Paced Feeding

Paced Feeding is a method of feeding a baby in a way that more closely mimics breastfeeding, when a baby feeds more slowly, and works harder to get his milk. This helps prevent overfeeding.


Suckle Feeder: Paced Feeding

hannah-babyeveylyn.pngIf you are wanting to adopt a paced feeding approach with your little one, the good news is that the the award winning Haberman Suckle Feeder is recommended for paced feeding by lactation consultants as it was designed specifically with breastfeeding in mind. 

The Haberman Suckle Feeder "is a superior tool that allows babies who must receive a bottle to feed in a relaxed paced manner as they do when they are breastfeeding. It helps make the baby comfortable transitioning from breast to bottle (and vice versa) ... Paced feeding is the most desirable bottle-feeding method and Haberman’s design is superior as air is completely eliminated from the teat. Paced feeding prevents a baby from guzzling and is helpful in the effort to reduce childhood obesity. Mothers returning to work need a bottle that will make a baby more likely to continue breastfeeding when a mother is not working. The Haberman Suckle Feeder is a great solution.” (Lactation Consultant)

In addition to enabling paced feeding, the Suckle Feeder has significant advantages over using any other bottle as it:

  • Encourages and prolongs breastfeeding
  • Supports responsive, baby-led feeding and natural pausing
  • Reduces gas, colic and reflux
  • Eliminates guzzling and overfeeding for better weight control
  • Encourages active peristaltic suckling action, to stimulate the respiratory system, increase oxygen supply and help develop the oral cavity for better speech development
  • Enables nutritive and non-nutritive suckling
  • Makes feeding in an upright position possible
  • Suckle Feeding = Paced Feeding

What is Paced Feeding?

Paced Feeding is a concept which is becoming increasingly spoken about among health visitors and other support networks for new mums. Simply put, paced feeding is a technique that allows the baby to control the feeding session and eat at their own pace. By introducing slow feeding it more closely mimics breastfeeding. If the baby receives the milk at a faster rate when bottle-feeding than when breast-feeding, it can affect a baby's ability to return to the breast and/or cause the baby to take in too much milk, too quickly. This in turn can lead to the baby being overwhelmed and/or overfeeding. 

For paced feeding, the baby should be in an upright position.  With ordinary bottles, this means that the teat is half full and the baby can ingest air. With ordinary bottles, you have to intermittently tip the bottle down, breaking the baby's lip seal, to pause feeding. This can cause the baby to ingest air. You don't need to do this with Suckle Feeder because the baby controls the flow and mum can regulate it without interrupting feeding.

Useful Tips when Pace Feeding

  • Keep your baby in an upright position as this makes it easier for them to control the flow of the milk
  • Feed based on the baby’s feeding cues rather than a schedule (for example rooting, sticking out their tongue, and bringing hands to their mouth)
  • Encourage your baby to draw the teat into her mouth by gently rubbing the nipple against the mouth or touching the nipple to the baby’s nose (never force the nipple into the baby’s mouth)
  • Allow your baby to set the pace of the feeding and aim for the same length of time as a breastfeed may take
  • Encourage him to take breaks as and when needed – the baby will start sucking again when he’s ready
  • Recognise cues that your baby has had enough – for example turning their head away from the bottle. Never try and force the baby to take more than she wants just to finish the bottle. A good way to avoid wasting any precious breastmilk is to heat up smaller amounts at a time
  • Another good tip is to switch sides during the feeding to mimic feeding at the breast and to even out eye stimulation.