Feeding baby bottle while lying down

Risks of Bottle Feeding in Bed – Cleveland Clinic

When you’re an exhausted parent with a demanding little one at home, anything that saves time or offers you a few extra minutes of super dreamy sleep probably seems like an idea worth trying.

That explains the temptation to leave a bottle of formula or breast milk in your child’s crib. If they wake up hungry, they can just feed themselves. Self-service, right?

Well, you might want to rethink that plan.

A baby’s access to a bottle in bed creates a laundry list of potential problems — and we’re not talking about cleaning spills on bedding or PJs. There are health concerns to consider, as pediatrician Heidi Szugye, DO, IBCLC explains.

5 reasons not to give an infant a bottle in bed

So, how much harm can a bottle of formula or milk really do to your child if they grab it for a late-night feeding? Far more than you’d think, says Dr. Szugye.

Let’s look at five reasons why bottles don’t belong in your baby’s bed.

1. Choking hazard

Small airways in young children make them prone to choking or gagging while drinking — especially if the fluid flows out faster than they can swallow.

If you’re holding your baby and feeding them, you can prop them up and take corrective action to help clear their airway if they start choking or coughing, notes Dr. Szugye. (A few gentle pats on the back usually help.)

But if your baby is alone and lying on their back in bed, they may be unable to adjust on their own. That may lead to them breathing in the fluid and choking.

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This is also the reason why you shouldn’t leave an infant alone with a propped-up bottle.

On a side note, adding rice cereal to a bottle makes the fluid thicker and increases the risk of choking. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using rice cereal in a bottle as a sleep aid.

2. Tooth decay

If your infant dozes off in their crib while sucking on a bottle, odds are that they nod off with some formula or milk still in their mouth. Whatever they were drinking may pool around any just-emerged teeth.

That’s bad news for those little pearly whites: “There’s a higher risk for tooth decay if a baby falls asleep with formula, milk or some other drink containing sugar in their mouth,” says Dr. Szugye.

The reason? Sugary fluids that linger in the mouth break down into an acid that attacks tooth enamel, leading to deterioration. (Learn more about caring for your baby’s teeth.)

3. Ear infections

Babies who drink from a bottle in bed may also be more at risk of getting an ear infection. It’s a byproduct of our anatomy ­— specifically, the eustachian tube connecting your middle ear to the back of your throat.

If a baby drinks while lying flat on their back, the fluid may flow into their eustachian tubes and to their middle ear to cause an infection.

4. Future wheezing and asthma

Research shows a link between bottle feeding in bed and the development of wheezing and asthma in early childhood. (The study focused on children with a family history of asthma or allergies.)

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5. Feed-to-sleep association

Making a bottle part of your child’s in-bed sleep routine can strengthen their feed-to-sleep association. You’re basically turning a bottle into a comfort object that becomes required for ZZZs.

That dependency can make your baby’s eventual night weaning and sleep training more difficult. “It’s best to just not to start the habit of leaving a bottle in the crib,” advises Dr. Szugye.

Feeding and bedtime

So, what should you do to make sure your baby’s belly isn’t grumbling at bedtime? Dr. Szugye recommends feeding them about 15 minutes before they go to sleep as part of their bedtime routine.

“Keep them upright after they feed before putting them down on a flat surface to sleep,” says Dr. Szugye. “That’ll get you past the time when they might spit up and avoid exacerbating any reflux.”

And when it comes to providing them a grab-and-snack option for later, the recommendations are clear: “You never want to put a bottle in the baby’s bed with them,” stresses Dr. Szugye.

To hear more from Dr. Szugye on this topic, listen to the Health Essentials Podcast episode “Babies and Bedtime.” New episodes of the Health Essentials Podcast are available every Wednesday.

Elevated side lying bottle feeding — Feed Eat Speak

Infant feedingFeeding difficultiesBottle Feeding

Written By Stacey Zimmels

Elevated side lying is a bottle-feeding position that’s being used more and more for preterm babies and infants who have feeding difficulties. In this blog post I’ll tell you why I like it for all new born babies. I’ve put together a visual step by step guide for you, so go ahead and give it a try…

  • This position is a natural and physiologically normal feeding position just like how a baby feeds at the breast. It means the baby doesn’t have to do any work at all to support its body while it feeds which makes for an easier and more relaxed feed for both the baby and you.

  • Baby is positioned on a cushion which means that you don’t have to take the baby’s weight on your arms which is more comfortable especially as your baby grows.

  • You have a hand free if you need it to read to a toddler or have a drink while you’re feeding your baby.

  • If the flow of milk is too fast - which it often can be at the start while your baby is mastering their suck swallow and breathe co-ordination – this position allows the milk to safely dribble out of your babies mouth instead of coughing while feeding.

  • You are able to clearly see your baby’s face and watch for signs that she may need a pause or a break for winding.

