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How Much Milk?

When people bottle feed they sometimes worry that they may overfeed their baby. Your baby will tell you when they are hungry and when they are full up. If you follow their lead. This is called responsive feeding. Feeding your baby responsively is a great way to bond with them. Try looking into their eyes and talking or singing to them during feeds. This will help your baby feel safe and loved and help them bond with you.

Try and respond to their hunger cues and feed them when they show signs of hunger. Once your baby has stopped feeding, don't try to give them any more milk. Allow your baby to stop during the feed as pacing it can help reduce wind and over feeding. 

  • Your baby shows you cues to let you know when they are hungry. These cues get stronger as they get hungrier until they cry as a last signal to you.

    The more you get to know your baby, you'll start to notice their personal feeding cues, here are some common cues:

    • Mouth movements, including smacking or licking his lips.
    • Sucking on lips, tongue, hands, fingers, toes, toys, or clothing.
    • Rooting, head bobbing or nuzzling against whoever is holding him.
    • Fidgeting or squirming a lot.
    • Fussing.
    • Crying—a late sign of hunger.

  • If they don't seem to have fed very much, remember you baby's tummy is only small. Look at the image below to see how much milk your baby's tummy can take:


  • When trying to find the right position for you and your baby, the most important things are that it is comfortable for you and safe for your baby. Here are some positions to help make feeding with a bottle easy, safe and comfortable. 

    Cradling your baby

    Cradling them in the nook of your arm. Rest their head in your elbow bend, and tilt them up so they’re at a comfortable angle.

    Sitting Position

    Sit down and place baby upright in your lap with their back against your stomach and chest. This position is good if your baby suffers with reflux.

    Rest baby on your legs

    Sit or lay down, and prop your baby on your legs with their back against your thighs and their head near your bent knees. This position allows for eye contact and interaction.

  • All babies, breast or formula fed enjoy skin to skin, and all babies get the same positive benefits of this bonding experience.

    Don't forget, partners can do it as well! 

    To find out more about skin to skin contact *click here*.

    • Offer feeds when your baby shows the early signs of being hungry.

    • If your baby is upset, try to soothe them before you offer a feed. Talking to them or skin to skin contact are both great ways of helping them feel calm.

    • Hold your baby close to you, look into their eyes and talk to them gently.

    • Gently rub the teat of the bottle against the baby’s top lip to encourage them to open their mouth and the tongue to stick out.

    • Place the teat in front of the baby’s mouth allowing them to draw it further in.

    • Allow just enough milk to cover the teat and pace the feed to meet your baby’s needs.

    • Offer frequent breaks throughout the feed sitting baby upright to help bring up wind.

    • Never force a baby to take a whole bottle – your baby will know when they have had enough.

    • Discard any leftover milk.


Who Can Help?

If your baby is less than 28 days old you can contact your local midwifery team or you can contact the Healthy Child Programme at any time following your baby's birth by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590.

Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays. Norfolk Healthy Child Programme has a team of infant feeding champions who can contact you by video call/telephone initially to discuss your questions and refer you to further help if required. All of our staff are trained to Unicef standards to provide you with the best possible feeding support and advice.

*Click here* to read the Essential Guide to Feeding & Caring for your Baby. 

If you would like to make connections with other parents please click on the links for our Just One Norfolk Community Forum; the Norfolk Community Directory and Early Childhood & Family Service (ECFS) below


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