Considerations for Bottle Feeding

The following strategies may assist when first introducing the infant to bottle feeding:

  • optimize the infant’s feeding position, e.g. elevated, side-lying, or other supported position
  • offer droplets of milk (from a 1 mL syringe 0.1 mL at a time) onto a pacifier, finger, or lip
  • offer a slow flowing nipple and provide external pacing by allowing the infant to suck three to four times on a milk-filled bottle and breaking the latch or tilting the bottle to remove milk. Allow the child to breathe, reorganize and cue for readiness (Pados, Park, & Dodrill, 2018)
  • trial a slower flowing bottle if the need for external pacing persists throughout the feed
  • if an infant shows signs of difficulty maintaining breathing while feeding, trial the elevated side-lying position and consider safety of swallow
  • do not jiggle or turn the nipple to stimulate nutritive sucking or oral responses