Introducing Baby Feeding Bottle To A Breastfed Child

I remember the time when my mat leave was coming to an end. There was only one question that would hover my mind, day and night (and almost every time I would get ready to breastfeed my little girl). I would be so stressed about how and when should I be introducing baby feeding bottle to a child who was exclusively breastfed. 

Introducing Baby Feeding Bottle To A Breastfed Child
Image credits: DrBrown’sBottle

If you are a mom and are reading this article, then surely you know. You have been there and done it. But, for new mothers who are under tremendous stress of not being sure if it’s the right time, or how to go about it? read on. To be honest, the whole experience can be the deal breaker in most situations. These situations are:

  1. When a new mom has to join back work or got to travel
  2. When she wants to head out for some errands
  3. When a mom thinks, now it’s getting late for the child to exclusively stay on her feed

A major percentage of women know it in their head – that it’s time. Most women also face difficulties in introducing feeding bottles. This has either happened due to the baby feeding bottle being introduced very late or with an incorrect technique or sometimes when the child just doesn’t take the bottle at all.

The transition phase is toughest both for the baby and the mom. What is the best time to introduce a feeding bottle, what if my baby rejects it, are baby feeding bottles safe? These are just some of the questions which start popping in a new moms’ mind!

Why Bother with Baby Feeding bottles?

If you are a mom and wondering what is the need for a feeding bottle, let us take you through some of the most common reasons:

1. It is a savior for mums returning to their post-maternity stage

As many as 9 out of 10 women return back to workplaces after their maternity breaks. Ask them, what is that one tool they are thankful for – it is breastfeeding pumps and baby feeding bottles! A very close friend had to return to college just one month after her delivery and to date, she swears by feeding bottles. Technology and science have surely made our lives easier. We just gave you the best example.

2. My baby is not latching! Someone send help

Initially, all newborns face difficulties in latching to the breast. If it’s firstborn, it can be an overwhelming experience for the mother as well. This can be trying times for the mother if the baby is not gaining weight. Consulting a lactation consultant or introduction of a baby bottle is something that might work for you.

Wondering when is the Best Time?

As many as 9 out of 10 lactation experts suggest waiting until your baby is a month old. This is just the right time to introduce the baby feeding bottle.

We understand that there might be certain situations where the new mother is not able to express the desired quantity of milk. In such cases alternating between breastfeeds and bottle feed is the best possible choice. New moms should keep in mind, that the feeding bottle should only be introduced when breastfeeding is well established. In other words, the newborn gets acquainted with the concept of breastfeeds first.

“How Do I Go About Introducing Baby Feeding Bottle?

As a new mom, the pressure to breastfeed is so much on us that the introduction of a feeding bottle to our little ones can be a little intimidating. There are a lot of myths associated with baby feeding bottles that most mothers shudder at its thought.

So mommies don’t fret, your head has already seen the signs and your heart needs to listen to your head. Don’t fret! Make it a pleasant experience for both you and the little one!

5 Easy Tips for Introducing a Baby Feeding Bottle:

1. Watch out for the little one’s mood

Children as young as a few days old can turn cranky even at the slightest of the changes in their immediate environment. Thus as a new mother, you need to take care at the time of the introduction of the baby feeding bottle. Ensure that your little one is in a joyful mood. A key tip that you can follow here is to introduce the baby bottle a little just before you feel that your child is satiated.

2. Mimic breastfeeding

When we say mimic breastfeeding, it purely means that the baby feeding bottle session should share similarities with how you have been breastfeeding. Just like you would change sides when breastfeeding, a similar pattern needs to be followed here as well. This is actually to make the child feel there is absolutely no change in his feeding sessions! The feeding style should also be a little slow.

3. The right time

If you are planning to get back to work after your maternity break, then starting the baby bottle roughly a month before can be the safest possible bet. A 4-5 week time is just apt as it gives time to both you and child, sufficient time to adjust.

4. Use one kind of bottle/nipple

Uniformity is the key! To avoid any kind of refusal from the child in taking the feeding bottle always purchase authentic and the same brand of bottle/nipple. This should be done so that your child is not getting confused at different feeding sessions. This will establish a healthy baby bottle feeding session.

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5. Entrust someone else in the family for the bottle feed

I am sure this might sound your und funny, but asking someone else in the family to feed your baby, is something lactation consultants will advise too. This is done basically because a child as young as a few months old is intelligent enough to understand as to why my mom is offering baby bottle and not the breast! And we thought only we adults were smart!

As a mother, who has exclusively breastfed her child for exclusively five months, and then resumed work after a maternity break, there is only one thing I would like to say here. Just like every pregnancy is different, the same goes for every landmark step in raising your child through the first year. Some children take to the feeding bottle very easily, while others just refuse to get accustomed to it. And that is perfectly alright. Give it time and don’t be hard on yourself!

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