Bottle feeding baby can very often interfere with breastfeeding and it is, therefore, sometimes preferred to use an alternative feeding method like infant cup feeding or finger feeding.
Reasons why mom might want use baby cup feeding
- Mom has cracked nipples and needs some time for them to heal.
- Mom is at work and still wants to breastfeed during the times she is at home
- Baby is premature and unable to breastfeed yet. It has been found to require less energy from the infant.
- To reduce the occurrence of
- To encourage baby to use his mouth and lips more for proper development.
- Problems bottle feeding ~ baby refusing bottle
- Alternative to special breastfeeding bottles or bottles that mimic breastfeeding
How to cup feed baby
- Swaddle baby so that he can’t move his arms, preventing him from knocking the feeding cup out of your hands.
- Use a flexible little bowl or shot glass as a feeding cup
- Fill the baby feeding cup with about 1oz of pumped breast milk
- Position baby upright so that he doesn’t choke. This is very important as baby may breathe in the milk causing it to go into his lungs.
- Put the rim of the feeding cup on baby’s lower lip…tilting it just enough for some of the milk to touch his lip. Usually baby will move his tongue down himself, to explore the cup.
- Allow baby to lap the milk up himself, do not pour the milk into baby’s mouth.
- 30 minutes of cup feeding is usually sufficient especially in premature babies who may become tired quickly.
Tips for cup feeding a baby
- Baby cup feeding should be done during times when baby is alert.
- You might need to burp baby a bit more often than usual with cup feeding.
- Keep a burping cloth nearby to catch any spills or dribbles.
- Keep the cup on baby’s lips until he shows signs of being finished like moving his head away.
NB – Don’t cup feed baby if you are able to breastfeed, especially not in the first few weeks while your milk supply is being built up.
Cup feeding baby is a great alternative to bottle feeding. Other methods that can also be used include:
- Feeding with a dropper or spoon
- Read more here on changing from breastfeeding to bottle feeding
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