Closures & Hours Changes
Top of the page
Feeding a baby who has a cleft palate can be a challenge. Your baby may have a problem making a tight seal between his or her mouth and the nipple. But with a little preparation, you can successfully feed your baby with formula or breast milk. For example, use a soft, compressible nipple or a bottle you can squeeze to help the flow of milk.
A health professional who specializes in babies with cleft palate can show you how to bottle-feed your baby in the best way. This person can also answer any questions you have about feeding problems.
If you want to breastfeed your baby, talk with a health professional or a breastfeeding (lactation) consultant. Feeding your baby directly at the breast usually is very challenging. It's not always successful. But you can use a breast pump to collect your breast milk in a bottle and then feed it to your baby.
Here are some tips to try when feeding your baby who has a cleft palate. These tips can help whether you are using formula or breast milk that you have pumped.
Many different types of nipples are available. Try several until you find one that works best for your baby. Nipples that empty by gravity, such as the crosscut nipple, may work best. The hospital where your baby is born will often supply a special bottle or nipple for feeding a baby who has a cleft palate.
Squeeze it gently during feeding to help the flow of milk.
This prevents the milk from leaking into the baby's nose.
Do this during and after feeding. Babies with cleft palate tend to swallow more air when feeding. They may need to be burped more often than other babies.
Current as of:
August 3, 2022
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: John Pope MD - PediatricsKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineAdam David Schaffner MD, FACS - Plastic Surgery, Otolaryngology
Current as of: August 3, 2022
John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam David Schaffner MD, FACS - Plastic Surgery, Otolaryngology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2022 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Make an Appointment
Pay a Bill
Closures & Hours Changes
For Medical Professionals
Graduate Medical Education
Nursing at WellSpan
Clinical Research Programs
Who We Are
Make a Donation
Connect With Us
Non-Discrimination Statement/Language Access
Aviso Contra la Discriminación/Acceso a diferentes lenguajes
© WellSpan Health | Disclaimer & Policies