Introducing a Bottle to a Breastfed Baby
“I am trying to introduce a bottle to my 6-week-old baby, in the hopes of having baby’s Dad or grandparents feed from time to time. She’s somewhere between adamant and passive refusal! Do you have any suggestions? We’ve only tried twice, so perhaps we need more practice… “
An occasional bottle does not usually interfere with breastfeeding, but every baby can be different. You were wise to wait until 6 weeks before introducing a bottle, to give your supply time to become established. Waiting until 6 weeks also gives your baby time to practice at the breast, before being introduced to something new. If your nipples become sore or if your baby becomes reluctant to latch at the breast after you start giving an occasional bottle, you may want to hold off for a bit.
There are lots of other ways for dad or grandma to bond. I enjoyed this article written by a blogger I follow on Facebook: Why Dads Don’t Need Bottles to Bond with Their Babies.
Some tips for getting your baby to take a bottle:
1. Put breast milk in the bottle and warm it to body temperature.
2. Experiment with different slow flow nipples; you may find one your baby prefers.
3. Your baby may take a bottle more easily from someone other than mom.
4. Try when your baby is sleepy or just waking from a nap.
– Hope this helps! Jana
P.S. We received a follow up email …this clever mom figured out what worked for her baby!
Later this afternoon I tried the bottle again, and was successful! I started breastfeeding, and then when she pulled off for a break I swapped in the bottle. She drank about 2.5 oz. and then finished a bit more off the breast at the end. Will have to just keep practicing every now and then. It’s mostly for when grandparents visit and they give baby’s dad and I a chance to have a little freedom.
For more information about bottling breast milk, see How to Bottle Breast Milk: Answers to the Top 9 Questions.
About the authors:
Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.
Photo courtesy of Boehmer Photography