COVID-19 Information: Vaccine | Testing | Self-assessment | Patient & Visitor Safety | Visitor Policy
Emergency Room Wait Times
Home > Living Well > Health Library > Cup-Feeding Baby With Breast Milk or Formula
Cup-feeding is a way to provide breast milk or formula to a baby who is unwilling or unable to breastfeed or drink from a bottle. If a mother wants to breastfeed, 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. When you swaddle your baby, keep the blanket loose around the hips and legs. If the legs are wrapped tightly or straight, hip problems may develop. 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 breastfeeding or bottle-feeding is not possible.
Current as of:
December 17, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineJohn Pope MD - Pediatrics
Current as of: December 17, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.
Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.
Set Your Location
Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.