Author Naomi Davis
Formula/Bottle Feeding and Attachment Parenting – do they mix ?
They can !
Breastfeeding is normal and natural, but for some mums and for many varied reasons it does not always happen. Whether you are feeding your baby EBM (expressed breast milk ) or Formula Feeding (FF), it is certainly possible to emulate that close breastfeeding relationship that is at the heart of the attachment parenting theory.
How ? Look at breastfeeding and how it works for the mother and child, take cues from what nature shows us. The term ‘bottle nursing’ reflects that you are doing more than merely providing food.
Hold your baby close and snuggle them to your chest where they can see your face as they feed.
Let your baby feed on demand as you would with breastfeeding. It’s a juggle to have freshly made formula available with a moments notice but with practice and learning to read your babies hunger signs you can be prepared. Crying is often the last sign a baby needs a feed.
Gentle supply of milk – By allowing your baby to draw the teat into their mouth, they control when the feed starts, touch the babies lips with the teat and let them open their mouth to accept the bottle at their pace. Let the formula flow slowly… breast feeding is work for a baby, they stop and pause, look about, smile at mum – give your baby the opportunity to do the same.
Cluster feed if that’s what your baby wants/needs. Formula can be used for up to an hour after making up/warming. You can have several smaller bottles available if this becomes a regular pattern to save on time.
Allow baby to end the feed when they want, if they fall asleep, they have had enough, they don’t need to finish a bottle, in fact if you have a few ml/ozs left over it a great way to end as you know they have had their fill.
Consider having just mum give your baby her feeds especially in the early weeks. This of course mimics the breastfeeding relationship.
When the time comes, wean from the bottle as you would the breast, gently; at a pace that suits both baby and mum. This bit of plastic and rubber is much more than a drinking vessel for your baby.
Consider how you can make things easier for yourself especially at stressful times ; pre-made formula , Sterilised bottles, roping in relatives to help with other tasks while you feed your baby
And above all take care of yourself as much as you take care of your baby!