Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Bonding with your Bottle-fed Baby
Most research on infant feeding discusses the mother/baby relationship, but dads can play an important role too. One of the positive aspects of bottle-feeding, either with expressed breast milk or formula, is that both moms and dads can be involved in feeding their baby.
Experts recommend a number of ways for new parents to bond with their baby during feeding time. For example, babies should be cuddled while being fed. Give them a little wiggle room, but not too much. Babies need to be held firmly enough that they don't feel like they're falling. Likewise, hold a baby so that he or she can look into your face while eating.
Research has shown that if babies don't get their emotional needs met by being held and talked to during feeding, they are more likely to eat too much or too little. Never prop a bottle during feeding, as propping does not satisfy the baby's emotional needs and can lead to earache, choking, and tooth decay. But feeding time is not just about meeting the baby's nutritional and emotional needs. Some experts suggest that the health of the parent/child relationship is determined to a large extent by what happens at feeding time.