Elevated side lying bottle feeding

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Elevated side lying is a bottle-feeding position that’s being used more and more for preterm babies and infants who have feeding difficulties. In this blog post I’ll tell you why I like it for all new born babies. I’ve put together a visual step by step guide for you so go ahead and give it a try…

  • This position is a natural and physiologically normal feeding position just like how a baby feeds at the breast. It means the baby doesn’t have to do any work at all to support its body while it feeds which makes for an easier and more relaxed feed for both the baby and you.

  • Baby is positioned on a cushion which means that you don’t have to take the baby’s weight on your arms which is more comfortable especially as your baby grows.

  • You have a hand free if you need it to read to a toddler or have a drink while you’re feeding your baby.

  • If the flow of milk is too fast - which it often can be at the start while your baby is mastering its suck swallow and breathe co-ordination – this position allows the milk to safely dribble out of your babies mouth instead of coughing or choking.

  • You are able to clearly see your baby’s face and watch for signs that she may need a pause or a break for winding.

  • This is a great position for babies who have reflux or who are prone to vomiting. If you place the baby on its left side to feed it increases the space from the bottom of its stomach to the oesophagus making it less likely for them to vomit or reflux.

Please note this feeding position is recommended for formula fed babies. For breastfed babies who also take the bottle then I would recommend using the paced bottle feeding technique. 

Step by step guide to elevated side lying bottle feeding

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Sit comfortably on the sofa and place your feet on a footstool. This plastic childrens' one from ikea does the trick. Your legs should be sloping from the knees to your hips

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Place your baby on its side with her bottom against your tummy. Her legs should be out in front of her. If you're right handed then baby on her left side and visa versa



Your baby will bring her hands together on her chest in a flexed position. Offer the bottle, wait for her to open her mouth and place inside. Note how relaxed and content your baby looks