- Spoon feeding a newborn is an alternative method of feeding when trying to establish breastfeeding by not introducing an artificial nipple and hopefully preventing nipple confusion.
- Spoon feedings are a great was to supplement expressed breastmilk after birth for an infant who is sleepy, having trouble latching, or needs the nutrition right away.
- Hand expression is optimal to express the first drops of milk, colostrum, directly onto the spoon. Newborns only eat drops – 5mls per feeding in the first 24 hours of life! That’s maybe an ounce in 24 hours.
- Since a spoon only holds a small amount, it gives parents ease of mind that their baby won’t choke while eating.
- Starting a feeding with a spoon is a great way to get a baby who is too sleepy to latch, time to be aroused with the small taste of milk. Once awake babies are more able to latch to the breast to complete a feeding.
To spoon feed your baby:
- Sit your baby upright in your lap, supporting your babies head and neck by placing your hand on their upper back.
- Use your other hand to put the spoon to your babies lips so they can taste the breastmilk. Let them lead the way with how fast they want to eat.
- Do not pour the milk into your babies mouth!
- Your baby will start to lap up the milk by sticking their tongue in and out.
- Allow time for your baby to swallow before filling the spoon.
Wilson-Clay, Hoover, The Breastfeeding Atlas Sixth Edition. LacNews Press, 2017; pp. 115-125