Baby falls asleep while feeding should i change the teat flow

The ins and outs of bottle feeding

Bottle feeding has come a long way in a relatively short space of time. Before the Industrial Revolution if a baby wasn’t breastfeeding they would be offered milk by spoon or through a cow’s horn with a chamois to function as a teat! 

Fast forward 250 odd years and now we are spoilt for choice with bottles, teats, formula and accessories. 

Sometimes the options can feel overwhelming. It can be hard to know when you should be feeding your baby, how often or how much milk. Luckily our Little Ones App takes the guesswork out by giving you a daily nap and feed schedule based on your little one’s age. 

In this article:

  • Bottle feeding vs Breastfeeding
  • Equipment
  • Introducing a bottle
  • How to bottle feed
  • Weaning from breast to bottle
  • What is pace feeding?
  • Tips and Tricks

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Bottle feeding vs Breastfeeding

How you choose to feed your baby is a personal decision, however we understand that the subject of feeding can be very emotive for many. 

The message that ‘breast is best’ can cause those who bottle feed to feel a range of emotions.  

However figures from UNICEF show that most babies will be bottle fed at some point. This can be for a variety of reasons.

  • Personal choice
  • Medical reasons - for Mum or baby
  • Lack of support
  • Wanting a partner or family to be involved in feeding
  • Returning to work or study

It is your choice to decide what is best for you and your baby. We support all parents and their choices, whether that is bottle, breast or combination feeding. 


When it comes to bottle feeding there are a few things you will definitely need...


Plastic or glass, shape and size are all up to you, your budget and personal preference. Many parents find they try several different types of bottles until they find the one that best suits their baby.

So you may want to buy just one or two bottles of a brand before you commit and buy more.


Often these come in varying flow rates, again there are lots of different types to choose from.

Usually newborn babies are recommended to start with a slow flow teat. For breastfed babies it can take some trial and error to work out which flow is best to find the one that most closely mimics breastfeeding. 

If you find your child is fussing on the bottle, taking much longer to finish a feed, falling asleep feeding or the teat is being sucked into the bottle then these would indicate they need to change teat size to allow a faster flow of milk. 

Bottle brush

One of the biggest issues with bottle feeding is babies getting stomach bugs from unclean or unsterilised equipment. A bottle brush helps you to get into those awkward spots to make sure everything is spick and span.

Sterilising equipment 

It is recommended to sterilise bottles and teats for at least the first 12 months to avoid infections. 

There are different ways to sterilise bottles and teats. These are: 

  • Cold water steriliser solution
  • Steam sterilising
  • Boiling
  • UV sterilising 

Make sure that bottles and teats are washed in warm soapy water then rinsed before sterilising them. 

There are many more accessories from bottle warmers, travel flasks, bottle making machines and much more but these are all up to you as a parent to decide what is necessary and what works best for you. 

Introducing a Bottle

If you are breastfeeding then it is recommended to wait 4-6 weeks before introducing a bottle to ensure that breastfeeding is well established. This can help to avoid nipple confusion or babies then rejecting the breast. 

Newborns have a strong suck reflex so if you would like to introduce a bottle try doing so in the first 12 weeks.  

If you’re using formula milk for a bottle feed, choose a consistent time each day so that your body gets used to not needing to produce milk for that feed. It should take your body about a week to adjust to this. 

If you’re using expressed breast milk then keep the time of the bottle feed the same time each day and after you have fed your baby then express breast milk for tomorrow’s bottle. 

If you are feeding on demand (feeding when your baby lets you know they are hungry rather than feeding to a schedule), try choosing a feed for the bottle which is a fairly consistent time every day. This may be the bedtime feed or a dream feed if you do one. 

How to Bottle Feed

It is recommended that you make up each feed one at a time as your baby needs them rather than making up feeds far in advance for your baby. This is because bacteria can multiply quickly and therefore it can increase the risk of your baby becoming unwell. 

If you are using formula then always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how to make up a feed. 

If you are using expressed breastmilk be sure to follow guidelines for thawing and storing breastmilk. Most babies will prefer the milk to be warmed to body temperature, this is 37C. You can do this by running it under a warm tap or sitting the bottle or bag in a bowl of warm water. 

Here's some more tips when bottle feeding your baby: 

  • Make sure you are sitting comfortably.
  • Hold your baby close.
  • Look at them and talk to them for day feeds, your voice gives them comfort.
  • Hold them semi-upright and ensure their head is supported.
  • Brush the teat against their lip or cheek. When they open their mouth wide, let them draw the teat in.
  • Allow plenty of time for a feed and go at the baby’s pace. 
  • Keep the teat horizontal, just slightly tipped. This will ensure your baby isn’t swallowing lots of air and will keep the milk flow consistent.
  • Offer frequent breaks to wind your baby.
  • Never leave your baby alone with a bottle as they may choke. 
  • Be guided by your baby. Offer feeds when they show hunger cues. Don’t worry if they don’t finish a feed. Just like us, sometimes they will be hungrier on some day than others. 
  • Throw away any unfinished milk and wash the bottle straight away.

