If only babies came with an instruction manual!
- Early hunger signs: Smacking or licking lips, opening and closing mouth, and sucking on lips, tongue, hands, fingers, toes, toys, or clothing are signs that you should feed your baby soon.
- Active hunger signs: Rooting around on the chest of whoever is carrying him, trying to position for nursing, either by lying back or pulling on your clothes, or fussing are signs that you should feed your baby now.
- Late hunger signs: Moving head frantically from side to side, and/or crying means your baby is very hungry. You may need to soothe him or her before feeding.
2. Hold your baby upright to feed him. You should not feed your baby a bottle while they are lying down as it can increase the risk of an ear infection. It is also important to alternate the side that you hold your baby on when feeding him or her a bottle.
3. Unless you have well water (but not always with well water), it is likely unnecessary to continue sterilizing your bottles, rings and nipples. Before using any of your feeding supplies, it should be sterilized by immersing in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. After that, hot, soapy water is sufficient.
4. Always hold your baby while you feed him. It's also a good idea to alternate sides that you hold him on to promote balanced eye and motor coordination.
5. So-called "nursing pillows" are useful for all types of feeding, especially after a cesarean section!
We recommend The Baby Buddy Nursing Pillow made right here in Calgary, Alberta!
6. If you are introducing a bottle for the first time, the bottle may not be a big hit. Don't force it but keep trying each day. Our number one most effective tip for transitioning your breastfed baby onto a bottle is to have some one else (dad, grandma, a friend) give your baby the first few bottles.
For more support, we recommend you join the Bottle Feeding Calgary Facebook Group. There you'll find a growing group of parents offering peer to peer support as well as support from birth and postpartum professionals.