Here Are 4 Ways To Bond During Feedings With Your Bottle-Fed Baby

by Team Scary Mommy
Originally Published: 

For many new moms, the decision to bottle feed comes with many questions, either from themselves or others. (Can we just agree to stop mom-shaming once and for all?) One common question is how bottle feeding might impact the bond with your newborn. Does breastfeeding come with inherent bonding opportunities? Sure, but so does bottle feeding.

Whether you’re supplementing with formula or forgoing breastfeeding altogether, there is no shame in bottle feeding your baby. Let me say that again for the moms feeding their babies in the back: there is no shame in bottle feeding your baby! As Mayo Clinic points out, babies with typical dietary needs will get the nutrition they need from properly prepared formula. And for moms who want a formula inspired by breast milk, Enfamil Enspire has you covered. Enspire is not only Enfamil’s closest formula to breast milk, but it also offers 5 important nutrient benefits to promote healthy development, immune health, gut health, motor skills, attention span, and language development.

Plus, pediatricians have debunked the myth that bottle-fed babies bond less with their mothers. All feedings come with the opportunity to build connection between parent and newborn. And if you need some reassurance, here are four tips to help maximize bonding time during bottle feeding. (Spoiler alert: you’re probably already doing most of them!)

Get Some Good Snuggles In

That’s right, we’re giving you an excuse to cuddle with your baby even more. Studies suggest extra cuddles are good for babies. From soothing the part of their brain associated with pain to reducing colic, cuddling your baby while bottle feeding will reap rewards beyond bonding time. For an added layer of snuggly superpower, try holding your baby close to your skin while bottle feeding. Working in skin-to-skin bonding has been linked to many health benefits for your baby from improving digestion to strengthening their immune system. Added bonus: you won’t have to worry about another shirt getting covered in spit-up.

Find A Supportive Pillow For You, And A Formula Inspired By Breast Milk For Baby

There’s no reason to be uncomfortable during feedings given how much of your time is spent with a bottle in hand. If you often find yourself readjusting from achiness during bottle feeding, you’re probably in need of a good feeding pillow — something that will support your elbow and give your tired arm a rest. Maximizing your own comfort will also help you avoid the temptation of propping your baby’s bottle during feedings, which isn’t safe. Plus, you want your baby to be comfortable too, which is why choosing a formula that’s inspired by breast milk is important to gut health. As the first formula that uses a proprietary dual prebiotic blend, similar to that found in breast milk, Enfamil Enspire helps promote soft stools. When mom and baby are comfortable, it makes for a better bonding experience.

Skip The Shower. Yes, Really.

We all know that babies recognize their mother’s smell. Now is the time to use that to your advantage. Rather than waste your mental energy wondering when you’ll be able to squeeze in a shower or feeling guilty that you’re more dry shampoo than person at this point, revel in your stink a little bit. Your baby’s sense of smell has been developing since the second trimester, meaning your scent has been familiar to them since before they were born. And even if you think you stink, they can’t tell if you smell a little bad. To them, you just smell like mom.

Make Eye Contact When You Talk To Your Baby During Feedings

You probably don’t need another reason to stare at your baby — their cuteness is reason enough. But if you want to feel extra good about gazing lovingly at your baby while bottle feeding, a study from the University of Cambridge found that eye contact with your baby can actually help strengthen communication between you and your baby. Speaking of which, Mayo Clinic recommends speaking with a gentle voice during bottle feeding to further reinforce the bond with your baby. But what do you talk about? Well, anything! Catch them up on the latest plot twist from the show you’re currently binging. Explain the very real drama happening with the monarchy across the pond. Say “You’re so cute I almost can’t stand it!” over and over again. Babies are great listeners.

As we said before, you’re probably already doing most of these during bottle feedings, which means you’re already strengthening that bond with your baby. It’s normal to have questions, especially when it comes to feeding and bonding time. But rest assured that so long as your baby is loved and fed, you’re doing great.

Enfamil Enspire is Enfamil’s closest formula to breast milk. It offers 5 important nutrient benefits in one formula to support the overall health and development of your baby including immune and gut health, language development, motor skills, and attention span. You can learn more about Enspire here.

None of the statements contained in this article have been reviewed by a Physician. This information is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only.

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