Commonly asked questions about bottle feeding.
If your baby swallows air while bottle feeding and is then put down to sleep, this may cause discomfort and make them cry. After a feed, hold your baby upright against your shoulder or propped forward on your lap. Gently rub their back so that any trapped air can find its way out easily. But there's no need to overdo it – wind is not as big a problem as many people think.
Some babies bring up more milk than others during or just after a feed. This is sometimes called ‘possetting’ or ‘regurgitation’ or ‘reflux’. It can be upsetting when this happens, and you may be worried that something is wrong. If it happens often, or your baby is violently sick, appears to be in pain or you’re worried for any other reason, talk to your health visitor or GP.
Check that the hole in your baby’s teat is not too big – giving milk too quickly can cause sickness. Sitting your baby upright on your lap after a feed may help.
If your baby brings up a lot of milk, they may be hungry again quite quickly. Don’t force them to take more milk than they want during a feed. Every baby is different. Some prefer to feed little and often.
When using infant formula, always use the recommended amount of infant formula powder stated on the packet. Don't add extra infant formula because using too much can make your baby constipated and may cause dehydration.
If your baby is under eight weeks old and hasn’t passed a stool for two-three days, discuss this with your midwife, health visitor or GP, particularly if your baby is gaining weight slowly. Your baby should be gaining weight and have wet and dirty nappies.
If you think your baby might be allergic to infant formula, talk to your GP. They can prescribe special formula feeds called extensively hydrolysed protein feeds.
Some infant formula is labelled as hypoallergenic, but these are not suitable for babies with a diagnosed cow's milk allergy. Always talk to your GP before using hypoallergenic or soya-based infant formula, as babies who are allergic to cow's milk may also be allergic to soya.