a traveling Wife: Tips For Introducing Bottle to Breastfed Baby

Tips For Introducing Bottle to Breastfed Baby

Monday, April 3, 2017

Taking care of a newborn brings all sorts of challenges and battles - don't let feeding them be one of the battles. Below are a handful of tips for introducing a bottle to a breastfed baby. 

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When A and I moved to Missouri, I was 10 weeks pregnant. We did a lot of research to find a doctor we liked and hospital that we felt comfortable delivering at. The hospital we chose is considered a baby-friendly facility which means it offers an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. They encourage breastfeeding and offer unlimited amounts of support to make breastfeeding possible. 

Tips For Introducing Bottle to Breastfed Baby | www.atravelingwife.com | a-traveling-wife

I completely understand that breastfeeding isn't for everyone, whether it be a personal or medical decision. Heck, I was formula fed and in the past I had never been around individuals that chose to breastfeed their baby. Regardless of how you choose to feed your baby - fed is best! And in most cases you will need to purchase at least one bottle to feed your baby. Even if you are exclusively breastfeeding, Momma needs some sanity too - I'm thinking spa day or girl's night out. 

After LadyBug was born, I met with a lactation consultant. She helped correct LadyBug's latch and explained all about milk supply, pumping, and introducing a bottle. It was recommended to wait 4-6 weeks prior to introducing a bottle so that my milk supply was well established and so that LadyBug didn't get nipple confusion.
Click to tweet: Tips for introducing bottle to breastfed baby. 
When we finally started to introduce a bottle, it wasn't an easy task. She would fuss, arch her back, and just flat out scream. There are several techniques that can be used to successfully introduce a bottle to a breastfeeding baby. And once the baby will take a bottle, Mom can go out for some much needed me-time. 

Tips For Introducing Bottle to Breastfed Baby | www.atravelingwife.com | a-traveling-wife

Have Mom leave the room, or leave the house altogether.

Sometimes babies won't take a bottle from their Mom because of confusion and would prefer the comfort of skin-to-skin feedings. If Mom can leave the room so that baby can't see or hear her, baby might take to the bottle right away. 

I would take our dog for a walk around the block while A introduced the bottle to LadyBug. My absence allowed baby and Dad some much needed bonding time and also let LadyBug know that food can come from other sources other than Mom.

Play with the temperature of the milk.

Some babies would prefer milk warm just like taking it straight from the breast while other babies aren't too concerned with temperature. At each bottle feeding, try a warmer or cooler temperature milk to see what baby will take. 

Try different positions.

Putting baby in a position similar to breastfeeding might confuse baby. Try offering different positions and locations to help teach baby that food can come from other sources than just Mom. Some options would be to have baby sit upright or have baby sit in their carseat. 

Get the RIGHT bottle.

Playtex Baby™ VentAire® bottles are a great choice because they offer complete tummy comfort and help baby latch on naturally. The angled design helps to promote a semi-upright positioning. This can help make bottle introduction more successful plus can help prevent ear infections.

Tips For Introducing Bottle to Breastfed Baby | www.atravelingwife.com | a-traveling-wife

Another option would be the Playtex Baby™ Nurser® with Drop-Ins® Liners which simulates the same suck, swallow and breathe patterns as breastfeeding. You can mix and match all Playtex bottles and nipples to find what works best for your baby - AMAZING!
Click to tweet: Find the RIGHT bottle.
One reason why we love the VentAire bottles and Playtex nipples is that they can be found at Target. And I mean, what Mom and baby don't love to make a Target run during the week?! Don't forget those Cartwheel offers like 15% Off All Playtex Baby Bottles (4/2-4/8).

Offer freshly pumped milk.

One easy way to 'trick' baby into taking a bottle is to offer freshly pumped milk over previously stored milk. The milk will be a temperature the baby is familiar with and will taste like it is coming directly from the source.

Tips For Introducing Bottle to Breastfed Baby | www.atravelingwife.com | a-traveling-wife

Just remember, you are doing a great job no matter how you choose to feed your baby. And don't be afraid to get support when needed - from professionals, family, friends, or peers. Parenthood is an ever evolving journey. 

Do you have any other techniques that others can use to introduce a bottle?
Do you remember to use Cartwheel offers while shopping at Target?
Don't forget to check out Playtex Baby™ for better beginnings
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