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Being a new parent is an exciting time, but it can also be challenging. As a new parent, there are many things to learn, including how to give your child formula. Fortunately, Oli6 has got you covered with a treasure trove of information on bottle feeding and formula feeding. Read the information below to prepare yourself for your child’s first formula feed.

How Do I Get My Toddler to Bottle Feed?

Before you can start bottle feeding your child, it is important to introduce your child to the baby bottle first. Depending on the age of your child, you may want to start with a slow-flow nipple; this ensures the child does not get too much milk at once. However, if your child has already started on solid foods, using a normal nipple is no problem.

Most parents have no problem introducing their child to the bottle for formula feeding. However, there are some useful tricks for children who do not take to bottle feeding immediately.

Use Something Comparable to a Pacifier

For children who have problems bottle feeding, there is such a thing as a nipple that resembles a pacifier. If your baby is not fond of the bottle during formula feeding, then this may be the perfect thing to help them get familiar with their new bottle.

Let Him Play with It

Parents often get frustrated when their child does not take to the bottle during formula feeding, but in some cases, all that is required is a little more time. Some children will show their interest by chewing on the nipple, simply to familiarise themselves with it. So, if your child seems to be playing with the nipple, there is no reason to stop it.

Try Another Temperature

Some children like a different temperature during formula feeding, so it could be an idea to make the formula a little warmer or colder. Of course, when you make the formula a little warmer, please make sure the formula will not burn the baby’s mouth.

Offer the Bottle More Than Once

Many parents feel like giving up after the first attempt. However, as mentioned before, sometimes all it takes is a little more time for the baby to get familiar with the bottle. Therefore, be sure to give the bottle several times a day. You could also try it for a night-time feeding, and see if your baby takes to it.

How Should I Hold My Child While Bottle Feeding?

There are several positions that are considered ideal for bottle feeding, which means there are several methods you could try. Here are some of the best methods for bottle feeding.

The Cradling Position

A cradling position is most common for children who are getting a bottle. Put the baby’s head in the crook of your arm and place your other arm around the baby. Make sure the baby is in a semi-upright position before giving the bottle, since you should never give a bottle while the baby is lying down!

The Sitting Position

A sitting position is usually recommended for children with problems such as acid reflux and digestive distress. For the sitting position, put your child into your lap and let him maintain an upright position. You can place your child’s head on your chest or in the crook of your arm.

The Lap Position

To feed your child in the lap position, sit comfortably or lie down comfortably with your legs propped up. Put your child on top of your lap, and let his head rest on your knees. His knees should be on your stomach.

Even though this position is a little more uncommon than the sitting and cradling position, it is still a good feeding position, since you and the baby can maintain eye contact.

The Feeding Cushion

The last option for parents is the feeding cushion, which keeps the baby’s head elevated. It is an alternative for mums who need a break from the feedings, since it is common for their arms to become tired.

How Often Should You Bottle Feed Your Toddler?

Feeding times can vary considerably, since they are subject to the age of the child and how hungry the child gets. For newborns, feeding should take place at least every two to three hours; this is usually a bottle feed equalling to 1.5-3 ounces.

As the child gets older, the amount of formula needed increases. However, the time between feeds decreases. So, even though a child will need 4-5 ounces as he reaches 2 months, parents only feed their baby every 3-4 hours.

Still, the amounts mentioned above are just general guidelines. As mentioned before, there are circumstances that require different amounts; for example, a child who suffers from a specific medical condition. To ensure you are giving the right amount of formula, always follow the recommendations of your local health professional.

How Often Should You Burp While Feeding?

Children may need to burp more during a formula feeding; this is something parents must consider if they decide to formula feed their child. Frequent burping is also recommended for children who suffer from conditions such as reflux or digestive distress.

Parents can usually tell if their baby needs to be burped, since the child will give them some non-verbal cues. For example, the child may start to feel restless during a feeding. In some instances, the child may start to cry too.

Please note that the need for frequent burping usually subsides when the child reaches the age of four months; this because the sucking reflex of the child becomes more efficient with age. However, there are some children that still require frequent burping after four months. These are usually children who are prone to digestive distress.

Do you have any questions about formula feeding with Oli6 formula including how to switch formula? Head over to our “resources for parents” pages, or contact Oli6 with your question. Parents can always contact the Oli6 team via telephone, but also through the online contact form.