Bottle Pacing the Breastfed Baby

What is pacing?

Bottle pacing is a technique we use to help bottle feeding be more like breastfeeding. Pacing provides small rest periods where the baby uses a non-nutritive suck, just like he does while breastfeeding. Pacing also helps the baby manage the flow of milk.

Position of Bottle

Holding the bottle in a horizontal position makes it easy to tip the bottle up for milk flow, and quickly tip it down to empty the nipple when your baby needs a rest. Holding the bottle in a horizontal position DOES NOT slow the flow milk.

Nipple Flow

Bottle pacing is one way to help your baby manage the flow of the bottle. However, there is a vast difference in flow rates of various slow flow nipples. Pacing in and of itself may not “fix” the flow problem. If your baby is coughing and sputtering, you will probably need to use a different nipple. Likewise, if your baby is sucking 3 or more times before swallowing, you need a faster flow. In our book Balancing Breast and Bottle, we rank current slow flow bottles on the market from slowest to fastest flow. This list is a super helpful tool to have on hand if you are struggling to find the right flow for your baby.

Explanation and demonstration of pacing