While bottle feeding, most parents traditionally cradle their infant in their arms. However, sometimes babies are uncoordinated and struggle to successfully put together all the steps of feeding from a bottle. If this is the case with your baby, there is another position that could help him/her feed even easier. It is called “side lying position” or “elevated side lying position.” A picture example of this position is included below. Side lying position involves laying the baby in your lap on their side. You can also lift them slightly so they are not lying flat on their side but are instead in an inclined position (elevated side lying). This is a more natural way for babies to eat because it supports breathing and swallowing coordination. It also gives the baby and parent more control over the bottle flow rate. It slows the flow rate down, leading to less possible instances of over-filling, coughing, and choking; it also can lead to a more positive feeding experience for your baby. Lastly, side lying position mimics the positioning of breastfeeding and is good to use if your infant is both breast and bottle fed as it is a position they are comfortable in already.
If you notice that your baby is still having feeding difficulties after implementing this position, schedule your complete feeding evaluation with an infant feeding therapist by calling TEAM 4 Kids at (623)248-3324.
Whitney Stefanski, MS, CCC-SLP