How to Give a Bottle

images-1Giving a breastfed baby a bottle can excruciatingly painful for both you and the baby.  Here are some tips, for bottle feeding either formula or breastmilk.

1.  The bottle does matter. You decide on glass or plastic.  The important part of finding a good bottle is finding one that doesn’t leak! Leaking bottles are ineffective, messy and wasteful of good pumped milk.  Dr. Brown’s bottle are my favorite, I’ve tried a variety of other bottles including, Evenflo, Avent, Playtex, etc., Playtex bottles are the worst, they leak horribly.

2. Size Matters, kind of: If the bottle you’re getting comes with different nipple sizes make sure to get the appropriate one for your baby. Infants should have a size one, this part refers to the hole of the nipple, and how easily the milk will flow out.

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Flow can also be most effectively regulated by the adult giving the bottle.  Consider the base and actual protruding nipple size.  You might want to try to match the bottle nipple to that of the mothers nipple.  If the baby is used to a small nipple from mom, a huge nipple from the bottle will likely gag your baby.

3. Baby Position: Baby can be in varying positions but most commonly in the cradle hold.  The difference being that the baby should be seated up a little more rather than lying in the traditional cradle hold.  With bottle babies naturally take in more air, its best for them to be more upright.

For the first few feedings it might be best to turn the baby away from your chest, just slightly so she doesn’t try to root, which will only frustrate her.

Try: Cradle hold, baby upright at 45 degree angle, and slightly turned away from the chest.

4. Don’t shove the bottle in her mouth.  Tickle your babies lips with the nipple of the bottle, and when she opens her mouth only put part of the nipple in. She will suck in the rest of the nipple when she is ready-let her guide herself, she knows what she’s doing!

5. Bottle Angle.  Contrary to popular belief, avoid turning the bottle straight down so the milk fills up the whole nipple. This causes milk to poor out of the nipple which is likely to frustrate your baby because she is getting more than she can swallow. Keep the bottle basically horizontal (depending on how full it is) so that only half of the nipple fills with milk. This way your baby has to work a little for the milk she gets. This is especially important if your baby is also breastfeeding because getting milk from the breast can be more work for her than getting it from a free flowing silicone nipple.It’s important to keep her sucking consistent so she doesn’t lose her sucking technique and doesn’t begin to prefer bottle over breast (unlikely scenario). The horizontal angle also helps to prevents milk from pouring out of her mouth and from her gagging.

 

I Love You Through and Through: A+

Unknown-2I Love You Through and Through, written by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak is a lovely, sweet book that everyone should own.  It’s simply about unconditional love, e.g.,  “I love your happy side, I love your sad side.”

How to hold a Breastfeeding baby for caregivers and spouses

Holding a breastfeeding infant can be a challenge for anyone other than the breastfeeding mom. We want to hold babies close to our bodies partially because instinct tells us this is right, and also because of typical media images.  Baby books, TV shows and movies all show us the two typical ways to hold babies.  One hold makes baby happy (cradle hold) and one sad (out, away from body.) The latter hold is always performed by the unknowing, un-maternal/paternal adult holding a baby straight out, arms fully extended away from their body, and the baby hovering in the air hysterical.

But, what if a less dramatic version of the out-and-away hold is actually better, less upsetting and confusing for the baby?

The reason the cradle, hug-baby-in, hold doesn’t always work for breastfeeding infants is simply because they associate that hold, the closeness of it with breastfeeding. So, instead of the baby becoming calm, she may instead begin to root images-1(beginning signs she wants to eat) and unless you’re also giving bottles you can’t soothe her in the way she wants.  Instead a modified football hold might be best. [Elbow at your side, baby laying longways on your arm, and arm extended out.]

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Signs baby is rooting and therefore likely to become upset with the non-breastfeeding adult:

-Trying to lick or suck on your arm, chest, neck…anywhere.

-Burrowing into your chest, arm.

-Baby rubs hand on your chest/breast.

-Crying when diaper is dry, and has recently slept.

Sometimes infants are perfectly content in the cradle position, but usually only for a limited time. I try to hold b.f. infants in the modified football hold, very high up on my shoulder, and on my legs, while sitting.

Next time you have a fussy infant, and you see any of the rooting signs try changing your hold, so that the baby is away from your chest. If the baby has recently eaten, you’ll find she will likely immidiately be calmed once away from your chest.

Rosie Revere, Engineer: A

imagesI love this book! Written by Andrea Beaty, Rosie Revere, Engineer is a inspirational children’s book about not giving up. This book will motivate children, and adults to get going on the projects we love, specifically those we don’t succeed at the first time.  The illustrations by David Roberts are fantastic, possibly a little circus-esque-scary but wonderful and full of life.

“She handed a notebook to Rosie Revere, who smiled at her aunt as it all become clear.  Life might have it’s failures, but this was not it.  The only true failure can come if you quit.”

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The New York Times published some excerpts from Ron Suskind’s “Life, Animated.” This is an amazing piece about Suskind’s son Owen, who suffers from autism and how Owen found language and emotional connection through Disney.  Suskind gives a new outlook, and perspective on autism.

“When Owen was 3, his comprehension of spoken words collapsed. That’s clear from every test. But now it seems that as he watched each Disney movie again and again, he was collecting and logging sounds and rhythms, multitrack. Speech, of course, has its own subtle musicality; most of us, focusing on the words and their meanings, don’t hear it. But that’s all he heard for years, words as intonation and cadence, their meanings inscrutable. It was like someone memorizing an Akira Kurosawa movie without knowing Japanese. Then it seems he was slowly learning Japanese — or, rather, spoken English — by using the exaggerated facial expressions of the animated characters, the situations they were in, the way they interacted to help define all those mysterious sounds. That’s what we start to assume; after all, that’s the way babies learn to speak. But this is slightly different because of the way he committed these vast swaths of source material, dozens of Disney movies, to memory. These are stored sounds we can now help him contextualize, with jumping, twirling, sweating, joyous expression, as we just managed with “The Jungle Book.”

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There’s a reason — a good-enough reason — that each autistic person has embraced a particular interest. Find that reason, and you will find them, hiding in there, and maybe get a glimpse of their underlying capacities. In our experience, we found that showing authentic interest will help them feel dignity and impel them to show you more, complete with maps and navigational tools that may help to guide their development, their growth. Revealed capability, in turn, may lead to a better understanding of what’s possible in the lives of many people who are challenged.”