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Discover more tips for better beginnings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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