Breastfeeding is an incomparable method of feeding which offers benefits to both mum and baby – one particular benefit of breastfeeding is the healthy growth of baby, and the associated lifelong benefits.
Breastfeeding is a naturally responsive way of feeding an infant as there is no set measure of milk at each feed, and it is very much baby led. The bond formed whilst breastfeeding also helps mum and baby to interpret each other’s cues and signals and creates a bidirectional relationship that ultimately forms the basis of responsive feeding.
Responsive feeding refers to a mutual relationship between baby and caregiver, baby provides clear signals to their caregiver, and the caregiver then must accurately interpret these signals and respond in a prompt and developmentally appropriate way. The baby will begin to expect a predictable response from the caregiver. Responsive feeding is relevant for both breastfeeding and bottle-feeding.
This section includes practical resources and a review of all the literature on responsive feeding.
- Infants fed responsively are less likely to show rapid weight gain
- Responsively bottle-feeding may help to reduce overfeeding
- Breastfeeding nurtures a baby's sensitivity to their fullness cues
- Breastfeeding is naturally responsive
- Watch and respond to your baby's cues when feeding
- If baby appears full, don't force them to finish the bottle