Lying on the side

Babies born preterm prefer lying on their side while bottle-feeding. This way, they have more control over how much milk comes out. They won’t choke as much or get out of breath as easily. On the side, preterm infants can cosy up into fetal position. They can also get used to one of the positions commonly used for breastfeeding.


pastille_1Make sure the head is in line with the shoulders and body, not tilted back.

pastille_2Gently support the baby’s head with your hand, the baby’s back against your arm.

pastille_3Check that arms and legs are gently flexed close to the body.

pastille_4Place the bottle horizontally, such that no milk comes out by itself.

pastille_5Use a pillow or nursing cushion for support if you wish.


Semi-Inclined (cradle hold)

When held semi-inclined, the baby can see your face. However, if the bottle is held straight up, milk flows out too quickly. The infant’s mouth fills easily, so the infant has to be able to swallow and coordinate breathing and sucking accordingly. You can compensate by holding the bottle horizontally instead. Before you try this position, see how well your baby fares in the “lying on the side” position described earlier. If you see that the baby is doing well, that breathing is regular, that the baby gets less exhausted at feedings, and that feedings are more spaced out, try it. The baby will likely appreciate the semi-inclined position because it allows for eye contact.


pastille_1Keep the baby’s hands well in front, in line with shoulders, head, and body.

pastille_2Hold the baby on your lap at a 45˚ angle.

pastille_3Support the baby’s head in the crook of your arm and the baby’s body against you.

pastille_4See that the head is slightly flexed forward.

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