Situations where cup-feeding may be useful
Cup-feeding is most appropriate for premature babies. Reasons for its use with preterm babies include:
- To reduce the need for nasogastric tubes, which some babies find distressing.
- To provide an oral experience for the baby, encouraging the use of his or her tongue and lips.
- To provide an alternative feeding method which doesn’t cause nipple confusion.
- To enhance digestion of the milk by involving the baby’s saliva, which is not possible when milk is delivered by tube directly into the stomach .
- To top up breastfeeds if there is reason to believe the baby has not fed effectively during his or her early attempts at breastfeeding; however, the breast should be given first.
- To allow more eye contact and interaction during feeding.