Cup-feeding is a way to provide breast milk or formula to a baby who is unwilling or unable to breast-feed or drink from a bottle. If a mother wants to breast-feed, cup-feeding is also sometimes used as an alternative to bottle-feeding for a baby who needs supplementation for a few days.
To cup-feed your baby, fill a medicine cup to about 1 fl oz (30 mL) with breast milk or formula. Make sure your baby is supported in an upright position and is wrapped or swaddled to keep his or her hands from getting in the way and spilling the cup. Your baby should also be alert.
You want your baby to slurp or sip the milk. Do not pour the milk into his or her mouth. To do this:
The feeding should last no more than about 30 minutes. Follow your baby's cues about when to stop.
Many babies with special needs can easily learn how to cup-feed. This feeding technique can promote the physical bond between the mother and baby when breast-feeding or bottle-feeding is not possible.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology|
|Last Revised||July 25, 2012|
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