Weaning from Breast to Bottle

If you decide to wean from breastfeeding to bottle feeding (whether you are offering expressed breast milk or formula) try first introducing a bottle at a feed you know your little one will be hungry and sleepy as they are more likely to accept the bottle. The bedtime feed is a perfect feed for this, or if you do a dream feed this is a good time too.  

Because breastfed babies have a stronger suck, try using a faster flow teat than is normally recommended for their age, or a variflow teat so they can regulate the milk flow themselves. If your baby is getting frustrated with the bottle it could be that the teat is flowing too slowly.

Try feeding the bottle in a different position than you'd normally breastfeed. A good alternative is putting a pillow on your knees and laying your baby on the pillow, facing you front-on, with their feet against your tummy. The difference in position means they're not associating the bottle feed with breastfeeding.

You may want to get someone else to do the feed, still using the above position.

Stay calm during your attempts. If you're getting frustrated and stressed your baby will pick up on this and may associate those feelings with the bottle.

For a younger baby offer the bottle with minimal distractions, in a dim room and consider using white noise.

For an older baby, distract them. Let them look at something interesting like a mobile or an older sibling while you offer the bottle. Sometimes they'll drink without realising it as they are busy looking at what is going on.

Keep trying. You may not be successful straight away but being calm and consistent in your approach is key. If your baby is getting upset, stop for that day and try again at the same time the next day.

Once your baby is taking the bottle it is really important you offer it at the same time every day. They may start to refuse it again if you stop for a few days.

What is pace feeding?

Pace feeding basically means that the baby sets the pace of feeding. So rather than popping the bottle into your little one's mouth and feeding them until they have finished the bottle, you'll follow your baby's cues that they are hungry or full.

This method of bottle feeding can help to prevent over feeding and colic-type symptoms. It can also make it easier for babies to transition from breast to bottle feeding, as pace feeding is similar to how a baby would feed from the breast.  

If you’re keen to try pace feeding here are some tips:

  • Hold your baby in a more upright position, close to you.
  • Keep the bottle horizontal, tipping it just enough to let the milk fill the teat.
  • If your baby is drinking too fast then tip the bottle down or remove it. This will slow the pace of the feed and allow your baby more time to register if they are full.
  • Don’t force your baby to finish a bottle if they show signs that they have had enough.
  • Try switching sides half way through after winding your baby. This improves your baby's development of hand-eye coordination.

Tips and tricks

  1. 1. Remain calm when introducing a bottle to your baby. This is a new skill for you both to learn, it will take time to   get the hang of it. You will get there. 
  2. 2. Buy the essentials to start with. You can always buy more if you need it. Once you’ve got to grips with bottle feeding you’ll work out what else you need.  
  3. 3. Go at your baby’s pace. They won’t finish every bottle and that’s ok. Some bottles will be like a three-course meal and others will be like a small snack. 
  4. 4. Enjoy this time together, however you choose to feed your baby. It is a special bonding opportunity for you both. 
  5. 5. If you want to take the guesswork out of when to feed your baby have a look at our Little Ones App



Selecting the correct teat size

Knowing when to move to the next teat level is an important – and sometimes confusing – part of a comfortable and happy feeding experience for you and your baby.
While most bottles offer various teat levels that are tied to an age range (for example, 3 months+), every infant has their own feeding style, which is not necessarily a reflection of their age or size.

How Will I Know When to Switch?

There is no “right” time to change your baby’s teat level. Some babies are content using Level 1 throughout their feeding days, while more aggressive eaters may advance sooner than expected. Your baby will offer signs if the flow is not fast enough and it’s time to move up a level. Typical signs include baby:

  • Taking longer to finish eating
  • Becoming fussy or irritated while eating
  • Falling asleep during feeding

With newborns, especially premature babies, the teat flow rate can actually be faster than your infant can tolerate. If your baby is exhibiting any of these signs while eating, you may want to try a slower flow (lower level) teat:

  • Gulping
  • Hard swallowing
  • Coughing
  • Choking
  • Milk dripping from the mouth
  • Refusing the bottle

To address all feeding stages and styles, Dr. Brown’s offers a series of bottle teats with increasing flow rates and you can always check with your Healthcare Professional as to the most appropriate level to use for your baby.

