Positioning can have a big impact on our baby’s feeding skills. Here are a few things to consider when determining how to feed your baby. Keep reading to learn some ideal bottle-feeding positions.
- Semi-reclined position: This is the traditional bottle-feeding position. Your baby’s head and neck should be well-supported and slightly higher than their tummy. This position is great for developing a baby-parent bond as you can cuddle your baby close and establish great eye contact while feeding. Feeding is a social experience, even for our babies!
- Upright position: In this position, the caregiver holds the baby’s head/neck in a supported position while keeping them nearly in a full, upright seated position. This can be helpful for babies with reflux.
- Side-lying position: In this position, you hold the baby on their side, with the side of their head parallel to the floor. This is a great position for babies under 2 months of age that are breastfed or seem to need a slightly slower flow of milk from the bottle. After about 2 months of age, babies begin to develop stronger head/neck control and may feel uncomfortable in this position. At this time, it may be useful to transition into a semi-reclined or upright position.
It is important to never feed your baby in a full reclined/laying down position and never bottle prop (propping the bottle up with a blanket, pillow, toy, or another method to allow your baby to feed hands-free), as this can be very dangerous for your baby. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s bottle-feeding skills, please discuss them with your pediatrician. Also, if you would like to consult an expert in different topics about child development and health, schedule a coaching session here!
What do you think about these bottle-feeding positions? Leave a comment below!
Kristen is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Certified Lactation Counselor with years of experience specializing in breastfeeding, bottle feeding, transitioning to solids, and picky eating. She supports families with issues ranging from common feeding problems to complex medical feeding concerns.