Feeding time is a natural bonding time. Your baby is snuggled close, feeling the warmth of your body, hearing the sound of your voice, and taking in your familiar scent. Here are some tips to make the most of these bonding moments:
Try to feed in a calm, quiet environment with few distractions. Turn off the TV and your cell phone. Focus on your baby and let your baby focus on you.
Maintain eye contact. Watch as your little one studies your face and takes in your expressions. Not only does this deepen your attachment, it sets an early foundation for important social skills.
Breastfeeding automatically lends itself to cozy feeding positions, and you can take a cue from some of these positions while bottle feeding your baby. You can go with the basic cradle hold—hold your baby in your arm so that her neck rests in the crook of your elbow, her back lies along your forearm, and her buttocks sits in your hand. Or walk around while feeding your baby.
If you’re using a bottle
, it’s best to hold your baby semi-upright while being fed. Feeding a baby lying flat on her back can increase the risk of choking; it can also cause formula to flow into the middle ear, where it can lead to an infection. You may want to explore an angled bottle specifically designed to support semi-upright feeding positions.
Whatever you do, be sure to relax, slow down, and savor each one of these beautiful moments with your little one.