Paced feeding aims to slow down bottle feeding in order to follow baby’s cues as they feed. This is to avoid over-feeding baby, make it easier to breast and bottle feed, and to encourage bonding.
A wide-based, slow-flow bottle nipple is best for paced feeding as this mimics breast feeding. Make sure baby is fairly upright and hold the bottle parallel to allow baby to breathe, swallow and control the flow comfortably. Gently place the teat against baby’s lips. When baby is ready, they’ll open their lips and start sucking.
Baby will suckle and then take breaks. This is normal. Just lower the bottle to stop the flow or partially move the teat out of baby’s mouth, keeping it close by. Try to maintain eye contact with baby throughout the feed so that you can tell when they need a pause. It’s also great for brain development!
Breaks allow baby to work out if they’re full or not. Babies eat different amounts at different times, so don’t ever expect or force baby to finish a feed. Fullness cues include spitting the tea out, turning their head, dribbling milk or pushing the bottle away.
Paced feeding is all about, quite literally, going with the flow. So make sure you’re sitting comfortably, and take your time.