Preemie Teat, 0 months+

  • Designed for premature babies and babies who have a slower feeding preference
  • Slow flow is great for breastfed babies when switching between bottle and breast; mimics the slower flow of breastfeeding

Level 1 Teat, 0 months+

  • A Level 1 or newborn teat generally comes on every bottle and is a great starting point for many babies.
  • Ideal choice for your infant if she is feeding well and shows no signs of feeding challenges.

Level 2 Teat, 3 months+

  • As a baby’s feeding develops and they are taking a longer time feeding from a Level 1 teat, many parents choose to move up to a Level 2 teat.
  • Consider Level 2 if your baby is accepting early solid foods, or if their Healthcare Professional has recommended thickening their milk.

Level 3 Teat, 6 months+

  • As a baby’s feeding develops and they are taking a longer time feeding from a Level 2 teat, many parents choose to move up to a Level 3 teat.
  • Consider Level 3 if your baby is sitting up, if they are eating solid foods, or if their Healthcare Professional has recommended thickening their milk.

Level 4 Teat, 9 months+

  • As a baby’s feeding develops and they are taking a longer time feeding from a Level 3 teat, many parents choose to move up to a Level 4 teat.
  • Appropriate if your child has shown consistent feeding with no difficulties and is taking larger amounts at the breast and bottle.
  • Consider Level 4 for your baby if they are eating finger foods, drinking from a sippy cup, or if their Healthcare Professional has recommended thickening their milk.

Y-Cut Teat (9 months+)

Consider the Y-Cut nipple if your Healthcare Professional has recommended thickening your baby’s milk.

Newborn pacifier - baby pacifiers

All new parents ask themselves this question: Is a pacifier bad? Neighbor and doctor, mom and favorite blogger - everyone has their own opinion on how to properly use a pacifier. Can a baby sleep with a pacifier? Does a pacifier damage your teeth? It's time to cut off the speculation and answer these and other truly important questions.

You know better than anyone what is right for your baby, but you can't know everything. On this page you will find information that will help you make an informed decision about whether or not to use a pacifier.

Why do you need a dummy?

Let's start with the main thing: what is a pacifier for? A regular pacifier is a silicone nipple that is given to babies to suckle. It consists of an elastic tip, a protective disc (muff) and a ring. The protective disc and ring are needed so that the child does not suffocate or swallow the pacifier.

Why do many babies start on a pacifier and not on the breast? The need for a pacifier is due to the fact that every child is born with the instinct to suck. This instinct usually appears when the baby is bored, tired or needs to be reassured, and has nothing to do with his need for food. Some babies like to suck on their thumbs or toes, others like pacifiers. nine0006

How does the pacifier affect the baby?

The pacifier is very good for soothing and relaxing the baby. Here are some reasons why you should give your baby a pacifier:

  • Helps baby sleep.
  • Calms the baby when he is frightened.
  • Sucking on a pacifier promotes good digestion

As you can see, all these reasons have one thing in common: the pacifier helps the baby to stay calm and satisfies his innate need to suckle. nine0005

Baby's pacifier: the pros and cons

Whether you give your baby a pacifier or he sucks on one of his fingers, let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of using a pacifier.

Soother benefits0003

1. Satisfies the sucking reflex

The main advantage of the pacifier is that it satisfies the baby's need to suck. During feeding, the breast or bottle does a great job of this task, and the pacifier will help to calm the baby between feeding sessions. However, remember that a pacifier should not be used to replace or delay feeding.

2. Helps the child to calm down without assistance

Another benefit of using a pacifier is that it helps your baby calm down without help when he is crying or upset.

3. Soothes baby during painful procedures

If your baby needs a vaccination or blood draw, a pacifier is a great way to relieve pain and calm him down in the doctor's office.

4. Helps the baby to sleep

Parents often ask the question: “Can a child fall asleep with a pacifier?” You can safely give your baby a pacifier by rocking it before bed or immediately after feeding; most babies are soothed by a pacifier. Enjoy closeness with your baby while the pacifier works wonders. nine0003

5. You are in control

You decide when to give your baby a pacifier. Unlike the situation where he sucks his thumb. At any time, you can limit the use of the pacifier or take it away. In addition, it will be easier to wean the baby from the habit of sucking when the time comes.

Cons of using a pacifier

As you know, nothing is perfect in the world. Using a pacifier also has its downsides. You can decide not give your baby a pacifier, and here's why:

1. "Nipple confusion"

The phenomenon of "nipple confusion" is a concern for many mothers, but there is no conclusive scientific evidence to support its existence. Nevertheless, we advise you to wait until the baby begins to take the breast well, and only after that offer him a pacifier. This usually happens in the third or fourth week of a baby's life.

2. The pacifier keeps dropping

The baby usually drops the pacifier easily or spits it out on the floor. The pacifier should then be washed thoroughly before being given to him again. If you choose to use a pacifier, make sure you have everything you need to handle it when you're on the road.

