Responsive feeding

happy-mum-happy-babyResponsive feeding

A sensitive two way relationship between a mother and her baby.  A mother responds to her baby when:

  • Baby shows feeding cues – rooting, moving their eyes, wriggling, waving sucking fists, blanket and making murmuring noises
  • Baby is distressed – tired or lonely
  • Her breasts are full
  • She simply wants to sit and cuddle

Confident feeding

Your midwife will listen to any concerns you may have about feeding your baby and support you to gain confidence by:

  • Making sure you understand what is responsive feeding
  • Showing you how to hold your baby for feeding
  • Informing you how to access help when at home


  • Feeding your baby frequently for food and comfort
  • That you know how your baby is getting enough milk
  • That you understand the value of exclusive breastfeeding
  • Teaching you to hand express and why this can be helpful

Responsive formula feeding

  • Observe feeding cues
  • Hold baby close
  • Encourage rooting
  • Invite baby to take teat
  • Pace the feed
  • Never force a full feed
  • Limit who feeds the baby

By following the above points, will make your baby feel safe

Formula Feeding

  • Advising for you or your partner to feed your baby
  • Informing you how to sterilise and make up feeds safely
  • Advising you to only feed your baby with first milks

Making up a formula feed safely

  • Boil kettle with at least 1 litre of fresh cold tap water
  • Leave to cool for no > 30 mins (70 degrees)
  • Clean and disinfect surface you are going to use.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly
  • Shake off any excess sterilising solution
  • Stand the bottle on a clean surface.
  • Keep the teat and cap on upturned lid of steriliser
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions
  • Pour correct amount of water into bottle within 30 mins
  • Loosely fill scoop with formula and level off (Using flat edge of clean dry knife or leveller provided)
  • Hold the edge of the teat and put it on bottle
  • Screw the retaining ring onto bottle
  • Cover teat with cap and shake until powder dissolves

Before feeding baby

  • Cool holding bottom half of bottle under cold running water
  • Move bottle about under tap to ensure even cooling
  • Test temp on inside of your wrist before giving to baby
  • It should be body temperature
  • Discard any left over formula after one hour