Tools for Feeding: Alternative Feeding Methods – Bottles & More

July 28, 2011. Posted in: Common Newborn Concerns,Feeding baby

There are a number of options for feeding baby when you are unable to directly breastfeed – a bottle is only one of them. If your baby is older than 4-6 months old, consider going straight to a cup. If your baby is younger than 3-4 weeks old, consider avoiding the use of a bottle for a couple of reasons:

Following are some resources for alternative feeding methods.

Bottle | Cup, Dropper, Spoon | Finger Feeding | At Breast | Back to Breast | Older Babies

Bottle feeding

Alternatives to bottles for younger babies (including preemies)

Cup, dropper, syringe, and links with various methods

Finger feeding

Options for supplementing baby at the breast

Weaning back to the breast from other feeding methods

Additional options for older babies (4+ months)

After 4-6 months, there is really no need to introduce a bottle — babies this age can generally handle a cup just fine (expect to help out in the beginning, though). If you need to, try different types of cups to see what works best for you and baby: regular cup (try different sizes), sippy cup, no-spill sippy cup, cup with straw (or a cup with a built-in straw), and sports bottle are all options that different babies use.

Occasionally a baby will refuse to drink from any type of cup or bottle. In this case, try feeding baby breastmilk with a spoon, dropper or syringe. If baby has started solids, mix the solids with lots of breastmilk. You might also try a momsicle, ice cream, yogurt or a smoothie made with breastmilk.

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