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Bonding With Baby Over the Bottle

I’ve heard nursing helps moms and babies bond, but I’m not breastfeeding. Are there any ways to connect with my baby while I give her a bottle?

Re: I’ve heard nursing helps moms and babies bond, but I’m not breastfeeding. Are there any ways to connect with my baby while I give her a bottle?

The Bump Expert

Absolutely. Clinical psychologist Shoshana Bennett, PhD, reminds moms that bonding is a process of familiarity – getting to know each other -- that happens over time. And, wonderful bonding can be facilitated no matter how your baby is fed. Here are some ways to make bottle-time a warm and fuzzy experience for both of you.

•Don’t multi-task. Give baby your full attention while she feeds, and don't rush her to finish. Let her enjoy the pleasures of snuggling with her favorite person, and let yourself savor this precious time too. What do you think is better for baby bonding – breastfeeding while you look away and speak on the phone or bottle-feeding with your full attention on her?

•Get close. If you’re in private, take off or unbutton your shirt -- babies love that skin-to-skin connection. Also, try to maintain eye contact. It’s easier to make great eye contact with your baby while bottle-feeding, so take advantage of it. In addition, physical and visual connections are linked to optimum brain development.

•Switch midway. Move baby to your other arm halfway through the bottle. Giving her a different perspective on the world provides visual stimulation and encourages development and curiosity. And it gives your shoulder a break.

•Don’t prop. It may save you a few minutes, but propping baby up with a bottle wastes potential bonding time. It also increases her risk of choking, ear infections and tooth decay.

•Share these tips with other caretakers who feed, so they can also make the most of bottle-time.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Bottle Feeding

Picking a Baby Formula

How to Bottle Feed Baby

Paula Kashtan

re: Q: Bonding Over the Bottle?

I stroke my son's face and head softly when I bottle-feed and hold him close to me. And I also keep eye contact - I don't feel I lost much of the bonding experience (I thought I would).

APsMom2007 |

re: Q: Bonding over the bottle?

Maybe it's a newborn thing, but my daughter doesn't usually maintain much eye contact when we're breastfeeding. When we give her a bottle, though, she's more alert and looks all over the place - at us, at the ceiling fan (one of her favorite things to fix on!), but she loves to hold eye contact with us. And of course, it's bonding that Daddy can enjoy as well.

formossissima |

Q&A: Bonding with baby over the bottle?

I talk to him, when I dont spazz out and end up staring at his face or playing with his toes (love those toes!) I try to read to him or give him the best rendition of a fairy tale or nursery rhyme (that usually gets out of control)

spazz_mama |

Q&A: Bonding with baby over the bottle?

I talk to my son and stare into his eyes. I stroke his face and head - I feel we have bonded well! He definately knows his mamma! lol

tlwright70 |

Q&A: Bonding with baby over the bottle?

I fully agree with the answer that the "Bump Expert" provided. The important factors are getting that eye contact and skin-to-skin contact with your baby. These have a positive impact on the process of forming that beautiful bond with your baby. Bonding also acts as a deterrant to post-partum depression. Hope you have fun bonding with your little bundle of joy. Peace and Blessings :-)

lemartinez03 |

Q&A: Bonding with baby over the bottle?

Well you can always talk to your baby. Talk to her about how you feel about things,or about your day. or encourage her,make her feel good. Tell her how good of a baby she is. And how much you,and everyone cares of her.

pandaco0kie |

Q&A: Bonding with baby over the bottle?

I read books to my baby over bottle feeding time or sing a song to him. We still have our quiet time in the nursery rocking and talking while he's eating. I also share a special bath bonding time every week. I put him in the bath with me and snuggle skin to skin & I think that helps him with the withdrawls of weaning off nursing.

bobbiereese |

Q&A: Bonding with baby over the bottle?

My husband starting giving my daughter a bottle about once a day as soon as she was born (I breastfed the other times) and they bonded beautifully; I exclusively breastfed my son for almost 3 years, he drank from a bottle maybe once or twice, so my husband never had the same bonding experience with him, and it showed for awhile. So in my opinion bottle-feeding a baby definitely creates bonding between the two parties.

nikkibs |

Bonding With Baby Over the Bottle

I didn't breastfeed past 3 months (not enough milk) and OOOO the comments from people about how I wouldn't bond with my child. It infuriates me to no end, just the other day I had a saleslady ask if I was breastfeeding (none of your business lady!) and when I said he was currently on formula she mused "That's sad...well at least you got to bond with him for a little while" like I put him out in the cold with a bottle to fend for himself. I snuggle and cuddle my little boy when he has his bottle just like I was breastfeeding. I stroke his hair, smile and tell him I love him, hold his little hand, and it's a special time of day for us. If you were to line up breastfed vs bottle fed children I defy anyone to identify which were which based on how "bonded" they seemed to their mother. Don't ever let anyone make you feel bad for not breastfeeding, it is your choice and your child will feel that you love them no matter how food gets into their belly!

kelswann |