Bottle-fed baby gulps milk

My wife and I recently introduced bottles to our five-week-old. Unfortunately, she has such a strong suction that she nearly drowns in milk. We bought "Slo-flo" nipples and I tried to slow her down by removing the bottle. Even with that, she ended up having an upset stomach most of the day. What can we do?

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Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

One thing you may want to check is how tight the top is screwed on. If it is too loose, the milk flow will be too fast. The ring should be just loose enough to get a good air flow. Too tight and a vacuum will result causing the nipple to collapse. Or you might try the bottles with plastic bag liners. It won't matter how tight the nipple is screwed on since the liners collapse as they empty.

If air flow isn't contributing to the problem, it may be you need to impose a few pauses in the feeding so you can burp your baby. This may help prevent stomach aches due to swallowed air from eating too vigorously. However, you need to be careful that you don't jostle her around too much. All the activity of changing positions to burp may be causing part of the upset.

Also, it may not be the fast eating that is causing the stomach ache, but perhaps the switch from breastmilk to formula. You may need to give her time to adjust to the new food. Or, perhaps in the switch to formula feeding, you have switched your feeding style and this is causing some discomfort. You may find it helps if she is held in the same position you use when nursing.

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