Pace feeding is feeding your baby in a way that best imitates how they would naturally feed from your breast. It involves making the baby work harder for the milk than they would from a bottle and some other techniques that mimics breastfeeding. I’m going to go over all that you need to know to pace feed your baby by answering some common questions successfully.
How to Pace Feed
There are some specific things that you can do to best pace feed your baby. It may require some adjustment time for both you and your baby, so take it slow and don’t give up if your baby doesn’t adjust the first feeding.
Have Your Baby Sit Up At An Incline
When a baby is breastfed, they are usually at an incline for the comfort of both the mother and baby. However, when people bottle feed a baby, many people lay the baby horizontally. For pace feeding, you will want to hold your baby at an upright angle that is similar to how you breastfeed him or her.
Follow Your Baby’s Lead and Watch For Clues
Another aspect of pace feeding is that you don’t want to force feed your baby, but rather watch for clues such as when he or she wants to take a break. Frequent pauses are natural when breastfeeding because your breasts need time to let the milk down. Try to mimic these pauses when pace feeding by watching your baby for clues that he or she wants to take a break.
Sometimes when people bottle feed a baby, they get overly concerned with counting how many ounces are left. Next thing you know, they are coaxing the baby to feed too fast by saying “Let’s go. Come on. Just a little more.” With pace feeding, just as the name suggests, the baby sets the pace.
What Are the Benefits Of Pace Feeding?
There are many benefits to pace feeding. Here are some of the many benefits that pace feeding can bring:
- It makes the transition from breastfeeding to bottle feeding much easier. Because it is similar to breastfeeding, it won’t be so challenging for your baby to transition over.
- Because pace feeding is based on letting your baby set the feeding pace, you won’t risk overfeeding your child.
- Pace feeding can prevent spit up, gas, discomfort, obesity, and Type 2 Diabetes.
When Should I Feed My Baby?
Just like breastfeeding and regular bottle feeding, you should feed your baby when he is hungry. Some days your baby may be more hungry, and other days he may not. It is important that you don’t overfeed your baby, as that can lead to other health issues. Pace feeding will help you not overfeed your baby. Know the signs that your baby is hungry. Here are some ways to tell if your baby is hungry:
- Constant crying
- Smacking his lips
- Opening his mouth at everything that touches his cheek
- Restless acting
- Sucking on his thumb
Can a Babysitter Pace Feed My Baby?
Absolutely. Actually, pace feeding is for moms who can’t be around their baby to breastfeed them. That means that while you are away, your babysitter can bottle feed your baby, but because it is similar to breastfeeding, your baby will be much more comfortable. Pace feeding can also be a great activity for your spouse to do.
What Are Some Signs That My Baby Is Having a Hard Time Drinking the Milk?
As a parent, you may often be worried about how your baby is acting and if something is wrong. Pace feeding is not as natural as breastfeeding, and there are some signs to watch out for that could mean your baby is struggling to drink. Here are some common signs:
- Milk overflowing from your baby’s mouth
- Lips turning blue
- Choking or gagging
- Stiffening his body, which is often a sign of a seizure
- Opening his eyes wide for no reason
- Flaring his nostrils
- Making a face while drinking
If you notice any of these signs while your baby is drinking, stop feeding immediately. Check the bottle to make sure the nipple and milk flow are right before feeding again. Also, make sure your baby is sitting at an incline. These signs usually don’t lead to emergencies, but it is always good to be prepared.
Should I Pace Feed My Baby?
The answer to this question will depend on your lifestyle and if you will be around to feed your baby. If you will need to bottle feed your baby, pace feeding is a healthier alternative. Pace feeding is especially good for babies who are used to breastfeeding. A lot of moms who will need to go back to work try pace feeding their baby since they won’t be around to feed their baby. Remember that breastfeeding is the healthiest option, so try to do it as long as possible.
I hope I answered some or all of your questions about pace feeding. Remember to relax and follow your baby’s cues. Your baby will let you know how it’s going. Enjoy this time of feeding your baby.
Related Article: 9 Tips and Tricks To Get Your Baby To Accept A Baby Bottle