As with breastfeeding, bottle feeding can sometimes be a steep learning curve. More often than not, it’s the things we assume our little one should know how to do that are the things that take a little more time to master. For new parents Mark and Nell, having the freedom to offer a bottle was something they desired, yet baby Mo took some convincing to leave the comfort of mum's warm breast and head to dad's arms for a feed. However, when she did, Dad chose Minbie and made it his mission to make it work for bub and for mum's sake too, and there was no looking back.
“It’s a particularly great way for me to bond with mum, by alleviating some of the stresses” Mark
Baby Mo, has been exclusively breastfed since birth and has rarely needed to have a bottle. New mum Nell, only really offers a bottle every couple of weeks when she has work commitments, is exhausted or needs to escape for a little alone time. This occasional bottle offering can prove tricky for some families, as more frequent offerings better assist bub to get used to being fed by someone other than mum. However, by putting their trust in Minbie and with a few well thought out techniques, new dad Mark managed to nail this sporadic bottle feeding pretty swiftly.
Mark’s tips for perfecting occasional bottle feeding with Minbie:
🍼Hold the Minbie a little way away from bub to get their attention before the feed begins
🍼Drip a small amount of milk onto bub's lips so they can taste it and know what’s coming
🍼Keep a loose wrist so that if bub does wriggle a little you can follow their lead without the bottle falling out of bub's mouth or the latch being disturbed
🍼Keep the bottle in the same position in the mouth as much as possible
🍼Watch bub’s lips for a clear indication of how the feed is going. If both lips are well spread across the teat it’s a good sign they are latched correctly
🍼Relax the weight of the bottle so that it’s gently resting as the breast would do
🍼Watch bub’s feeding cues. Notice the difference in their movements when they are simply repositioning and when they’re full.
🍼If your little one has seemingly latched incorrectly, stop the feed and offer again.
“ With Minbie I’m confident that when she goes back to breastfeeding with mum, there's really no change in her interest in the breast. We've been very successful moving between the bottle and the breast.” - Mark
In order to “get the job done”, Mark admits that at times he turns off his own emotional needs when feeding baby Mo. He knows when bub is struggling a little with the bottle or spending longer than usual to take the feed, there’s potential there for it to become very stressful. Mark finds it easier to switch off those emotions, and makes sure he’s completely focussed on getting baby Mo fed so she’s happy and full and mum is well rested without interruption. Mark and Nell are a great team, and this teamwork, along with a bottle that supports Mo to use her instinctive breastfeeding latch is what’s made their journey so much smoother.
Minbie’s top tips for holding bub correctly when bottle feeding:
🍼Sit comfortably and support bub well so they feel comfortable and secure
🍼Sit bub on your lap and hold them in the crook of your arm. (With a very tiny baby, put the palm of one hand against your baby’s back, with your fingers underneath your baby’s arms and supporting the head.)
🍼A secure, comfortable hold and eye contact is great for bonding and safe feeding
🍼If bub is latched but not feeding, pull the bottle just a little to encourage them to feed.
🍼Hold the bottle horizontally at first, altering the angle as the bottle is emptying
🍼It’s safer for bub to be held upright at the start of the feed so the milk doesn’t easily flow - a baby may feel more confident to feed strongly when held with the head more upright.
“It’s nice for Mark to have something he can do for Mo, that I can’t do. He’s much better at giving her the bottle, for many reasons. I find it difficult to give her the bottle, but it’s special that they have their thing. Minbie has helped Mo have her own relationship with Mark” Nell
One thing is for sure. If, like Mark and Nell, you’re thinking of offering your little one a bottle at any time throughout your feeding journey, it’s important you choose Minbie. Unlike other bottles, the Minbie teat offers your little one a feeding experience that encourages them to use their instinctive breastfeeding motion. The latch that your little one uses on the Minbie means there’s a much smaller chance of confusion, rejection, colic or reflux when you need to hand over to dad or to daycare. Yes, you may find bub needs a little gentle persuasion but don’t let this deter you from your goal. With Minbie you’re offering your little one the very best feeding system, and the only one that truly protects and nurtures what evolution has gifted them. With a little practice, like this family, you’ll all find your way!