The best way your child can drink their mother’s milk is from the breast but on certain occasions, such as when returning to work, we cannot be by their side. The methods of feeding and supplementing allow us to keep giving them the best.
When we think of ways of nourishing our baby with extracted breast milk or formula, the first thing we think of is a bottle.
In reality, the bottle is the method that is NOT recommended by OMS or UNICEF, due to the bacterial contamination risks. We should all know that there are so many methods of supplementation and based on the circumstances you can use on or the other or a combination of a few!
Here we present them all, based on the baby’s age your needs, choose which is best for you:
The baby must be sitting or be held in a vertical position. Carefully introduce your pinky finger into the baby’s mouth (having washed your hands beforehand and if necessary cut the fingernail to avoid hurting the baby). With the palm of the hand facing up, stimulate the palate with the ball of the finger producing the baby’s suction. Where the lips come together, the syringe is placed and is administered. The baby’s suction keeps the rhythm of the feeding, when the baby is suckling the syringe is pressed and the milk is given. When the baby stops, the adult stops administering the milk until the baby begins suckling again.
This method is ideal for exact feedings, for small babies or for administering colostrum during the first days of life. It is also useful for babies that are having difficulty suckling or that are rejecting the breast since when suckling the finger, they must have their tongue in a position similar to the held while breastfeeding.
*The easiest way to learn this technique is to see how others do it. Don’t hesitate to check Youtube and search keywords such as “finger feeding” or “syringe finger”. Surely you will find various interesting videos.
Cup or spoon
Although it seems impossible, even premature babies can be fed with a small cup. To accomplish the baby drinking the milk without choking, the baby must be in a seated position. The cup or spoon should be brought to the upper lip to allow the baby to lap up the milk. The baby will take out their tongue and take in small amounts of milk at a time.
It is important to point out with small babies, one should NEVER pour milk into the mouth since the baby can choke or aspirate. The only challenge with this method is that it is a shame when milk is spilled especially when it is breast milk. This method is useful for babies and young children of any age following the guidelines we have laid out.
Sippy cups are easy to find in any supermarket. There are sippy cups with non-spill valves to avoid accidents. If they do not have the valve, this method is ideal for babies over 6 months old that can hold the cup and swallow without any difficulty. If the cup does have the non-spill valve, after four months old the baby should learn how to create the vacuum effect to use the cup effectively, like drinking milk through a straw.
Sports Water Bottle
For older babies, over 8 months old, this can be a great nocturnal feeding method when their mother is not home or overnight weaning is starting. It is very economical and they control the amount they want to drink.
As mentioned in the beginning, the baby bottle is the most common method for feeding a baby formula or extracted breast milk.
If you want to feed milk like this, it is important to use the Kassing method that allows babies to drink in the most physiological way possible.
The Kassing method consists of placing the baby in a seated position. The adult should keep the bottle in the most horizontal position possible so that the baby controls the milk they are drinking so they do not stress. Making small pauses and even removing the bottle from the mouth every 20 gulps can help the baby avoid drinking more than they need.
Every caregiver should find the most effective feeding method based on your indications and preferences and you will surely discover the best one for you.