3. Limited stock

What happens when a baby gets used to his pacifier and then loses it? He gets upset. If you decide to use a pacifier to satisfy your baby's sucking reflex, make sure you have a spare in case the pacifier gets lost. nine0006

4. Dental problems

Perhaps one of the main reasons new mothers hesitate to give their baby a pacifier is how the pacifier affects his teeth. Incorrect or prolonged use of a pacifier can indeed cause problems with teeth 1 , including deformity of the dentition. Try to choose a pacifier that promotes healthy oral development, such as Philips Avent orthodontic pacifiers. nine0003

Use a pacifier... don't use a pacifier...

So, is a pacifier harmful? Many parents are happy to use a pacifier, because it provides the baby with many undeniable advantages. If you decide this option is right for you, all you have to do is learn when and how to properly pacify your baby.

And if he uses it, you must be sure that it is correct empty. Consider all the options available and remember that the result of your choice should be the healthy and proper development of the baby.


How to apply a child when breastfeeding

The necessary position

First of all, you need to correctly position the baby at the chest. Take him in your arms so that he is turned to his mother with his whole body, the child's face should be close to the chest, his mouth is wide open. In case of an incorrect position, the baby's body is deviated from the mother's, the chin does not touch the chest, the lips are extended forward. This is an important point, because if the baby starts sucking the breast incorrectly, he will not receive enough milk, the baby will begin to throw and grab the breast again, and sometimes even refuse it. nine0003

Correct grip

Now you need to correctly insert the breast into the baby's mouth. In general, every healthy newborn has reflexes that help him eat. But the baby does not have a reflex that would help him keep his mother's breast in his mouth, and the baby cannot properly grasp the nipple himself. Therefore, the child needs help - put the breast into the crumbs' mouth so that it captures not only the nipple, but also the areola. If the baby grabs only the nipple, then the pressure on the ducts of the mammary gland will be weak and the milk will flow poorly from the breast. In addition, if a child suckles only the nipple, his skin is often damaged and cracks appear on the nipple. Sometimes, in order to give a breast to a child, a mother pinches the nipple and areola with her fingers and tries to push them into the baby's mouth. You don’t need to do this, it’s much easier to just touch the nipple to the baby’s lips (stimulate the capture reflex), wait until the baby opens her mouth wide, and quickly give him the breast. nine0003

simple poses

Immediately after delivery, especially if there was a caesarean section or episiotomy (or just want to lie down), you can feed the baby lying on its side . You lie in bed, put the baby next to you, bend your lower arm at the elbow, and support the back of the child with your upper palm. The baby should lie on the bed parallel to your body, his mouth should be at the same level and very close to your nipple.

The second easiest position for feeding - sitting position . To do this, take the baby in your arms, bend your arm at the elbow from the side of the breast with which you will feed the baby. At the same time, the baby's head lies on a bent arm. To make it more convenient for you, put a pillow under your elbow (regular or special for feeding), you can also put something under your legs.

For variety

We have mastered simple poses - now you can try to feed the baby from other positions, for example, in position "jack" : mother and baby lie on their sides parallel to each other, but now their legs and head look in different directions. There is also such a pose - "chest on top" : the baby lies on its side, and the mother, as it were, hangs over him. In this position, it is easier for milk to go down the ducts, and it is easier for the child to get it. To make everyone comfortable, the baby should be put on some kind of elevation (for example, on a pillow).

Prevention of lactostasis

Laxtostasis, or stagnation of milk, is a very unpleasant thing. It occurs when any lobule of the mammary gland is not emptied of milk to the end. To prevent it or if it has already occurred, you need to feed the baby from under hands (from under the arm). In general, if you feed in this position at least once a day, then the lower and lateral lobes of the breast (the most frequent places of lactostasis) will be better emptied.

In this position, you put the baby on the pillow, the baby's head is located at your chest, and the body and legs are behind you (facing towards your armpit). Here's the important thing: the baby's mouth should be at the level of the nipple, then your back will not get tired during feeding.

Child likes

If your milk flows out too quickly and the baby does not have time to swallow it, then you can feed the baby in position "baby on top" . You lie on your back (with your head on the pillow), and the baby is applied from above. Grown up children still love this pose because it is more convenient for them to observe the world around them “from above”.

The second favorite position of older children is that the baby sits or stands while feeding . Children like that they can eat and look at their mother, and at any time they can kiss the breast on their own. nine0003

So learn how to properly breastfeed your baby, master different positions, and then you can feed for a long time and with pleasure!

When the baby suckles the breast incorrectly, the skin in some areas of the nipple is constantly irritated and rubbed, cracks appear.

Learn more