Unlike a full-term baby, a pre-term baby maybe lethargic during feeding times, not strong enough to take enough milk to maintain growth, and have difficulty swallowing and breathing at the same time. Preemie bottles are designed for a slower flow for easy feeding. These bottles come in sizes between one and five ounces since preemies have smaller stomachs. Check out our list of the best bottles for preemie babies.
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Tips For Feeding Premature Babies
Here are a few effective tips for feeding a preemie baby.
- Feeding tubes: Premature newborns who can’t get enough calories from a bottle or breast can benefit from nasogastric (NG)tubes. The parent needs to discuss with the baby’s medical team if they can be fed with the NG tube.
- Exercises: Exercises, such as circling your baby’s lips with your fingers, caressing their chin, and gently pushing their cheeks together, can help them feed better.
- Pacing: Premature babies may have difficulty integrating bottle feeding with breathing, resulting in apnea or bradycardia. If your baby has difficulty breathing, gags, becomes limp, or has a reduction in heart rate or oxygen saturation, you should stop feeding.
- Sit up the baby: Premature babies are bottle-fed sitting up in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) rather than being cradled in their mothers’ arms. Place them on your lap, supporting their head and shoulders with your non-dominant hand to help them stay alert and to promote healthy alignment.
- Side-angled position: Make sure your baby’s ear, shoulder, and hip are all aligned. Then, with your non-dominant hand, support their head gently. With your dominant hand, hold the bottle parallel to the floor. Your child has more control over the flow of milk in these situations.
- Cheek and chin support: Your dominant hand may hold the bottle and support your baby’s chin and cheeks since your non-dominant hand is supporting them. It takes some experience, but NICU personnel can train you to gently support your baby’s chin and cheeks to help them latch.
6 Best Bottles For Preemies
The three-pack preemie baby bottles from Dr. Brown are designed to fit most electric breast pump systems. It has easily identifiable markings from five cc to 60cc. The internal venting system helps reduce burping, gas, spit-up, and colic.
- Helps preserve vitamin A, E, and C
Dr. Brown’s feeder bottle provides the smallest feeding volumein a reliable fluid delivery system. When direct breastfeeding is impossible, these bottles can be alternatives for early oral feeding after delivery. They are made from safe materials and not from natural rubber latex.
- Has graduated markings from one cc to 15cc
With a realistic breast-like nipple, it flexes and feels like mom’s breast for the baby. It makes feeding easier and comes with a sensitive anti-colic nipple valve that helps reduce air intake. You can handle the easy-hold bottle in three ways: cradle in hand, clutch like a regular wide neck bottle, or held from the base.
- Phthalate- and BPA-free
- Helps transition easily
- Easy to clean
The reusable silicone pouches collapse as the baby sips, reducing air ingestion and the risk of gas, colic, reflux, and burps. The nipple is the appropriate length for tongue positioning and promotes easy latching.
- PVC-and BPA-free
Comotomo bottle is designed to resemble breastfeeding closely, thereby preventing bottle rejection. The ultra-wide neck design makes cleaning easy without a brush. It comes with slow flow nipples for babies up to three months and medium flow nipples for babies between three and six months. The dual anti-colic vents keep unwanted air out and decrease colic.
- Made of medical-grade silicone
- Microwave- and dishwasher-safe
- BPA-and BPS-free
Playtex nine-ounce wide bottles help reduce gas, colic, and spit-up. As the baby drinks, the micro-channel vents keep the air at the back of the bottle. The angled form encourages upright feeding to help prevent ear infections or reflux.
- Easy to assemble
How To Choose The Right Preemie Bottle?
Here are a few tips for choosing the right preemie bottles.
- Slow-flow nipple: Choose a bottle with a slow-flowing nipple as the child requires assistance during feeding. If the milk is dispensed too quickly, it may cause choking.
- Anti-colic: Consider bottles with vented nipples or bottoms to help prevent air intake and reduce colic, gas, etc.
- Small bottles: Bottles with around a five-ounce capacity would be sufficient for premature babies.
Premature babies born between the 20th and the 37th week of pregnancy require special care. Preemie bottles are available in various sizes to accommodate your baby’s meals. We hope this article on the best bottles for preemies can help you choose the right bottle for your child.