  • This is a great position for babies who have reflux or who are prone to vomiting. If you place the baby on its left side to feed it increases the space from the bottom of its stomach to the oesophagus making it less likely for them to vomit or reflux.

This feeding position is more typically recommended for formula fed babies, versus the paced bottle feeding technique which tends to be recommended for breastfed babies who also take the bottle. However I would suggest that with the horizontal presentation of the teat and the pacing as per the paced bottle feeding technique that this feeding position can be used in both groups of infants.

It is also a feeding position that you can experiment with and trial if your breastfed baby is refusing to take a bottle.

Step by step guide to elevated side lying bottle feeding

Sit comfortably on the sofa and place your feet on a footstool. This plastic childrens' one from ikea does the trick. Your legs should be sloping from the knees to your hips

Place your baby on their side with their bottom against your tummy. Baby’s legs should be out in front of them. If you're right handed then baby on their left side and visa versa

Your baby will bring their hands together on their chest in a flexed position. Offer the bottle, wait for baby to open their mouth and place inside. Note how relaxed and content your baby looks

Chelsey and Jaxon's story

I had my baby boy Jaxson in April 2020 and he was born with a tongue tie which meant he wasn't able to latch comfortably when breast feeding. I could tell this was the issue from day one as his older brother was also born with one and we had the same feeding issue.

Due to the covid19 circumstances I wasn't able to get the tie cut with Jaxson as quickly as I did my 2 year old. So for 4 months I expressed every feed and bottle fed him. His tie was cut privately at 10 weeks old and I chose to continue to bottle feed.

Jaxson was a very windy baby and in the early days he really struggled to feed comfortably, he had lots of trapped wind which would not come up easily. He would cry in pain after most feeds which was very upsetting for both of us. I tried everything I could buy from the pharmacy as us mums do and also turned to social media where I found @feedeatspeak. I was scrolling though Stacey's feed and saw posts of the elevated side lying position. I immediately tried this with Jaxson who at the time was around 4 weeks old and he was a changed baby! He was able to bring up wind much easier and seemed so much more content. He actually started enjoying his feeds and upped the amount he was having quite soon after. I was one very happy Mama with a much happier baby!

So thanks to Stacey and her wonderful page, Jaxson now at 6 months old is still feeding is this position and he is one happy thriving baby!

I am so grateful for Stacey sharing this advice and information especially during lockdown as us new mums didn't really have anywhere to turn. So thank you so much for helping my baby!

I tell all my mummy friends about this feeding position and Stacey's page hoping to help their babies who struggle with bottle feeding. It really made a huge difference with Jaxson!

For more advice and support about all aspects of feeding your little ones check out my instagram page and online courses.

bottlebottle feedingfeedingbaby feedingsidelyingelevated side lying

Stacey Zimmels

How to properly bottle feed

Feeding your baby is not only an important process for healthy growth and development, but also a way to establish close emotional contact with the baby and build trusting and loving relationships. The transition from breastfeeding to bottle feeding should be carried out after the mother and the child are fully prepared for this. We are talking about both the moral aspect, and about choosing the right bottle and getting adults the necessary skills so that eating brings only positive emotions and benefits to the baby. In this article, we will talk more about how to properly bottle feed your baby and where to start. nine0003

How to prepare your baby for bottle feeding

If this method of feeding is a completely new experience for the baby, or if parents decide to bottle feed their baby from a very young age, slow flow nipples should be preferred. So you protect the child from the possibility of choking while eating. Over time, you can gradually switch to bottles with nipples, which would provide faster and more intense feeding.

Feeding bottle selection and daily care

All baby accessories should be kept clean and sterilized regularly and thoroughly.

There are several ways to sterilize dishes:

  • select the appropriate mode when using the dishwasher;
  • or place the bottle and teat in a vessel of boiling water for 5 minutes.

Before using this method of cleaning the bottle, make sure that the material it is made of can be exposed to high temperatures. Since some types of plastic contain various chemicals in their composition, after sterilization they can become dangerous for their little user. For this reason, experts recommend choosing glass bottles. nine0003

The need for thorough cleansing of everything that the baby will touch is caused by the fact that in the first months of life, the child's immune system is just beginning to strengthen. Before sterilizing the teat, it can be cleaned with dishwashing detergent. There are special products for washing children's dishes, without a strong odor and with a safe composition.

How to bottle feed your baby

Before starting a meal, mom or dad should wash their hands well with soap and warm running water. Particular attention should be paid to the area between the fingers and under the nails. The hand washing process should take at least 20 seconds. And after carrying out this hygienic procedure, hands should be wiped dry with a paper towel or clean towel. nine0003

The next step is to prepare for the meal. If you plan to fill the bottle with formula, then dilute it with water in accordance with the instructions in the instructions. Improper proportions can lead to dehydration or bloating. It should also be remembered that for the preparation of the mixture you need to use only clean drinking water.

