Cup Feeding- an alternate method of feeding

This article is contributed by Ms May Hui May Lin

There are many methods we can feed the baby, for example, using baby bottle, spoon, syringe, cup and tube assisted by finger. Of these methods, I favour using cup and here are the pros and cons:

The advantages of cup feeding:

  • It can be used as a supplemental aid and is easy to learn;
  • It will increase the chance of successful breast feeding;
  • It helps to correct ‘nipple confusion’;
  • It improves baby sucking by strengthening the mouth and tongue muscles;
  • It gives parents more positive attitude towards breastfeeding;
  • It is environmental-friendly, only need to wash a cup

The disadvantages of cup feeding:

  • For the first few times trying cup feeding, there might be wastage of some milk due to more spitting out of the milk;
  • Baby may swallow more air and hence frequent winding is necessary;
  • More laundry as during feeding, more milk may be spat all over the baby’s clothing

Position for cup feeding:
1. Baby must sit straight up to 90 degree (Can watch the video in Chinese)
2. Use a small medicine cup or baby bottle top (sterilized one)
3. Fill up 1/3 of the cup with milk
4. Slowly pour the milk on top of the baby tongue. If pour under the tongue, the milk will be spite out when baby tries to swallow
5. Pad the baby with towel(s) and be prepared for spitting everywhere

Cup feeding will make baby aware the taste and texture of the milk on the tongue.

The movement of tongue is similar as sucking on the breast. That will help baby to latch on the breast easier. However, the position of baby on the breast is different from cup feeding. Baby position is another important factor to make breastfeeding successful and will be covered in a separate chapter.

updated on 25.09.2020