special bond between you and your little one. Bottle feeding your baby can be a bit stressful and frustrating, but I bet you will enjoy the experience.
Bottle feeding for dads can be a bit fussy and funny. You don’t have to act like you don’t know how and what to do this will make the baby nervous. Babies tend to sense nervousness easily, and when they are nervous, there is zero possibility of them feeding well. Try your best to relax and show confidence as it helps your baby to relax and feed quietly.
Though it may sound weird, you need to be comfortable for your baby to feel comfortable. When it’s time to feed your baby, get a comfortable seat and feel relax before you start feeding. Trying to feed your baby in between task and other activities only make you uncomfortable.
When he senses your discomfort, he will be uncomfortable and won’t be able to feed well.
Burp your baby
Babies who are bottle-fed take in more air while being fed than those who are breastfed. Burping is necessary as it helps your baby get rid of those air he might have taken in while being bottle-fed.
You can burp your baby either by putting him on your shoulders, sitting on your laps, or lying face down on your laps. While burping, pat, or rub your baby’s back slowly.
Before you start feeding, ensure you keep by your side a burp cloth you can use to burp your baby either in between meals or after meals as small particles of food contents may come out.
Get the temperature right
For babies who are being bottle-fed, two things are involved. Either mom has kept some breast milk in the freezer that you can feed him with, or you have to prepare your baby’s formula.
Now, if the breast milk is frozen, you need to warm as no baby wants to be fed with cold breast milk. You can warm breast milk using a stove or a faucet running with hot water. For the baby’s formula, you need to get the right temperature of the water before mixing the formula.
Either for breast milk or formula, ensure the water isn’t too hot, so it’s the same temperature as when it’s coming from Mama’s breast.
Maintain skin to skin contact
Babies are used to having skin to skin contact with their mothers. Before you bottle-feed, take off your shirt and maintain skin to skin contact with the baby. Holding your baby skin to skin while feeding helps to release the bonding hormone oxytocin in both you and the baby.
Also, skin to skin contact with the baby helps stabilize the baby’s heart rate and regulate his temperature.
Study your baby’s cue before you feed. Babies always give signs to show they need to be fed, and if not fed quickly, they end up crying. Noting your baby’s cue to be fed and feeding them just before they cry will help them relax.
Look at baby
Intense eye contact with your baby helps distract the baby from actually sensing you aren’t his mom. While feeding your baby, try to maintain eye contact, talk to your baby, and, if possible, sing him a song. This creates a special kind of bonding and makes the baby feel comfortable. With this, when next you try bottle feeding him, he won’t hesitate.
Find the right position
Bottle-feeding may seem Foreign to your baby and might take a while for him to get used to, so don’t rush him. Finding the right position for your baby can be so tiring, but you just have to since he is being bottle-fed. Unlike the breast, milk or formula flows faster from the bottle, so you might need to put your baby in the right position to avoid choking and too much intake of air.
Wait for the latch
Since your baby just started bottle feeding, you might want to be careful to ensure the bottle nipple is well placed in your baby’s mouth to avoid milk or formula spilling out. Get your baby a bottle with a nipple that fits his mouth and make sure the bottle nipple is not placed under his tongue before you start feeding.
While being breastfed, babies are used to being switched from one breast to the other by mom. Try switching baby from one arm to the other, especially after burping. This helps relieve pressure and makes you comfortable.
Sterilize the bottle before feeding
Babies are prone to germs easily through bottle feeding, and these germs can multiply if mixed up with baby’s milk. Sterilize your baby’s bottle to get rid of germs before feeding.