Breast milk is the most beneficial for a newborn. Despite this, pediatricians advise breastfeeding babies for as long as possible. Even if the mother is ready to give up breastfeeding, milk can be expressed into a bottle and gradually accustom the baby to the nipple. If, for one reason or another, the mother does not have the opportunity to feed herself, then the only alternative is feeding with a special mixture. nine0003

In the first six months after birth, cow's or goat's milk or its substitute in the form of soy milk should not be included in the baby's diet. Valid options for supporting healthy development of a newborn are breast milk or formula milk only.

What temperature should the bottle filler be? Under no circumstances should the bottle be heated on the stove or in the microwave. If the temperature of the bottle and its filling exceed 37°C, the baby may be burned. It is recommended to use special bottle warmers. If this is not possible, then use the following method:

  • put a saucepan on the stove with a little water;
  • bring the water to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat;
  • place a bottle of milk in a vessel and heat it up to 37◦С;
  • check the temperature with a pre-cleaned thermometer or a special device for measuring the temperature of foodstuffs.

You can also check the temperature of the ready-to-use bottle as follows:

  • turn the bottle over;
  • drip several times into your wrist area.

In this way, you can check not only the temperature of the milk or formula, but also how well the liquid flows out of the bottle. If you have to shake or squeeze the bottle hard to drip, the nipple is blocked and needs to be cleaned out. If, on the contrary, the filler pours out when the bottle is turned over, this means that the nipple is damaged and another nipple should be used to feed the baby, having previously sterilized it. nine0003

How to bottle feed your baby lying down

There are several techniques for feeding your baby. However, it is the feeding of the child lying down from the bottle that young parents consider the most comfortable. It is worth noting that eating in this position will only be safe when the baby's head is slightly raised. Otherwise, the child may simply choke. In the prone position, the child should be placed on his arm bent at the elbow. After feeding, you should place the baby in an upright position, taking him in your arms and putting his stomach to your chest. nine0003

Make sure that the feeding bottle is closed correctly: the ring at the connection of the nipple to the bottle must not be too tight. Air must enter the bottle, otherwise a vacuum will be created there, which, in turn, will complicate the consumption of food for the child.

How to bottle feed without spitting up

Since the newborn is not able to fully control the process of feeding, along with milk, he can also take in air. This may be the reason that at one meal the child could not master the planned portion. In view of this, it is recommended to take small breaks during feeding. nine0003

As soon as you notice that the baby has stopped sucking on the pacifier, is tired or thoughtful, pick him up and press his face to you, holding his head and back. To help burp excess air, you can make a light massage between the shoulder blades, pat on the back or pope.

The air will quickly rise up and the baby will burp it without any extra effort. However, you should be prepared for the fact that, along with the air, part of the consumed mixture or milk may also return. Therefore, before taking the baby in your arms, cover yourself with a diaper, because it will be easier to wash it than clothes. nine0003

Never leave your baby alone with the bottle or let him fall asleep while using it. After eating, mom or dad must help their child burp. This will help to avoid colic, bloating and other manifestations of stomach discomfort.

Where to buy baby accessories

It's safe to say that I Love Mommy online store is one of the best places to buy baby food. Our catalogs feature products from world-famous brands, the quality of which you will not have to doubt for a minute. Bottles, baby dishes, pacifiers, baby bibs - all this and much more you can buy for your son or daughter from us at affordable prices in just a few minutes. nine0003

How to bottle feed your baby? Articles of the company "TOO "TD "Gradum""

in line with the spine
Make eye contact with the baby and hug him
Hold the bottle firmly in a horizontal position so that the milk does not flow too much during feeding. When he opens his mouth wide with his tongue pressed against his lower palate, help him to properly latch on to the nipple.0095 When the baby begins to feed, gradually tilt the bottle so that there is always milk in the nipple and not air. During feeding, bubbles will appear in the bottle. The baby may make several quick sucking movements and then rest. Such breaks give him the opportunity to understand whether he is full or not.
If there are no bubbles or the nipple is crumpled, move the bottle gently around the baby's mouth to get air back into the nipple. If the baby won't let go of the bottle, gently insert your clean finger between the baby's gums and pull the nipple out. nine0095 Watch the position of the child. If he tries to suck with his head turned to his side or thrown back, he will have difficulty swallowing milk. In this case, gently help the child into a more comfortable position.
At the end of a feed, or if the baby seems full 10 minutes after the start of a feed, he should burp for air. Place the child on your knee with his back to you, with one hand supporting him by the chin, or put the baby on your shoulder. Then gently stroke his back and talk to him to relax. The baby may spit up some milk, so put a tissue or towel on your knees or shoulder. nine0095 If after feeding the baby constantly spits up a lot of milk, tell the doctor about it.
Never feed your baby while lying down or leave him alone with a bottle in his mouth as he may choke. Feeding a baby in a horizontal position can also lead to an ear infection, since this position can allow milk to enter the middle ear.
Make sure that the baby does not fall asleep with a bottle in his mouth, as this can provoke dental caries.

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