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Responsive Bottle Feeding

In the early days, baby will feel most secure if only parents give bottles. It helps them to build a special bond with their parents and know who is looking after them.  

Try to get to know the signs that your baby is hungry (such as moving their head around, sucking on their fists) and prepare a bottle straight away.  Crying is a late sign of hunger so you don’t need to wait until baby is crying to prepare a feed.

When the bottle is ready, cuddle your baby in your arms, in a semi-upright position so that you can see their face, smile and look into their eyes.  You can swap arms part way through the feed if you want to. Make sure they feel secure and well supported.


Gently rub the end of the teat on baby’s top lip and as they open their mouth, gently insert the teat.  Hold the bottle horizontally (or just slightly tipped up) so that the teat is full of milk, but with the milk not flowing too fast.

Look for signs that baby might want a break in their feed, such as pulling away, looking wide-eyed or looking away from you, or turning their head away.

Don’t worry about whether or not the baby finishes the bottle.  Learn to recognise when the baby has had enough milk and this will help him to learn too!